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Building a Filtration Project Based in Community Values

Blog post


Portland is building a new filtration facility to keep our water safe and abundant for generations to come.

The Bull Run Filtration Project will remove Cryptosporidium and other contaminants from the Bull Run water supply, producing cleaner, safer water for the one million people who use our water now and for future generations. The project is required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and must be completed by September 30, 2027, per a bilateral compliance agreement with the Oregon Health Authority.

Today the Portland Utility Board will hear a presentation from our staff on the project and what we’re doing to address costs and plan for Portland’s future.

A handout will be provided at the meeting that outlines this work. 

Building a Filtration Project Based in Community Values

Outreach efforts have made over 180,000 contacts. Customers tell us they most value:

  • Water quality and public health protection
  • Best value for customers
  • Minimizing community impacts to rural site neighbors
  • Reliable, consistent water

What Risks Do We Face?

There are a variety of challenges to maintaining a reliable drinking water supply, including:

  • Forest fires
  • Algal toxins
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Earthquakes
A collage of images from the Eagle Creek Fire, Salem Algal Toxins, and Portland Pipe Break illustrating risks to the water system.

Finding the Right Investment Level for Portland

Additional investments in the Filtration Project provide greater protection for customers—addressing risks like forest fires and algal toxins that impact water quality, decreasing need for groundwater and curtailments, and replacing aging infrastructure.

Chart shows the benefits of full project implementation.

Additional Investment Now Saves Money in the Future

Full implementation now increases current rate impacts but saves money overall and reduces how much customers will be paying in the long-term.

Chart shows cost projections for minimum compliance, phased implementation, and full implementation.

Maintaining Affordability While Providing Needed Investments

Text showing average monthly bill increase for account holders.

Low income customers will be financially supported through our customer assistance program. Investments in water quality and reliability have the greatest benefit to customers with the fewest resources.

Learn More

Learn more about the Bull Run Filtration Project and what the future holds for ensuring you continue to receive excellent drinking water for generations to come.