This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 29, 2009 4:47 PM. The previous post in this blog was Wheeler takes a spill. The next post in this blog is Holiday shopping? Can't go wrong with jewelry.. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The latest poop on Portland water

The City of Portland has lifted the boil-water notice that it posted yesterday, and so now west side residents are free to do whatever they like with their tap water.

The question remains why, if preliminary tests showed E-coli contamination on Thursday, nothing was said to the public until Saturday afternoon. Granted, there is always the possibility of a false positive reading, and the city's entitled to retest before shutting down an entire reservoir. But there's no reason that the test results be withheld from public view until the confirming test results are in. Especially given the coterie of p.r. flacks that the water bureau has sitting around dreaming up bumper sticker contests and reviewing Fireman Randy's Caesar salad recipes, those results should be posted in real time, every single time. Let the public decide for itself whether it wants to drink what's coming out of the tap.

Comments (16)

Said the exact same thing over at OurPDX. If Randy knew at 1:30 pm on Friday (as per his Merc interview), why did we not hear anything until Saturday night?

"You can't handle the truth."

Did I see mention of Fireman Randy's Caesar salad recipe and E-coli in the same paragraph?

The plot thickens!!

E - coli! Salads!

Visions of the return of Ma Anand Sheila!

The mind boggles.

(Where is Dick Bogle when there are so many empty seats (or suits) on the City Council?

Cynthia's sister in Raleigh Hills (i.e, Washington County) notwithstanding, are there any reports out there of anybody actually having gotten sick?

It would be helpful to know which strain of E. coli was detected. All we have been told so far is:

"The initial positive E.coli sample was sent to Legacy Emanuel Laboratory for typing and laboratory results indicate that the E.coli found in Reservoir 3 are not the O:157:H7 strain of E.coli, which is associated with more serious illness."

There would seem to have been enough time for a culture of the alleged original contamination to have produced generations of identifiable bacteria. As time passes without explicit identification of the E. coli strain, it is not unreasonable to wonder whether contamination was introduced into the original sampling procedure.

In my opinion the Portland Water Blog and Jennie Day-Burget severely dropped the ball. There is a lack of information between 11/25 and 11/29


Does anyone have a DNA lab available? If not, we may never know more than we think we know now:

"Water Blog and Jennie Day-Burget severely dropped"

She was in Bend where I guess they don't have computers. Besides that blog is useless unless you want stickers, water bottles, Randy's Caesar salad recipe or new about moon water.

She won't put things like rate increases or the PURB telling them they are spending too much and denying the raises anyways.

Maybe Bog's Blog can start a new bureaucracy award (riffing off of an old "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" routine): The Flying Fecal Finger of Fate

Yeah, and now these morons want to put everyone's cell number in a city database. I'll bet money they mysteriously end up in the hands of a political pollster, that is if all that data doesn't crash the nifty new city computer system....

After the water passes through the reservoir it is treated with Chlorine, which kills E-Coli (that's why we do it).

Also, the reservoir could have just been shut down until final testing was done.

So why the boil notice?

Seems like either trying to scare us or incompetence.

After the water passes through the reservoir it is treated with Chlorine,
which kills E-Coli (that's why we do it).

I don't think that's true, at least on the west side. The chlorine goes in earlier up the line than the Washington Park reservoir.

This is from a friend, who has been following this issue for years:

Interestingly, PWB did not issue a “boil alert” any other time this year when e.coli was detected in our water system. Not in August when it was detected in NE (August 12, 2009 in NE Portland at two sites), nor in June (June 8, 2009) when it was detected in the buried water tanks at Powell Butte. I am growing more suspicious. In the Oregonian article from Nov 28 (http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/11/water_bureau_issues_boil_water.html) , it is stated that the e.coli detection at Res 3 was confined to res 3… e.coli isn’t being detected either upstream or downstream (i.e. on the way to your taps). Which would seem to suggest that the chlorine "hit" the water gets as it leaves the reservoir is doing its job of killing the e.coli. Which would also seem to suggest that maybe the boil alert was overkill. I’d be in favor of overkill, if it seemed consistently applied. But, if they aren’t going to issue a boil alert on the other e.coli detects, then why on this one?

The drumbeat for reservoir lids continues after a brief hiatus:

From what I've read, the decision has been made to disconnect the reservoirs from the drinking water system and leave them there just for show. At least until they can be drained and the property handed over to some developer weasel to build apartments (see the corner of 60th and Division).

Clicky Web Analytics