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City Still Fighting EPA Over Bull Run Water

The city of Portland is trying again to avoid federal mandates that could cost hundreds of millions in upgrades to the city's water system.  Rob Manning reports on two recent requests sent to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Portland intends to prove to the EPA that the water from the protected Bull Run watershed is so clean, it doesn't require further treatment.

Portland is on its third attempt to get a monitoring regime approved.

Water resource planning director, Edward Campbell, says the city has added specific steps that EPA asked for. One requires the city to go after potential contamination "hot spots."

Edward Campbell: "The Bull Run has very low frequency of cryptosporidium. So the idea or notion that there might be 'hot spots' is difficult for us to wrap our minds around."

Campbell's boss, water bureau commissioner Randy Leonard has sent a separate letter to the EPA. It asks the agency to tell the city how it can prove that covering the city's open reservoirs isn't necessary.

City officials are already building reservoir capacity elsewhere, in the event the EPA forces the city to take the open reservoirs off-line.