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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.


1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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MEDIA ADVISORY 10/01/15: Portland Water Bureau Increases Groundwater Blend

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Beginning today, October 1, the Portland Water Bureau will increase the blend of groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field to approximately 60 percent.

Drinking water from the Bull Run watershed and the well field will continue to meet all of Portland’s water needs. Portland is not experiencing a water supply shortage. The bureau expects to return to 100 percent Bull Run water after the fall rains begin filling up the Bull Run reservoirs.

Public notification is not required, but the Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater and when it has significant operational changes. The media and sensitive water users will again be notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water.

Due to a dry spring, above average summer temperatures, and available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau has been using the Columbia South Shore Well Field since July 16 to supplement the Bull Run water supply.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations.

“Our job is to deliver high-quality, safe and reliable drinking water to almost one million customers. At the end of an unusually dry spring and summer, we are fortunate to have two water sources that can continue to supply water to all of our customers,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr.

As part of our ongoing supply planning, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to manage our water supply throughout the remainder of the dry season.

Weekly supply updates will be posted to For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

September Water Quality Trivia

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

This summer, the Portland Water Bureau has been supplementing its water supply by blending water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field with water from the Bull Run Watershed.

Which one of the following statements about groundwater is false?

A. Customers may notice white water spots on their dishes or other surfaces when groundwater is added to the distribution system. This is due to the increased mineral content or hardness of groundwater.

B. Depending on their location in the distribution system, some customers receive water piped directly from the well field.

C. Groundwater is run briefly once per year, even if it is not needed to supplement supply. An annual maintenance run is necessary to check equipment and monitor well water quality.

D. Groundwater receives the same treatment as Bull Run water. Chlorine and ammonia are added for disinfection and sodium hydroxide is added to adjust pH.

Answer: B is a false statement. Customers do not receive water directly from the well field. Groundwater only enters the distribution system after it travels to Powell Butte where it is blended with Bull Run water.

Questions or Concerns about Water Quality?
Contact the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line at 503-823-7525.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: NW St. Helens Road Lanes will Close Saturday Morning for Water Bureau Work

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

One lane of U.S. 30 will be closed in both directions west of Northwest Kittridge Avenue Saturday morning while City of Portland crews make repairs.

The lane closures on Northwest St. Helens Road will involve about 500 feet of road from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. one day September 26. One lane in each direction will remain open.

Crews will be grinding and overlaying a section of road where a Portland Water Bureau water main break took place last February.

Travelers should use caution and look out for work crews when in the area Saturday morning.

Portland Water Bureau at Tilikum Crossing Sunday Parkways Event

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment


On Sunday September 27, the Portland Water Bureau will have a booth at the Tilikum Crossing/Sellwood Portland Sunday Parkways.  

The bureau’s booth will be at the Brooklyn School Park and offer information about the water system, water sources, water quality, and how to use water wisely.

The Water Bureau will also be providing access to tap water with the Water Event Station (WES).

This will be the last Sunday Parkways of the season! Say goodbye to summer and explore the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People and the Sellwood area. This new route will include the Tilikum Crossing and circle the Sellwood area introducing participants to Westmoreland and Sellwood Parks plus Brooklyn School Park where music, food, and fun are waiting. Click here to see a map of the route and to learn more about what the event holds in store, see the event brochure

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Hope to see you there!  

MEETING NOTICE: Public Invited to Attend City Council Work Session on Seismic Resilience Projects

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Below are links to the presentation given by the Portland Water Bureau to the City Council during the work session as well as a link to a YouTube video of the entire work session.




Update on Portland Water Bureau Seismic Resilience Projects
Willamette River Crossing & Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

Portland City Hall
Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
9:30 a.m.

The Portland Water Bureau is committed to strengthening the seismic resilience of our water system. 

This fall, the Water Bureau will seek Council approval for construction and procurement contracts for two major seismic resilience projects: the Willamette River Crossing and the Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project.

In advance of seeking Council approval, the Portland Water Bureau will present an update on project design, cost estimates, and schedules at a City Council Work Session on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.

The Work Session is an opportunity for the City Council to discuss project details with bureau staff as the projects move from the design phase to contracting and construction.

While public comment is not taken at Council Work Sessions, stakeholders and the general public are welcome to attend.