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Oregonians To Get Postcard, Not Full Report, About Water Quality

Drinking water (file photo)

Drinking water (file photo)

Courtesy EPA

Oregonians who want to know about the quality of their water, can no longer rely on a report coming through the mailbox. 

Since the 1990s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required all water bureaus to produce an annual water quality report — and to send it to residents through the mail. The idea was to educate people about contaminants. 

But Scott Bradway of the Portland Water Bureau says they’re now allowed to send just a postcard with a web address, saving the city tens-of-thousands of dollars. 

He explained, “Previously we mailed this report, it’s a 12 page report, to 325,000 addresses in our service area. We’re printing about 3.8 million less sheets of paper.”

No giardia or fecal coliform bacteria were found in Portland’s water during 2012. But the city did have to issue a boil-water notice in July. 

Trace amounts of naturally occurring minerals, including arsenic, barium and fluoride, were also present in the water.

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