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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Intel doesn't want Bull Run water?

Here's an interesting excerpt from a story about how Hillsboro is likely going to drink out of the Willamette rather than buy water from Portland:

Although the water from the Bull Run Reservoir is clean, it is unfiltered and varies too much in quality for many of Hillsboro’s industrial customers. As a result, the department concluded it would need to build a plant to treat Portland's water on its way to the city.

It's hard to square that with Portland's frequent "best water in the world" boast.

As for Hillsboro:

After studying a variety of options, including raising the Scoggins Dam in Hagg Lake and buying water from Portland, the commission is leaning toward drawing water from the Willamette River near Wilsonville to help meet the city's future needs.

An analysis by the Hillsboro Water Department concludes that is the most affordable option, even though it requires building a water treatment plant in Wilsonville and a 20-mile pipeline to the city.

Comments (10)

The Portland water is full of particulate crud. Our kitchen sink has a dedicated faucet with a ceramic filter on it. Replacements are expensive, but necessary when the output dwindles to a dribble, which is happening about every 3 or 4 months even though we use filtered water only for cooking and immediate consumption. Our fridge also has a refillable reservoir for drinking water. We refill it with unfiltered water. The particulate deposits in that tank are disgusting.

Wouldn't the Columbia River be closer?

Drill the hole pipeline underground through the hills and come out on the bank of the Columbia.

For that matter Portland's upcoming new PUD water district [replacing the water bureau] could build a water purification plant on the Columbia then the current water distribution system would make the filtered water accessible to all the current users.

If river filtration is that effective, why continue using so much bull run?

I thought the additional protein would help grow crystals as it does in our kidneys.

Bull run water is very low in "dissolved solids;" which is the technical term for minerals: hard water. "Crud" (leaf debris, crawdad poop, etc....) is easy, if not annoying to filter out. Not so much for minerals.
Wacker Siltronic located here to make silicon wafers because the Bull Run water was low in minerals and relatively cheap. Intel also. Hard water is brutal on the water filtration systems. (Reverse osmosis.)
Then Portland Water Bureau put in the ground water wells to supplement the supply with hard water. No, the semiconductor industry would prefer Bull Run water. And about that fluoride....

Allan L: It's not the Bull Run water, it's your old, rusted plumbing!

At the projected future prices for Portland's oh-so-precious water, I'm not suprised Hillsboro finds it more cost effective to simply build their own filtration plant and stop paying the ransom.

What about beer? I've been surprised that there's been no mention of the effect that flouridated water might have on brewers like Widmer Brothers.

I think it would be of financial interest for the microbrewery industry to join with those who don't want fluoride in their water and stop this abuse to our good Bull Run water.
This industry should be pro-active to save our good Bull Run water period.
There are some who have challenged the water bureau, but generally, I haven't seen much evidence of real concern and outcry considering how essential the good water is to their brews.

I have to wonder if they have spoken out and the paper is not reporting it?? Seems to me to be a hot topic for an in depth story!

My guess is the extortionate price PWB is charging Hillsboro for water is a bigger driving force.

No water source will be pure enough for Intel (its fine for drinking, but at a min needs to be de-ionized to use in electronics) and they'll need to process it in any case.

Be funny if a 50% price increase in the past 3 years (and another 50% planned in the next 3 years) actually drove away customers, eh, Randy?

Wouldn't the Columbia River be closer?

Maybe, but Hillsboro probably doesn't want to filter out Hanford-generated radioisotopes along with everything else. Besides, filtering radioactive material from water allows it to collect in the filters, increasing concentration and radioactive dosage.

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