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

Bike More – Water Bureau Accepts Challenge!

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In 2016, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance gave the September Bike Commute Challenge a new name and moved it to May! Now coinciding with National Bike Month, the Bike More Challenge (BMC) encourages everyone across Oregon to get out of their cars and on their bikes to see who can #BikeMore!

Left: Water Bureau Engineering Technician II Patrick biked a whopping 245 miles during May!
Right: Water Bureau Engineer Jeremiah and Economist Eric showed their dedication
to the BMC, even in a torrential downpour

During May, the Portland Water Bureau joined the month-long friendly competition.

Forty-nine Water Bureau employees participated, logging a total of just under 10,000 miles. For the entire state of Oregon, 832 organizations with 11,761 participants took part during the challenge, clocking over 1.6 million miles!

Great job to all participants! For more information on the challenge, visit the BMC's official webpage.

Council Approves 2016-17 Utility Rate Adjustment

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Mayor and City Council have approved the sewer, stormwater, and water bill rate adjustment for fiscal year 2016-17. For the third straight year in a row, the utility rate increase remains under five percent for water consumers.

Beginning July 1, 2016, 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 devoted to sewer and stormwater costs.

The water portion of the rate adjustment will support: 

  • Continued investment in our water system, including the two water sources, 41 pump stations, 66 tanks and covered reservoirs, 2,330 miles of pipe, 178,500 meters, 14,350 hydrants, and drinking fountains 
  • Maintaining and strengthening aging infrastructure, targeting the more than 100-year old pipes under Portland’s streets    
  • Raising sufficient revenues to ensure financial stability and resiliency
  • Supporting operating expenses to safely deliver water from the Bull Run Watershed to customer’s taps 24/7
  • Addressing debt service related to water bonds that support funding a portion of larger scale construction and capital maintenance projects
  • Funding essential capital projects, such as the Washington Park Reservoir Improvements and the Willamette River Crossing projects

Setting Rates
In Portland, utility rates are set through a yearlong process, beginning with the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Portland Water Bureau developing and submitting  budget requests with direction from the Commissioner-in-Charge. The Portland City Council then reviews and approves the sewer and stormwater rates and the water rates to raise sufficient revenues to fund the budgets for the following fiscal year.

SAVE THE DATE -- Community Event to Honor the Past, Present, & Future of the Washington Park Reservoirs

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Save the Date

Honoring the Past, Present, & Future of the Washington Park Reservoirs
Saturday, June 25, 2016
1 – 4 p.m.
Washington Park Reservoir Site

Washington Park Reservoirs - Past Future

Members of the community are cordially invited to a commemoration event on Saturday, June 25, 2016, honoring the past and present and looking towards the future of the Washington Park Reservoir site. 

The event, open to all, will feature: 

  • A “toss a penny into the reservoir, make a wish” tribute
  • Opportunity to photograph the reservoirs
  • Retrospective display boards
  • Guided walking tours at 2 p.m. and again at 3 p.m., departing from Reservoir 3’s Grand Staircase

Information and renderings will also be displayed detailing the upcoming eight-year capital improvement project at the Washington Park site. The project team from the Portland Water Bureau and contractor Hoffman Construction Company will be available to answer general project questions.

The project, scheduled to begin July 1, 2016, includes building a new, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir. The reservoir will maintain the historic drinking water function provided by the original reservoirs and has been engineered to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake. A reflecting pool will be featured on top in the same general footprint as the historical Reservoir 3. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system, and a lowland habitat area/bioswale and a reflecting pool constructed in the basin. For more information about the project, visit  

Attendees are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Portable restrooms will be available.

Parking and accessibility will be limited. Please consider using the bus and light rail, walking, biking and skating, or taking the free park shuttle. Visit and for transit options.

Inspecting the Washington County Supply Line

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In March, members of the Portland Water Bureau Engineering staff, along with specially trained Maintenance & Construction and Operations staff, inspected the Washington County Supply Line (WCSL) in Southeast Portland. The WCSL is a 60-inch diameter concrete cylinder pipe installed between 1980 and 1984. It is approximately 14-miles long and runs from Powell Butte to Beaverton, Oregon.

Inspecting the Washington County Supply Line 
Civil Engineer Jeremiah (left) and Civil Engineer Associate Dave (right) were part of the cross-functional team that inspected the Washington County Supply Line.

The purpose of the inspection was to investigate the condition of the pipe. In addition, the crews were inspecting, photographing, and documenting the condition of the interior concrete mortar lining, looking for defects, cracks, and corroded or exposed metal.

Performing mortar lining repairs 
Water Operations Mechanic Apprentice Aaron performed mortar lining repairs.

“The inspection refined our understanding of the condition of the pipe and provided us with a platform of good information to use, as well as a benchmark for future assessments,” noted Water Bureau Civil Engineer Jeremiah. “The repairs that were performed may have prevented future unplanned shutdowns and service interruptions to wholesale customers, as well as costs incurred due to an unplanned (probably significantly larger) repair of the pipe itself and damages to its surroundings. The pipe is considered in good condition.”

Performing an internal inspection 
Engineering Associate Dave performed an internal pipe inspection.

The project team, which included the Water Bureau's Safety and Risk Officer, followed very detailed Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) regulations that require stringent safety measures for confined space entry, which include atmospheric monitoring inside the pipe, continuous forced-air ventilation, and having rescue equipment and specially trained rescue personnel on site. Portions of the pipe were dewatered for the pipeline inspection.

The investigations took place while the pipe was shut down in conjunction with the Hannah Mason Pump Station piping work. This internal inspection was a little more than one mile long, out of the 14 total miles of pipe.

The Water Bureau performs inspections and maintenance of our large transmission pipelines during the off-peak season. We are planning to inspect key portions of our major conduits annually over the next three to five years to assess the condition of our transmission/conduit system.

Summer 2016 Customer Newsletter

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Each quarter, the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau offer important information on rebates, payment options, drinking water quality and water efficiency tips in printed inserts that accompany your sewer-stormwater-water bill. 

In the Summer 2016 statement, customers will find a newsletter highlighting water conservation, this summer’s water supply, accessing the 2016 Annual Drinking Water Report, how to sign up for a monthly statement, and more.

The Customer Newsletter can also be accessed online.