Information about the quality of Gresham’s drinking water and the programs that help protect it.
Gresham Water Quality Report
Drinking water regulations by Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency require the City to produce a Water Quality Report annually so people know what is in their drinking water.
Q: Is my water hard or soft?
A: Bull Run surface water is very soft. The hardness of Bull Run water is typically 6 to 11 parts per million (approximately ½ a grain of hardness per gallon). Groundwater from the Sand and Gravel Aquifer has a hardness of approximately 65 parts per million, which is considered moderately hard. Gresham now regularly blends groundwater with the Bull Run water from July through September, and on occasion during other times of the year.
Q: Where does my water come from?
A: Gresham purchases most of its water from the Portland Water Bureau. The primary source of this water is from the Bull Run watershed in the Mt. Hood National Forest. In summer, Gresham blends Bull Run water with groundwater from the Sand and Gravel Aquifer.
Q: What chemicals are added to my water?
A: Chlorine and ammonia to disinfect the water; and sodium hydroxide is added to help reduce the corrosive tendencies of Bull Run water. Fluoride is currently not added to the water. The City of Portland is considering a proposal to fluoridate drinking water, which would impact Gresham and other wholesale customers of Portland's water system. A letter was recently sent to Mayor Sam Adams regarding this issue.
Q: What do I do if my water is discolored?
A: Discoloration can be the result of many things. Turn on each cold water faucet and allow the water to run for several minutes until the water is clear again. More...
Q: Who is my water provider?
A:The City provides water to Gresham residents; citizens who live in the Rockwood area (west-central Gresham) are served by the Rockwood Water Peoples Utility District.
Utility Billing Information
Lead in Drinking Water Program
Gresham’s sources of water, the Bull Run Reservoir and Columbia South Shore well fields, contain no detectable lead. The City’s water supplies consistently meet or surpass all federal and state drinking water standards.
- However, some households have lead levels in standing water that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Action Level, usually because of plumbing installed years ago.
- Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and household plumbing.
Cross Connection Control Program (preventing harmful backflow)
Swimming pools, hot tubs, lawn sprinkling systems and heating and cooling systems, and others, “cross connect” to the water system.
- Backflow occurs whenever water flows in the opposite direction of the intended direction, potentially sending contaminated water from those swimming pools and cooling systems into the water system.
- The City has established a state-mandated cross connection control program requiring a backflow prevention assembly; obtain a permit.