Portland set to implement complete filtered water system

Portland is looking to raise the bar on public health protection via a complete filtered water system.

Triggered by traces of Cryptosporidium found in the water supply and revocation of Portland Water Bureau’s (PWB) treatment variance by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the bureau’s $500 million Bull Run Filtration Project involves the design and construction of a complete new water treatment system. The program includes a filtration plant with up to 160 million gallons per day capacity and new appurtenances to connect to the existing supply system.

Brown and Caldwell has been awarded a contract to provide program management services for the project, which marks a critical transition for PWB and its customers. Historically, PWB customers have relied on unfiltered water from the federally protected 102 square mile Bull Run Watershed as its primary source of water for over a century.

“Public health and safety is the bureau’s top priority,” said PWB’s program director David Peters. “This transformational opportunity for the city will further protect and improve our primary source of drinking water for the long-term benefit of our customers.”

To aid the transition to a filtered supply, Brown and Caldwell will lead pilot testing and project definition work to determine and optimize the preferred treatment system. As program manager, the firm will also provide permitting; management and control of budget, schedule, and risk; and management and review of the work of design engineers and contractors to be retained by PWB in 2019.

The Brown and Caldwell team includes Confluence Engineering Group, who will provide specialized knowledge in water quality throughout the pilot process as well as during distribution system flushing in preparation for the filtered water. Barney & Worth will bring expertise in strategic communications and public involvement. Further, the team includes 20 Oregon-certified disadvantaged, minority-owned, woman-owned and emerging small business firms, supporting Portland’s commitment to equity and inclusion.

“We are honored to help the city of Portland responsibly deliver a water filtration system to reliably and sustainably serve generations to come,” said Brown and Caldwell program manager Jon Holland. “We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with PWB for this landmark project for the region.”

Following successful pilot testing and design, construction will likely commence in late 2022 with the new facility operational by Sept. 30, 2027, in accordance with the city’s agreement with OHA.

Headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., Brown and Caldwell is a full-service environmental engineering and construction firm with 45 offices and 1,600-plus professionals across the country. For more information, visit brownandcaldwell.com.

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