Filtration plant brews tough criticism

Plans for a water filtration plant have some in the beer industry worried over the effects.

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This week, the Portland City Council will consider a resolution that will direct the Water Bureau to build a water filtration plant, in compliance with federal rules. But Kurt and Rob Widmer argue that the plant isn’t necessary and would affect the quality of their beers.

The $385 million proposal aims to keep Portland in compliance with rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designed to protect drinking water from cryptosporidium, an illness-causing microorganism that has not been found recently in Portland’s water supply. In terms of scale and expense, the proposal dwarfs Portland’s recent foray into stadium building…

[The Widmers] called the federal rules “completely unnecessary,” and urged elected leaders to push the EPA for a variance.

“The same pristine water supply which you are presently discussing filtering, chemically treating and ultimately altering in ways we don’t completely understand is the very foundation and soul of the great beer that has placed Portland on the map as one of the outstanding brewing cities in the world,” the Widmers wrote July 20.

Read the full story at Willamette Week.