State regulators tell Portland to reduce lead levels

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Health Authority has ordered Portland to reduce lead levels in drinking water, after new testing found too much lead at some taps.

In a letter to the Portland Water Bureau, Oregon public health director Lillian Shirley said the city must submit a plan for lead reduction by Dec. 2, and include immediate steps it will take to fix the problem.

City officials contacted by The Oregonian/OregonLive on Wednesday declined to say what steps they might take.

Portland could increase pH levels and alkalinity, which would likely reduce the pipe corrosion that causes lead release, particularly in homes with lead-soldered plumbing or brass faucets.

Shirley wrote that Portland must upgrade its water treatment facilities and infrastructure to permanently solve the problem, and gave the city six years to get it done.

OHA Letter to Portland Water Bureau  


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