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Portland Issues a City-Wide Boil Order

Portland Issues a City-Wide Boil Order

On Friday, May 23, the Portland, Oregon Water Bureau issued a city-wide boil order after E. coli was detected in the water. According to ABC News, this 24-hour boil order was the largest in the city’s history, affecting 670,000 people in the city and several outlying suburbs.

Coffee shops, restaurants, and bars were forced to close during this period, impacting their weekend sales. But grocery stores saw a spike in sales as people purchased water jugs, bottled water, and soda cans in excess.

Although the boil order ended on Saturday, May 24th, the city still hasn’t figured out the source of the contamination. But it’s assumed that an animal spread fecal matter through the city’s water system. The city drained and cleaned two reservoirs, but is telling residents to continue to take caution and to run their taps for two minutes to eliminate any contaminated water.

Even though the boil order only lasted a day, drinking contaminated water can have serious effects and can cause illness. One way to prepare for a boil order and to avoid depleting grocery shelves is to store water and to have a water filter like the Katadyn Hiker and a method of water purification like Micropur tablets on hand that can remove or kill bacteria and protozoa in the water.


To learn more about the Portland boil order, check out these articles:

“Portland Issues Boil Order . . .” from the Oregonian

“Looking Back on Portland’s largest Boil Order Alert . . .” from the Oregonian

“Portland lifts City-Wide Boil Order” from ABC News


To learn more about water storage, and filtration and purification, check out these articles:

Water Restrictions Making you Blue?

Discover the Best Water Treatment System for You


What are your tips for surviving a boil order? 


6 thoughts on “Portland Issues a City-Wide Boil Order ”

  • Bill

    Luckily we live outside the affected water ban but there were people driving out to outlying cities and towns buy up all the water they could. It didn't take but a couple of hours for the stores withing the ban area to be depleted of all bottled water.
    I have 20 of the 5 gal water containers filled from Emergency Essentials that I have purchased recently. My wife told the kids, this is why dad has his store and water put up. They saw the light! Being Prepared is Essential.

    • beprepared

      Hahaha, that's great. I love that you said "they saw the light." So the water barrels helped you through this emergency, do you have any other experiences where our products or your knowledge of emergency preparedness have come in handy?

  • bonnie

    Boil the water at a lower temperature. It still has to boil, but not at a full bore rolling boil. This way you don't loose as much water to evaporation. Also put a lid on the pot to hold the steam in and concentrate the heat. This means less evaporation too. Boiled water looses it natural taste. To overcome this, pour the water from one container to another several times which increases the oxygen and also the flavor. It won't taste so flat. Also, keeping it in the refrigerator after the boiling process improves the flavor.

    • beprepared

      Great Tips! Have you gone through a boil order yourself? Did you learn these tips from a specific prepping experience you had? We'd love to hear about it if you did.

  • Dancersoul

    Without filtering all of the aiorementioned +fluoride and cyanide and radiation filtation , in a disaster most likrly nuclear or biochemical ,one will still be toxic and harmed. There are some that filter radiation but not near 100%

  • Josephine Bernie
    Josephine Bernie November 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Water is essential for health, hygiene and the productivity of our community. water treatment process may vary on the water condition that you have in your area. its better to invest on a good water treatment. it will benefit you by providing safety to you and your family.

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