State confirms Portland can skip water treatment

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed plans to let Portland skip federally mandated water treatment for the Bull Run watershed.

The decision is expected to save water ratepayers in the area more than $68 million.

The decision was finalized Wednesday. Portland is the first of its kind ever granted under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The ruling means Portland is no longer on the hook for an ultraviolet treatment plant to eliminate cryptosporidium in Bull Run water.

The city has argued that it doesn’t need to treat for the potentially lethal parasite, undetected in the watershed in almost a decade.

State officials agreed.

In exchange, the city must monitor for cryptosporidium and show it at low levels while also monitoring tributaries.