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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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Water Bureau Operating Engineers Give Mobile Water System Special ‘Treatment’

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau is committed to ensuring we can provide clean drinking water during emergency outages.

One of the ways the Water Bureau aims to increase our ability to effectively deal with emergencies is through dedicated and routine training.

System can produce 30,000 gallons per day of drinking water from any fresh water source    

Recently, operating engineers performed an inaugural exercise with the new Mobile Water Treatment System. The mobile water treatment system, housed inside of a trailer, can provide guaranteed water quality and quantity during emergency outages.

The trailer is a self-contained portable treatment system equipped with a generator, pumps, hoses and other equipment.

The system, built in January 2016 with Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant funds, is part of the Regional Water Providers Consortium’s regional effort to prepare for emergencies.

It is crucial for our operating engineers who will be responsible for activating these systems to have consistent and hands-on training. It is crucial for our operating engineers who will be responsible for activating these systems to have consistent and hands-on training.

Water Bureau operating engineers also maintain two mobile water distribution trailers in addition to this new water treatment system.

Bull Run Bobcat is a Grand Prize Winner

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Portland Water Bureau staff keep a close eye on the Bull Run Watershed, a source of water for close to one million people daily.

The entire watershed has been managed under increasing levels of protection since it was established as a Forest Reserve in 1892. While the watershed is closed to the public it is home to more than 250 species of fish and wildlife.

2016 Trail Camera Photo Contest Grand Prize WinnerThis winter, staff conducted wildlife camera monitoring in the Bull Run and collected a great series of three photos of a bobcat walking up and across a log. 

The best of these just won the Grand Prize in a photo contest conducted by, a web site devoted to wildlife trail cameras. 

We’re proud to be featured and excited for the prize: an awesome wildlife trail camera we can use to continue our monitoring in the watershed.

Who knows who’ll cross our cameras next?

Night Grinding and Paving on SW Macadam Avenue Scheduled

By Teresa Black Add a Comment

As part of the Hannah Mason Pump Station construction project, crews will be conducting night grinding and paving working on SW Macadam Avenue near the intersection of SW Nevada Street.

To minimize traffic disruptions, work will happen on Monday, August 29th and Tuesday, August 30th at 8:00 p.m. and be complete by 5:00 a.m. During road paving, SW Macadam Avenue will remain open in both directions but traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction and some turning movements could be restricted.

As with any construction project, safety is our first priority. Please obey flaggers and all construction signs.

Water for the Win - Annual Groundwater Maintenance Run is a Success

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

On July 25, 2016, the Portland Water Bureau began blending a small portion of water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field with water from the Bull Run Watershed as an annual maintenance operation.

By the Numbers
  • Between June 25 and August 10, 278 million gallons of groundwater was served to water consumers.
  • The Water Bureau operates a well field capable of producing 10 to 95-million gallons per day of high quality groundwater from 26 wells.

The Water Bureau conducts a groundwater maintenance run every year. The city’s groundwater supply is a complex system composed of electric pumps, chemical feed systems, electronic controls and other equipment that must be operated regularly to identify maintenance needs. By doing this operation routinely, we ensure the reliability of the system when we need it, either in an emergency or to meet seasonal supply demands.

The average contribution of groundwater to the system is approximately 15 percent of the total daily water demand. During this run, 278 million gallons of groundwater was blended with water from the Bull Run Watershed.

The groundwater maintenance run ended August 10, 2016. Due to the low percentage of groundwater being blended with the Bull Run Source, there was not a large change in water chemistry.

Learn more at

Teachable Kid Moment: Beat the Heat & Outdoor Water Efficiently

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

As a parent, it can be a real challenge to keep your kiddos cool and entertained during hot weather. But, one mom in Northeast Portland turned her toddler’s love of playing with water to her advantage this past weekend when she set her daughter up with a hose in a part of the garden that needed to be watered. 

“Hazel regularly helps me water our vegetable garden,” said Bonny, a program specialist with the Water Bureau. “But, this was really a win-win situation since it kept her entertained for quite a while, and it gave the garden bed surrounding our patio a much needed soak.”

The Portland metro area is set to see more sizzling temperatures over the coming weekend and into next week. This means that many Portlanders will spend at least some of their time outdoors tending to lawns, gardens, and landscapes.

Here are 10 ways to help you beat the heat and use water efficiently outdoors.