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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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TRAFFIC ADVISORY 11/18/14: Installation of Traffic Signal Pole at SE 100th Ave. & SE Powell Blvd. Scheduled for November 20-21; No Lane Closures

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Portland Water Bureau contractor Hoffman Construction Company will shut down power to a temporary traffic signal pole at SE 100th Avenue and SE Powell Boulevard beginning at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 20 and ending at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, November 21. 

The closure will allow crews to install a permanent traffic signal pole to replace the existing temporary pole. 

For the overnight project, there will be no traffic lane closures. Flaggers will direct both east- and west-bound lanes of traffic safely around the work site.

The Water Bureau advises motorists and bicyclists to use caution on SE Powell Boulevard in this area. Motorists and bicyclists should watch for construction workers, be ready for sudden stops, and obey all traffic controls and flaggers. To avoid traffic delays, motorists should use alternate routes.

In February 2014, crews relocated an existing traffic signal pole at the entrance if the Central Church of the Nazarene in the 9700 block of SE Powell Boulevard. This temporary relocation allowed crews the room to construct a 30-foot wide by 60-foot long vault housed under the westbound lane of SE Powell Boulevard. The vault now houses complex piping connected to the city’s new 25‐million gallon underground reservoir atop Kelly Butte.

The Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve Portland’s east side and be a stopover to supply water to the Washington Park reservoir and southwest Portland area water storage tanks.

For additional information on the Kelly Butte Reservoir project, visit  

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Cold Snap Prompts Shutdown of Benson Bubblers

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November 20
With the weather warming up, the Bubblers have now been turned back on. Portlanders can once again get a refreshing drink when they want.


The Portland Water Bureau has turned off the city's Benson Bubbler drinking fountains due to freezing temperatures and windy conditions which could potentially cause safety hazards on sidewalks for pedestrians. Once temperatures warm up, the iconic Bubblers will be turned back on.

The Water Bureau reminds the public that freezing temperatures can challenge Portland's aging water system and household water pipes. Now is the time to identify where the water shut-off valve is located in your house. Most residential properties have a shut-off valve located near the hot water heater in the basement or garage.

Water is much more likely to freeze in household plumbing than at the water meter. If water is running from any faucet, the meter is not frozen. Learn more about why pipes freeze and what you can do to help prevent your plumbing from freezing.

Tom Klutz
Business Operations

Unidirectional Flushing Coming to North Portland Neighborhoods

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Beginning the week of November 10, the Portland Water Bureau will begin unidirectional flushing of water mains in the St. Johns and Cathedral Park neighborhoods.  The flushing will continue throughout the winter into spring 2015. A map of the area where the flushing will take place is located here

Map of current flushing area in N PortlandFlushing will occur between the Willamette River and Columbia Slough and from the railroad tracks to N. Bruce Avenue. Flushing will be conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Unfiltered systems like Portland, need to routinely clean the network of pipes to improve water quality. Over time, very fine sediment and organic matter from the Bull Run settle out of the water and accumulate in the bottom of the pipes. Unidirectional flushing works by forcing water in the pipes to flow at much higher speeds than normal. Flushing crews first open and close valves to isolate sections of pipe, and then the water and any sediments in the pipes are flushed out through an open fire hydrant.

If you experience some discoloration in your water, turn on each cold water faucet in your home and allow it to run for several minutes or until the water is clear. If water quality problem continues, call the Water Bureau's Water Line, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 503-823-7525.

Go to the Water Bureau’s unidirectional flushing page for more information:

Terry Black
Public Information

Customer Service Walk-In Center Closed November 11

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The Portland Water Bureau's Customer Service Walk-In Center will be closed on Tuesday, November 11 in observance of the Veterans’ Day holiday.

The Walk-In Center, located on the first floor of the Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Avenue, will reopen on Wednesday, November 12 at 8 a.m.

For your convenience you may pay your bill online, or pay by Visa or MasterCard by calling our automated payment system at 503-823-7770 and pressing 1. You may also leave a payment in the night box located outside the front door at 1120 SW 5th Avenue Portland, OR 97204.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Customer Service

Report Details Capital Projects that Maintain, Improve Water Infrastructure

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The Portland Water Bureau has published the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-14 Capital Improvement Plan Annual Report (CIPAR) and Appendix.

Developed by Capital Improvement Planning Supervisor Jeff Winner and Principal Management Analyst Van Le in the CIP Planning Group, the report strives to: 

  1. Increase capital project transparency and accountability.
  2. Provide current status details for major (those with a total budget of $500,000 or more) and minor projects recording costs during FY 2013-14.
  3. Summarize the bureau’s progress on its capital projects in the past fiscal year.
  4. Lay the groundwork for upcoming budget discussions for continuing projects.

In the main report, information on each of the Water Bureau’s major projects includes the project’s scope, schedule, budget, expenditures, and forecasts for future expenditures.  Major projects highlighted in the report include: Dam 2 Tower Project, Alder Creek Fish Passage, Carolina Pump Station Main Extension, Forest Park Low Tank, Powell Butte Reservoir 2, Kelly Butte Reservoir, Mount Tabor Reservoir Adjustments, and the Washington Park Reservoir Adjustments.

There is also a separate Appendix of smaller projects that fall below the $500,000 threshold.

Since FY 2010-11 when the Water Bureau inaugurated the CIPAR, CIP Planning employees have drawn on the expertise of colleagues from the bureau's Administration, Finance and Support Services, and Resource Protection and Planning work groups. These partnerships help to ensure efficient and expedited data collection and quality, a user-friendly presentation, and a quick turnaround of reportable information.

Access the Water Bureau’s complete FY 2013-14 CIP Annual Report and Appendix and previous CIPAR reports at

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information