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Baker City Remains Under Boil Order

Baker City remains under a boil-water order, more than a week after a waterborne parasite turned up in the water.

Baker City sign.

Baker City sign.

Vince Patton/OPB

About 15 people have sought medical attention for cryptosporidium, but state officials say probably many more got milder symptoms. Baker City Manager Mike Kee says the boil-water order is an inconvenience — and a blow to local restaurants.
“There’s been a lot of consternation about going out and eating, and not being safe, and things like that,” says Kee. “Our county environmental health officers have inspected all of the restaurants — and if they’re open, they’re safe.”
Kee says the city might’ve initially identified the wrong reservoir as the source of the crypto. Officials have found high levels more recently elsewhere in the water system.
The city has been planning to build a $2.5 million ultraviolet treatment plant. It could speed up the timeline. City officials will also consider a $17 million filtration plant. It’s more effective than ultraviolet light is against cryptosporidium when the water is muddy, like after a wildfire.

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