GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
Benson Bubbler located at SW 5th Avenue & SW Madison Street
Perhaps the best known drinking fountains in the City of Roses are the legendary Benson Bubblers, the iconic four bronze bowls that provide fresh drinking water throughout downtown. The Benson Bubblers were named after businessman and philanthropist Simon Benson who donated $10,000 for the purchase and installation of 20 fountains in 1912.
Today, there are 51 true four-bowl Benson Bubblers. Forty-eight are installed in downtown Portland while three reside on the Eastside. Three bubblers do exist outside of Portland; two in Portland’s sister cities of Sapporo, Japan, and Guadalajara, Mexico, and the third at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington State.
Maintenance is a Must
Ground Maintenance staff are tasked with keeping each of the bubbling fountains cleaned, maintained, and running year round. Cleaning and preserving the different types of fountains takes varying techniques, tools, and parts and much institutional knowledge. The bubblers boost water quality in our distribution system as the water in the pipes stay refreshed.
The Portland Water Bureau is committed to using water wisely, and has made significant changes in the design and operation of the bubblers over the years to improve their water efficiency.
In 1995, the bureau narrowed the feed lines to the bubblers. This cut water use almost in half. In 2000, the Portland Water Bureau installed timers which shut the fountains off during low-usage periods, generally in the late night and early morning hours. In 2005, the Portland Water Bureau installed small, flow-restricting devices in the bubblers to further reduce the amount of water that each fountain uses. The devices do not affect the physical appearance of the fountains, but they do reduce the amount of water the fountains use by an additional 40 percent.
The bubblers now use less than a tenth of 1 percent of Portland’s daily water demand.
Traffic will be detoured to SW Columbia Street.
The Portland Water Bureau will be installing a new water service for a building on the north side of SW Market Street. Work will consist of trenching across SW Market Street to connect the new service to an existing water main.
Motorists are reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly stop when traveling from Interstate 405 to the SW Market Street off ramp from US 26. Alternate routes are encouraged for motorists to avoid traffic delays.
The candidates are senior Water Bureau employees with more than a decade of service each at the bureau.
Edward Campbell is the resource protection and planning group director. Mr. Campbell is responsible for resource protection and planning, including coordination with federal, state and local partners on source protection efforts for both of the Bureau's drinking water sources, long-term planning and policy development work, compliance with environmental regulations, and leading the Bureau's regulatory compliance efforts for the LT2 Rule and the federal Endangered Species Act. He joined the Bureau in 2004 as an assistant to the Administrator and was selected to lead the Resource Protection and Planning Group in August 2005. Prior to coming to the Bureau, Mr. Campbell served as a senior policy advisor, sustainability coordinator and chief of staff to City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and before that as communications director for Multnomah County Chair Beverly Stein. Mr. Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia.
Michael Stuhr currently serves as the Water Bureau chief engineer. Mr. Stuhr is responsible for overall management of engineering, its support functions, and administration of the CIP including planning, design, and construction as well as emergency management. Mr. Stuhr joined the Bureau in 2003 and was the Director of Maintenance and Construction during his first two years. Mr. Stuhr has over 30 years experience leading and managing a wide variety of engineering activities and more than 10 years as a senior executive with state, federal, and international experience managing multi-million dollar environmental, water resource, and facilities engineering programs. He is a registered professional Civil Engineer. Mr. Stuhr has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Davis.
Chris Wanner is the bureau’s director of operations. Mr. Wanner is responsible for management of operations and maintenance of surface and groundwater supplies, including treatment, transmission, storage, distribution, pump stations and tanks, system analysis, and the SCADA system. Since 1984, Mr. Wanner has held various Bureau positions. He has State of Oregon certifications at the highest levels for both Water Distribution (WD4) and Water Treatment (WT4) and is a veteran of the United States Army. He has Associate degrees in Computer Technologies and Electronic Engineering from Portland Community College and maintains a State of Oregon electrical license. Mr. Wanner has also been assigned to various capacities in the Bureau's ICS including Operations and Incident Commander. Mr. Wanner was appointed as Director of Operations in 2005.
The new director will be likely announced in early August.
Here in Portland, we're fortunate: we rely more on rain than on snow; we have a great groundwater source we can use to augment the Bull Run supply; and we have a conservation-minded citizenry.
In the dry summer of 1915, the talk of Portland was also all about how people used water. This editorial from The Oregonian reveals that 100 years ago, the average Portlander used 112 gallons per day. It's a tough number to compare to today's because we're not sure how they did the math, but these days, the average Portlander uses 52 gallons a day at home. (If you include commercial and industrial use, Portlanders use 92 gallons per capita per day.)
Resource Protection & Planning Group
The Water Bureau is a recognized leader in the utility industry. We've achieved this success by investing in the very best people and empowering them to find new and better ways to meet our customer's needs.
The Water Bureau currently employs approximately 560 people. All current job postings with the City of Portland are posted online, and updated weekly. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Current Jobs Available at the Water Bureau