Water | News | Local

Baker City Boil-Water Order Lifted After 3 Weeks

OPB | Aug. 21, 2013 1:29 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 2:34 p.m. | Portland

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State and local officials have lifted the boil-water order for the eastern Oregon town of Baker City.

For the first time in three weeks, it’s okay to drink the water in Baker City.

On July 31, officials announced the discovery of cryptosporidium in the water supply. They advised drinking boiled — or bottled — water to avoid the severe nausea the parasite causes.

Public health epidemiologist Emilio DeBess says consecutive tests now show no crypto. DeBess visited some Baker City homes, to let them know the boil order was lifted.

“I think people are really happy with the fact that they can now use their water,” said DeBess.

Some Baker City residents have been critical of the government’s response. DeBess says responders did a good job, considering there hadn’t been an outbreak like this in Oregon in twenty years.

“We’re trying to learn as much as we can out of this outbreak, and certainly communicate better in the future,” DeBess said.

Officials say the suspected source of the outbreak is disconnected, and needs to test clean before it’s used again.

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