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Clean Water for All: The purpose-driven work of Humberto Piedra-Ruiz

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For Humberto Piedra-Ruiz, his work as a civil engineer for the Bull Run Treatment Projects is more than a job. It’s an opportunity to ensure access to clean, reliable water for his daughter and our whole community for generations to come. 

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For our Future with Humberto Piedro-Ruiz

Humberto Piedra-Ruiz’s interest in water projects started when he joined an Engineers Without Borders team that helped a community in Kenya develop a water distribution system. Later, in Cambodia, he helped a community build concrete sand filtration systems and drinking water wells. The experiences gave him a deep understanding of how access to clean drinking water can shape communities for the better. Humberto brings this perspective to his work on two significant improvements to the Bull Run water system. 

The first of the two Bull Run Treatment Projects is Improved Corrosion Control Treatment. This project will further reduce potential exposure to lead from home and building plumbing. “As a father, this is tremendously important to me because lead has tremendous side effects on a child’s developmental process.”  

The second improvement is the Bull Run Filtration Project. Filtration will remove disease-causing microorganism Cryptosporidium and other potential contaminants to help comply with safe drinking water standards. Humberto is a member of the team doing a pilot study to learn how to effectively and efficiently treat our unique Bull Run water.  “We’re gathering all the data we need to design and build this facility to be resilient, reliable and safe.” 

He’s encouraged by the progress the Bull Run Treatment Projects team has made this year and confident about what’s ahead: The team submitted the findings of the water treatment pilot study to the Oregon Health Authority, a critical step for treatment plant design. They also secured a WIFIA loan, which will save ratepayers at least $247 million in repayment costs.

Humberto loves the sense of purpose that working on the Bull Run Treatment Projects provides. 

“My job is awesome because I get to play with water every day and help people have access to it. I can make tangible, positive difference in people’s lives now and in the future. My daughter was born during the pandemic, so this has made it even more important to me.”