Portland Water Bureau officials say there's no immediate health threat from a water-borne pathogen found in the Bull Run watershed.
Portland officials say the discovery of cryptosporidium shouldn’t threaten the city's effort to obtain a variance from clean water rules. Meanwhile, some environmental advocates say the recent discovery highlights the shortcomings of tests that would be required under the variance.
Regna Merritt with Physicians for Social Responsibility says the government should test whether the cryptosporidium is a health risk.
"Most are not infectious to humans – and a few are. Beyond that, the few that are, and that could be present in the watershed, oftentimes are not viable," Merritt said.
The state variance would likely depend on Portland’s water remaining clear of cryptosporidium. But the current draft doesn't distinguish cryptosporidium strains.
Portland is testing the most recent discovery to see what type it is.
State health authorities are scheduled to finalize the clean water variance at the end of this month.