BOIL WATER NOTICE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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1 Nick Fish, Commissioner David G. Shaff, Administrator 1120 SW 5 th Avenue, Room 600 Portland, Oregon Information: About the Event: BOIL WATER NOTICE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Updated:5/23/2014 What s going on? As of May 23, 2014 a boil water notice is in effect for all customers of the Portland Water Bureau, Burlington, City of Gresham (North of I-84), Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Palatine Hill, Rockwood, Tigard Water Service Area (including Durham, King City and Bull Mountain), Valley View, and West Slope Water Districts.. This means that water from the tap should not be consumed by humans without boiling first. This notice is required by the state and federal government when tests confirm the presence of fecal contamination. What happened? A routine sample collected May 22, 2014, at the outlet of Reservoir 5 on Mount Tabor came back positive for total coliform and E. coli on May 23, Additional routine samples from the outlet of Reservoir 1 at Mount Tabor on May 20 and at SE 2 nd and Salmon on May 21, were also positive for total coliform and E. coli. Follow-up samples collected from Reservoir 1 and SE 2 nd Ave and Salmon St. were negative for total coliform and E. coli. In consultation with health officials, there is a potential public health risk as a result of the detections.total coliforms and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water is contaminated with human or animal wastes. All tap water within the defined area used for drinking, food preparation, and ice should be boiled at a full rolling boil for at least one minute. Ice or any beverages prepared with tap water on or after May 20, 2014 should be discarded. The bacteria found were E.coli. The presence of these bacteria in drinking water indicates fecal contamination. Water that tests positive for these bacteria may contain potentially pathogenic organisms and would be risky to drink without first boiling for one minute. What is the Portland Water Bureau Doing? The Portland Water Bureau has taken Reservoir 1 and 5 out of service, and has flushed the system near SE 2 nd Ave and Salmon St. Additional sampling is being conducted throughout the affected area. Staff are investigating the affected area for any possible sources of contamination.

2 The system has been flushed in the area of SE 2 nd Ave and Salmon St. to remove any contaminated water. The Portland Water Bureau has sent the positive E. coli sample to a specialized laboratory for more testing. This testing will determine if the strain detected is 0157:H7, a strain often associated with E. coli outbreaks. However, even if the results are negative for 0157:H7, the presence of E. coli is an indication of fecal contamination that may contain other potentially pathogenic organisms that are not easy to test for. What do I do? All water used for drinking, teeth brushing, food preparation, and ice should be boiled at a full rolling boil for at least 1 minute as a safety precaution. Ice or any beverages prepared with un-boiled tap water on or after May 20, 2014 should be discarded. The bureau will lift the boil water notice when results show no contamination. Results should be available sometime Saturday morning, May 24, The public should follow boil water precautions until the bureau notifies the public that the water supply has returned to a safe condition. Who is affected? An estimated 6700,000 people located in the affected area that includes customers of the Portland Water Bureau, Burlington, City of Gresham (North of I-84), Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Palatine Hill, Rockwood, Tigard Water Service Area (including Durham, King City and Bull Mountain), Valley View, and West Slope Water Districts. Who is most at risk? Infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

3 Boil Water Activities that do require boiled water: Drinking Washing food that isn t cooked or baked Adding water to food or baby formula without cooking/baking Ice making Cleaning food contact surfaces Tooth brushing and gargling Eye washing or rinsing contact lenses Taking water with medications Activities that do not require boiled water: Showering and Bathing (do not allow water in mouth) Dish washing with soapy tap water, as long as they are rinsed with boiled water. Laundry General cleaning and mopping Hand washing use soap and towel dry vigorously Drinking water for Pets (optional) Pet bathing Watering plants /irrigation How long do I have to boil my water? The boil water notice is in effect until test results shows the water is free from contamination. First sample results will be available May 24, Results will be posted to the Water Bureau website, Is using hot tap water enough? No, even hot tap water must be boiled for one minute. Will my home filtration system substitute for boiling water? Home filtration systems vary considerably. To be safe, boiled or bottled water should be used. What should I do about feeding my infant? Continue to breastfeed if that s what you currently do. If breastfeeding is not an option: Use ready-to-use formula, if possible. Prepare powdered or concentrated formula with bottled water. Use boiled water if you do not have bottled water. Disinfect water for formula if you cannot boil your water (see directions below on how to use bleach to disinfect water). Wash and sterilize bottles and nipples before use. If you cannot sterilize bottles, try to use single-serve, ready-to-feed bottles.

4 I am unable to boil my water, is there an alternative to boiling? If you can't boil water, you can treat water with unscented household chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite). Add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water if the water is clear. Mix thoroughly and let it stand for about 30 minutes before using. What about my pet? Is it safe for my pet to drink or bathe in this water. Pets have some innate protection for this type of water contamination. However, some people will prefer to use boiled water for their pets to drink. Health I am feeling ill, what should I do? Symptoms are not only caused by organisms in drinking water. People experiencing any symptoms that persist may want to seek medical advice from their doctor. People who feel their symptoms are a result of consuming drinking water should contact the Multnomah County Health Department Communicable Disease Nurse at How do I care for open wounds/sores from an unrelated medical condition? While the organisms of greatest concern need to be ingested to cause illness, the Portland Water Bureau recommends people to take the greatest precaution and use water that has been boiled or bottled water to clean wounds and sores. People with compromised immune systems are at most risk and should consult their health care provider. Hygiene: Can I use tap water to brush my teeth? No. Do not use tap water to brush your teeth. Use boiled or bottled water. Is it safe to take a shower or bath? Yes, it is safe to take a bath or shower, but be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing infants and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water. What about shaving? Yes, you can shave as usual. Household Information Should I wash dishes with boiled water? Tap water combined with dish soap can be used to clean dishes, utensils and cooking ware. Boiled water must be used for rinsing. Any dishes rinsed without boiled water should be rewashed as above.

5 Can I wash dishes in my Dishwasher? Dishwashers with a sanitizing cycle can be used to clean dishes. If your dishwasher does not have a sanitizing cycle, tap water combined with dish soap can be used to clean dishes, utensils and cooking ware. Boiled water must be used for rinsing. How should I clean my contact lenses? Contacts should be cleaned with appropriate contact lens solution. Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds with thorough drying before putting in contact lenses. What about doing laundry? Yes, it is safe to do laundry as usual. After the Boil Water Incident: What should customers do? Customers should flush all taps for 2 minutes or until the water runs cold before consuming for the first time. This will flush any potentially contaminated water from the plumbing. What should I do with ice, food or beverages made during the boil water notice? All ice and beverages made with non boiled water on or after May 20, 2014 should be discarded. Any food made with water on or after May 20, 2014 that is not thoroughly cooked above 165 degrees should also be discarded. Food that is cooked (boiled, grilled or baked) at a temperature above 165 degrees is safe to consume. Should I replace my home water filter after the event? This incident should not have impacted your water filter. Filters should be changed according to the regular schedule recommended by the manufacturer. It is a general health precaution to regularly change filters as old filters can diminish water quality. Do I need to flush or adjust the temperature of my hot water heater? A bath or shower would be sufficient to flush any potential bacteria from the hot water heater. The Portland Water Bureau recommends that hot water heaters be set above 120 degrees. To reduce the risk of lead and copper exposure through household plumbing and fixtures, customers should never cook with or drink from the hot water tap.

6 Other: Why didn t I receive a call or text to advise me of this event? The City of Portland sent out a public alert to residents who have a publicly listed landline or who have registered to receive emergency alerts. To register, please visit Will I receive a credit my water bill because of this event? No Is it possible that the contamination has been intentionally caused? The reservoir is being drained and an investigation is underway. Results will not be available for several days. Isn t my water treated after it leaves the reservoir? Why not? No. The water in the reservoirs was treated with chlorine at the Bull Run Headworks, and further treated with ammonia to form chloramines at the Lusted Hill Treatment facility east of Gresham. The in-town reservoirs are storage facilities. How often do you sample? The water at the Reservoir 1 outlet is sampled 4 days per week for bacteria. The Portland Water Bureau also tests approximately 240 samples a month from locations around the city four days per week.

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