Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Water Bureau Employee Newsletter Wins Communication Award

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In April 2016, the Portland Water Bureau’s Bull Run Dispatch Newsletter was honored with an Excellence in Communications Award from the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association (PNWS-AWWA).

The Dispatch newsletter is published monthly for Water Bureau employees. Developed over 15 years ago, the goal of the newsletter has remained the same - to keep employees informed about relevant internal and external news and information. 

The newsletter is notable as it provides information from groups and teams across the bureau, including customer service, engineering, operations, maintenance and construction, finance, resource planning and protection. On average, close to 50 Water Bureau employees are actively involved each month in the newsletter process; this includes contributing, researching, writing, and reviewing articles.

Other 2016 awards winners included the City of Hillsboro, Rainbow Water District, SUEZ, Rockwood Water PUD, Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District, City of the Dalles, Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership, and Clark Regional Wastewater District.

Lock It Up: You Can Protect Yourself from Water Theft

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

It may seem like an obscure crime, but every year the Portland Water Bureau receives calls from customers who report people stealing water from unsuspecting homeowners. Thieves simply help themselves to unlocked hose bibs.

The Water Bureau encourages our water consumers to take a moment to share this information with your neighbors, family, and friends.

Did you know that you can protect yourself from water theft by securing your outdoor hose bibs? 

Hose bib locks are designed to secure a faucet from unauthorized tampering and water theft. Many locks fit three-quarter inch (¾”) garden hose thread faucets and are perfect for securing vacant homes, winterizing, or any time you want to have full control of water use from your hose bib.

Hose bib locks are small, inexpensive, easy to install and can be found at most local home improvement stores, as well as for purchase online. Here are a few examples:


Contact the Portland Water Bureau - we're here to help!

Single Lane Closure on SW Barbur Boulevard June 22, 23, and 27

By Teresa Black Add a Comment

A Portland Water Bureau water main installation project will close 100 feet of the westside southbound lane of SW Barbur Boulevard between SW Baird Street and SW 35th Avenue  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Monday, June 22, 23 and 27.

Travelers are urged to use alternate routes and are reminded to drive slowly, exercise caution, and follow traffic control signs.

Sales Mailer May Confuse Some Customers

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau shares our community’s concerns about the recent detections of lead in water in area schools and other facilities. Unfortunately, a private home drinking water treatment company is trying to capitalize on these concerns with inaccurate advertising that may confuse some customers.

The Portland Water Bureau wants to remind our customers that such offers are not associated with the City of Portland, nor does the Portland Water Bureau have any connection with such companies, or any other such home treatment manufacturer. 

While some treatment can be an effective method for removing contaminants from water, including lead, it is important for consumers to make informed decisions regarding the water in their homes based upon accurate data and facts

Here are the facts that you need to know:

Our source water meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards. The level of lead in drinking water in the mailing was from 2013, and was the regulatory level found in the most at-risk homes tested under worst case scenario. It is not representative of the potential lead in drinking water found in most homes during normal use.

The main source of lead in water in the Portland area is household plumbing. Lead is rarely found in Portland’s source waters, and there are no known lead service lines in the distribution system. Lead solder was commonly used in homes built or plumbed with copper pipes before 1985. Lead can also be found in brass plumbing fixtures and components.

Because lead exposure is localized to the plumbing in high-risk homes and buildings, your home would not necessarily be at risk solely on the basis that  your neighbors’ home has a high lead detection.

The only way to know if your home plumbing contains lead solder is to test. Free test kits are available by contacting the LeadLine, 503-988-4000 or

The Portland Water Bureau recently released its annual water quality report online. The federally-required report outlines how Portland is continuing to deliver clean and safe drinking water to nearly a million customers.

The Portland Water Bureau mailed a postcard to inform every customer about the availability of the report online. Customers are able to request a paper copy, either online or by phone or by calling the Portland Water Bureau Water Line at 503-823-7525.

From 2013 to 2016, more than 15,000 lead tests were conducted in Multnomah County. Of those, elevated blood lead levels were found in 188 children. No cases were traced to lead in drinking water from any source.

Budget Briefs: Next Year’s Budget Approved

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

The City Council has adopted the budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).

Next year’s budget supports the following Portland Water Bureau priorities:

  • Compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. We keep in good standing with state and federal regulations to ensure that your water is always clean and safe.
  • Maintaining an aging system. More than 2,000 miles of pipe deliver water throughout the Portland area. Many of those pipes are more than 80 years old. We need to invest in our aging system.
  • Our commitment to making our system more resilient. Portland is at risk of a major earthquake. When the “Big One” hits, we need to be prepared. That’s why the budget includes critical investments in work that hardens our conduits, fortifies our facilities, and reinforces our new reservoirs. One of those projects is the Washington Park Improvement Project, which brings 120 year-old reservoirs up to modern seismic standards.

To support these priorities, Council has approved the following rate adjustment:

The typical residential single-family will experience a 4.45 percent or $4.42 increase per month on their utility bill. Approximately 33 percent of the monthly bill charges will be dedicated to water services while 67 percent is devoted to sewer and stormwater services.

Click here to view the adopted City budget and here to view the Portland Water Bureau budget.