Drinking Water Quality
Ensuring Quality Water
Safe, reliable drinking water is TVWD's number one priority. We consistently deliver water that meets or is better than all federal and state drinking water standards. All water we receive is treated by the agency we receive the water from. However, TVWD conducts regular water testing to ensure that the water we provide remains safe for you to drink.
Portland Water Bureau
Both of Portland's water sources (Bull Run and Columbia South Shore Wellfield) are unfiltered. Chlorine, ammonia and PH adjustments are added to meet federal drinking water standards. Visit the Portland Water Bureau Water Quality Web Site.
Joint Water Commission
Water received from the Joint Water Commission (JWC) is filtered and disinfected at the JWC's water treatment plant before distribution into TVWD's water distribution system. Visit the JWC Water Quality Web Site.
Testing Your Water
The quality and safety of your water is our number one priority. TVWD, the Portland Water Bureau, and the JWC regularly test your water supply for approximately 200 contaminants. Testing includes all contaminants regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), plus many unregulated contaminants. Sampling is conducted at various locations in the water sources, including the JWC water treatment plant and the distribution system.
To ensure that when you turn on your tap, your water meets this commitment, we constantly monitor the water by taking samples. Once these samples are taken, the testing process proceeds as follows:
- Samples are refrigerated and taken to a certified testing lab. TVWD only contracts with laboratories that have been approved by the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) to analyze drinking water standards.
- The lab sends the test results directly to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Drinking Water Program (with the exception of Disinfectant Residual/Disinfectant By-products and fluoride reports, which TVWD sends directly to DHS).
- A Consumer Confidence Report (sampling results from the past year) is sent to customers once a year.
Each element has different regulations to adhere to if they fall outside of the acceptable range. In the extremely rare occurrence that an element falls outside of the range, we will re-sample it. If it still falls out of the range, we will take whatever action is necessary to rectify the situation and follow the proper notification procedures. Because we purchase our water from the City of Portland and the JWC, many of the corrective actions would be taken by the entity who supplies the water.
TVWD Water Supply Water Quality Summary
TVWD has compiled a comprehensive summary of the water purchased from the Portland Water Bureau and water owned from the Joint Water Commission. The TVWD Water Supply Water quality Summary (PDF) lists a variety of regulated and unregulated contaminants not listed in the Consumer Confidence Report.
TVWD fluoridates the Wolf Creek portion of the District at 0.7 part per million in accordance with the proposed guidance of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The District uses sodium fluoride manufactured specifically for drinking water.
Only a portion of TVWD's service area is fluoridated because TVWD was formed by the merger of two separate water districts, the Wolf Creek Highway Water District and the Metzger Water District. Residents in the Wolf Creek Highway Water District voted to add fluoride to their water and this practice continues in response to this vote. The Metzger Water District did not take action regarding the fluoridation of their water. Valley View Water District, also operated by TVWD, does not fluoridate their water either.
If you live in an area served by TVWD that is fluoridated, this information is noted on your water bill. The fluoridated service area can also be viewed at the TVWD Fluoride Map (PDF).
If you have an infant who is exclusively drinking formula made with fluoridated water, you may want to take a look at our Using Fluoridated Water For Mixing Infant Formula (PDF) brochure.
Additional information about supplemental fluoridation - including recommendations for families with small children - is available at the Center for Disease Control's Web site.
TVWD participates in a regional Joint Lead Monitoring Program, which found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes and buildings. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. TVWD's source waters contain extremely low to no detectable levels of lead. If you have questions about lead in your drinking water, you can use the following resources or call our water quality department at (503) 848-3000.
Local Lead Line: (503) 988-4000
National Lead Line: (800) 532-3394
Chromium-6 In Drinking Water
Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, animals, plants, soil, and in volcanic dust and gases. Chromium can exist in a variety of forms, but is typically found in the environment and drinking water in two main forms: trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and hexavalent chromium (chromium-6). Chromium-3 occurs naturally in the environment and is an essential human dietary nutrient. Chromium-6 is the more toxic form and is generally associated with industrial processes. Chromium can transform from one form to another in water and soil, depending on the conditions present.
Currently, there are no federal regulations or requirements to test for chromium-6 in drinking water. The EPA does regulate total chromium, of which chromium-6 is a component, and has established a Maximum Contaminant Level of 100 parts per billion (ppb) in drinking water.
In January 2011, the EPA issued a recommendation that drinking water systems monitor for chromium-6 to gain a better understanding of concentrations of the contaminant present in drinking water across the country.
TVWD voluntarily followed EPA's guidance and sampled our distribution system for chromium-6 quarterly in 2011. Our source water providers, Portland Water Bureau and Joint Water Commission, also collected quarterly samples. The following table presents a summary of results from our distribution system as well as the raw water sample results collected by our source water providers:
|Location||Minimum Detected||Average Detected||Maximum Detected|
|TVWD Distribution system||<0.05 ppb||0.101 ppb||0.220 ppb|
|Portland Water Bureau Source Water||<0.05 ppb||0.022 ppb||0.031 ppb|
|Joint Water Commission Source Water||0.066 ppb||0.142 ppb||0.210 ppb|
EPA's final toxicological review of chromium-6 is expected to be completed in 2013. This risk assessment will form the basis of any federal regulations that may be developed. TVWD will continue to work closely with the EPA and with organizations such as the American Water Works Association to monitor for chromium-6.
TVWD's water system is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our state-of-the-art telemetry system, approximately 2,000 bits of information are examined, including water flows, pressure and reservoir levels, chemical feeds, and intrusion alarms. If the monitors find anything wrong with any part of our system, an alarm alerts an operator to a problem. During nights and weekends, a dialing system notifies an after-hours operator to the alarm condition.
For More Information
For more information about the quality of TVWD's water sources, contact our Water Quality Department or take a look at our Consumer Confidence Reports: