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Safe and reliable water, the key ingredient for local business

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The investments we’re making in the Bull Run Treatment Projects and our water system are essential to the diverse industries and businesses powering our local economy.

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The investments we’re making in the Bull Run Treatment Projects and our water system are essential to the diverse industries and businesses powering our local economy.

For Our Economy with Fernando's Alegria

Take, for example, Fernando’s Alegría food cart located at Portland Mercado, a hub for Latino culture in southeast Portland. From the moment Fernando’s Alegría opens each morning until it closes each night, owner Fernando Rodriguez relies on clean, safe water for everything from hand washing and kitchen sanitation to cooking up his unique twist on the delicious flavors of Mexico. “For us water is super important. We use water in everything we do,” says Fernando. “Put it simple… without water we couldn’t have a business.”  

Restaurant Owner Mark Greco Outside Gravy Restaurant
Water is an essential ingredient for the signature flavors served up or to-go at Gravy restaurant.

Restaurant owner Mark Greco echoes the importance of water to his two Gravy restaurants on Mississippi Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. “From Gravy’s signature sauces, to our coffee, to our Bloody Marys—Portland water is at the heart of my business success,” says Mark over a steaming cup of delicious coffee.

Not having access to safe water at the tap, even for a short time, could have a devastating impact on the region's food and beverage industry. For example, according to a 2017 ECONorthwest analysis of the Economic Effects of a Boil Water Notice, a two-day boil water notice would result in an estimated $3.6 million in lost output and $1.4 million in lost wages for Portland eating and drinking establishments. The impact to the broader economy would be substantially higher.

The improvements we’re making through the Bull Run Treatment Projects will ensure our water quality is more consistent, which is essential for our local craft brewers to keep churning out new and exciting beers.

Photo of Maddy McCarthy from Von Ebert Brewing
Maddy McCarthy from Von Ebert Brewing

“Water is used for almost every single process for the brewing industry,” says local brewer Maddy McCarthy with Von Ebert Brewing. Consistent water is key to continuing to brew the ones customers love the most.

Safe and reliable water benefits everyone and is essential for the success of many other businesses such as those in manufacturing, technology, hospitality, healthcare, and other industries that power our economy and support our neighborhoods and community.  

“Any way we can make the water, cleaner, better and healthier I think it would be an amazing thing to do because the more you filter it, I think it’s better for people,” says Fernando Rodriguez.