Council takes testimony on lead treatment pilot program

Although Bull Run water has long been considered very clean, it may need to be treated with chemicals to reduce lead in homes and businesses.

After taking testimony about the potential benefits and risks of treating Portland's water to reduce lead, the City Council set a vote on a pilot program to determine the best approach next week.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has directed the city to reduce the amount of lead that leeches out of pipes and fixtures in older homes and buildings. That would most likely require the city to add chemicals to the water that comes from the Bull Run Watershed and groundwater wells along the Columbia River, Portland's two water sources.