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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 11/03/14: One Lane of SW Terwilliger Boulevard at SW Nebraska Street Closed This Week

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A Portland Water Bureau water main installation project will impact one traffic lane on SW Terwilliger Boulevard, between SW Nebraska Street and SW Capitol Highway for two weeks, starting November 5, 2014.

Approximately 600 feet of the northbound lane of SW Terwilliger Boulevard will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5. The closure is scheduled to end at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 7. All lanes of traffic will reopen for the weekend.

Final road restoration on this same stretch of SW Terwilliger Boulevard is slated to begin on Monday, November 10 and continue through the week, under dry weather conditions. Grinding and paving will alternate between the southbound and northbound lanes.

Motorists and bicyclists are urged to use alternate routes, remember to drive slowly, and exercise caution when traveling in the construction area.

Project information can be found online at

Terry Black
Public Information

Join Our Team: Senior Financial Budget Analyst

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If you're interested in joining an award-winning public utility where employees thrive on the pride of delivering a life-essential product with world class customer service, the Portland Water Bureau might be just the place for you. The Portland 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 Portland 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. 

Join our team!

Senior Financial Budget Analyst
Closing Date & Time: Monday, November 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM Pacific Time
Salary: $5,654.00 - $7,550.00 Monthly
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave, Oregon

Applications for this position will be accepted, on-line, until 75 applications have been received, but will close no later than 4:30 pm, on Monday, November 24, 2014. The City of Portland's, Water Bureau is seeking a Senior Financial Budget Analyst. The Senior Financial Budget Analyst is responsible for performing complex financial, budgetary, policy, and operational analysis associated with the development, reporting, and monitoring of bureau’s operating and capital budgets and working within an SAP financial system framework. The position is expected to work closely and collaboratively with bureau staff in various work groups to coordinate and develop the Bureau’s budget submittal and make sound business and financial decisions. Work requires a thorough understanding of budgetary and financial analysis principles, methods and techniques; sound and objective policy analysis; professional judgment in selecting appropriate analytical methods in developing proposals and recommendations and the ability to present fact-based information and recommendations. The Senior Financial Budget Analyst is expected to carry out individual responsibilities with initiative, independence, and creativity while exercising sound professional judgment and excellent communication skills. 

For additional job information and to apply, START HERE.

Contact Chaunci King, Senior Human Resources Analyst with the Bureau of Human Resources, by e-mail or at 503-823-4034.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

NW Portland Reservoir Project Complete

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The 1.3-million gallon Forest Park Low Reservoir underground drinking water reservoir, located on City property off NW Skyline Boulevard near NW Hawkins Boulevard, was connected to the live water system and became fully operational in August 2014. 

Clearing and grubbing site Soil nails

Preliminary work to construct the reservoir and adjacent 1,408 square-foot pump station began in October 2012. In just three months, with oversight from the Portland Water Bureau, Contractor Emery & Sons Construction, Inc. had cleared and grubbed the site, built a maintenance access road, and excavated the site for the reservoir and pump station. To temporarily stabilize the soil slope during construction, 320 soil nails were drilled and then grouted directly into the side of the hill. 

50-ft walls Interior columns Steel cable wrap

By the end of 2013, the 73-foot diameter reservoir had taken shape. Built approximately 41 feet into the ground, the reservoir’s 50-foot walls and concrete floor were reinforced with rebar, and the roof supported by nine concrete interior columns. The outside of the reservoir was strengthened with a tensioned wrap of steel cable and shotcrete applications. 

Roof  November 2013 aerial photo of reservoir

In early 2014, the intricate system of piping underwent pressure testing to ensure the integrity of the pipes and joints within the pipeline.

Backfilling around reservoir Build and backfill around pump house

Concurrently, the walls and floor of the pump station were constructed and then crews worked to backfill around the rectangular-shaped pump station with gravel. 

May 2014 aerial photo of reservoir

By this summer, the pipeline running from the reservoir was connected to the water main under NW Skyline Boulevard. Crews continued backfilling the reservoir while it was filling with water. The pump station build was completed, and crews repaved about 150-feet of roadway at the NW Hawkins and NW Skyline Boulevards intersection. 

July 2014 aerial photo of reservoir

The reservoir soon disappeared from site, after being covered and compacted with layers of soil and growing native grasses. The project was fully completed in August 2014.

The Forest Park Low Reservoir will provide additional storage and serve customers in the Northwest Hills service areas. Alongside the Mt. Calvary and Greenleaf Tanks, the Forest Park Low Reservoir will strengthen the overall supply system in the Northwest Hills, offering more operational flexibility and a better ability to meet peak day and fire flow demands now and into the future.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

It’s That Time of Year: Fall Color in Portland Drinking Water

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It's fall, which means our good weather for the year is ending, and we are starting to see the rains return. This means, as it does every year, that Portland customers might notice color changes in their drinking water.

Fall in the Bull Run watershedThis is a normal occurrence in our system, as our water supply originates in the Bull Run Watershed near Mt. Hood. Before the water is treated and enters the supply system, it seasonally takes on a tint from organic materials that are washed into the streams and the reservoirs in the watershed. Drinking water from the Bull Run is not filtered, which is often why the color can be seen in tap water or staining the filters in your business or home.

The color you see is produced by tannins in organic material, much the same as the color you find in an ordinary cup of tea. There is nothing harmful to your health from these tannins. The color affects only the appearance of the water, and not the quality.

The length of the fall color season varies with the strength and duration of the rains we experience during this time of year and how much organic material is carried into the system.

As always, the Portland Water Bureau constantly monitors the water entering the distribution system to ensure that it continues to meet all state and federal regulations for safe drinking water, and customers are notified of any changes that may affect the quality of the water we bring to you. Any questions may be directed to the Water Quality Information Line at 503-823-7525.

Kate Tanner
Water Quality

Rain Contributes 5.3 Billion Gallons to Bull Run Reservoirs

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Full pool spring 2013

Portland’s Bull Run reservoirs have started to refill.

Substantial rains in the watershed started refill of the reservoirs on October 23, adding 1.8 billion gallons in just two days. As of this morning, October 27, there were 5.3 billion gallons, or about 53 percent of usable drinking water storage in the Bull Run reservoirs. The total usable water supply of the Bull Run reservoirs are 9.9 billion gallons.

The Bull Run reservoirs can hold up to 17 billion gallons.

Tim Hall
Public Information