The PWB found potentially harmful pathogens in the water system last month - in 11% of the samples - and didn't bother to notify anyone.
The Portland Water Bureau knew the bacteria could cause infections in vulnerable people and still kept it to themselves.
Contaminates were found near SW 27th and Nevada Court, at the Washington Park Reservoir and at SE 50th and Rhone.
Any time bacteria is found in more than 5% of the samples, the public warning process is triggered.
The Center for Disease Control said these bacteria -- coliforms -- have caused deadly outbreaks in hospitals.
PWB is required to issue a public warning, and failed to do so. The director needs to go; in addition to being generally arrogant, he's dangerously incompetent.
PWB administrator David Shaff said they've never had anything like this before. But he added, "There aren't any health risks."
Numerous case studies cite the dangers, and the EPA's Office of Water considers all three bacteria -- enterobacter amnigenus, enterobacter clocae complex and the pantora species -- human pathogens.
"You're talking to someone that doesn't have a background in biology or medicine," Shaff said.
In other words, he's a career bureaucrat, willing to endanger thousands of human lives for appearances' sake; he's afraid a warning would make him look bad. Not only did they fail to issue a public warning, they didn't even bother to notify hospitals.
"These are opportunistic pathogens that could be very problematic especially for children and immuno compromised people and older people too," said Fernandez.
And where are such people likely to be found? Why, that would be in hospitals and care facilities. And Oregon Health Authority charged PWB with a violation for failure to report. Shaff was just hoping to keep it all swept under the proverbial rug.
So, where did the contamination originate? Well, while Shaff's been spending millions in ratepayer funds on things like a new headquarters building for the Porkland Rose Festival, a "water house" demonstration project, and ampitheaters in parks, he was "deferring maintenance" on water delivery lines - which permitted buildup of biofilms.
In other words, he went along with former Portland City Council member Randy Leonard's desires for showpiece projects like buying tour buses and building "Portland Loos" - rather than ensure that ratepayer funds were spent on actually providing pure water to residents. Shaff's a toad.