Is Portland Water Safe to Drink?
Portland water quality ranks in the low range for contaminants.
- For reference, Rochester Hills, Michigan has 5 contaminants.
- Miramar, Florida has 75 contaminants. (The most of any U.S. city over 50,000.)
- Note: These are both outliers.
With a total of 14 contaminants in your drinking water, 4 of those exceed health guidelines.
Contaminant levels have increased from 11 to 14 within six years.
Drinking unfiltered water from Portland water sources could be hazardous to your health.
Let’s look closer at Portland water quality.
Portland Drinking Water Quality
Portland has a total of 14 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
28.6% of contaminants are rated as exceeding health guidelines.
They include things like Arsenic and Barium.
Most of the contaminants pose a risk of Cancer if allowed to stay in your drinking water.
Lead in Portland Water
Portland drinking water has extremely high levels of lead in it.
215 samples taken from Portland water sources in 2019 had a lead concentration of 52.4 parts per billion (ppb) or less.
- Lead concentrations of 3.9 ppb to 15 ppb “put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels.” (ewg.org)
- El Paso, Texas has lead concentrations up to 84 parts per billion.
- The legal limit for lead is 15 ppb. The city is not legally required to mitigate unless levels pass 15 ppb.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
Here are a few of the lead poisoning symptoms for children under 6:
- Abdominal Pain
- Developmental Delay
- Learning Difficulties
- Weight loss
- Hearing loss
Learn more about Lead Poisoning Symptoms here.
So, What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
There are things you can do today to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
In Your Household:
Use Berkey water filters with activated carbon to filter out 72.7 percent of contaminants in your drinking water.
(They also remove up to 99% of lead contamination in Portland water.)
Basic pitchers like Brita and PUR only manage 18.2%.
Save money on new and replacement filters when you use the links at waterbadge.com/filters.
Portland Whole House Water Filtration Systems
A whole house filtration system can filter out 81.8 percent, making it another effective choice.
A few things to note:
- Whole house systems are much more effective than water pitchers like Brita and PUR.
- However, the initial cost is higher and they require installation.
For a list of the contaminants that can be filtered out by a whole house system, go to Portland’s Water Quality page.
To filter out the highest number of contaminants, use our recommendations on the WaterBadge Filters page:
Conclusion: Is Portland Water Safe to Drink?
No. Based on lead levels alone, we wouldn’t recommend drinking unfiltered Portland water.
Filtering your water can save you and your loved ones from health problems later.
You deserve to feel safe when you drink your own tap water.
At WaterBadge, our goal is to make that a reality.
To support this mission, we’ve partnered with companies that are dedicated to water filtration and safety.
When you purchase filters and systems through them, you’re also supporting WaterBadge’s mission of cleaner water for everyone.
Thanks for doing your part.
Want to learn more about water quality around the U.S.?
Search for your city here: