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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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Inspecting Water Wells

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Portland Water Bureau engineers Joseph Nkemontoh and Doug Parkhurst inspect groundwater pipe and well corrosion protection systems at Well # 6.  Regular inspections take place to ensure that the systems are operating properly, or if they need to be adjusted or changed.

The Water Bureau’s Columbia South Shore Well Field is the second largest water supply in Oregon. (The largest is Portland’s Bull Run watershed surface water supply.)

Benson Bubblers - Good Clean Drinking Water While You Walk

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Benson Bubblers are a clean drink of water!I sometimes hear people remark that they shy away from Benson Bubblers because they do not know if the water coming from them is safe. That is understandable. I can still remember a first grade teacher of mine instructing the class on how to use a drinking fountain in the hall. (First grader tip: do not put your mouth on the spigot, it can have germs!) Our wonderful bubblers, however, share no similarities to the hallway fountain!

The bubbler is supplied with water directly from the water main. It is fresh and usually runs continuously. We have tested water at the bubblers for contamination and have found the water is uniformly safe. It is the same water which is delivered to hundreds of thousands of citizens each day. Once it bubbles up and out, it is gone. It is not recycled. And the chlorine it contains keeps the fixture free from opportunistic organisms. Couple this with their unique design, which makes getting a drink without touching the fixture simple, the bubbler is not only an icon of Portland’s elegant water system, but a safe and convenient way to get a drink of refreshing cool water.

Mike Sheets

Water Quality Group Manager

Community Engagement

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Today at the Water Bureau - it's Field Day!


Today is Water Bureau Field Day - our annual open house. This year we have 75 visitors signed up for tours all over the city and the Bull Run Watershed! Each tour stops at different sites where water crews are working and learns about what they are doing and how it relates to water delivery.


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July is (Still) Smart Irrigation Month

It's been a slow start, but summer is finally here and outdoor irrigation season is in full swing. July is the peak water demand season in North America and in the Portland metropolitan area our water use typically doubles or even triples during the summer months. Make sure you are watering your plants as efficiently as possible by following the tips below. Even better, spread the word and teach your neighbors to do the same!


  • Water when the potential for evaporation is low. The best time to water is late in the evening and early in the morning.
  • Don’t water the sidewalk!  Make sure you are watering only what grows and don’t let excess irrigation water run down the street, potentially carrying with it fertilizers, pesticides, etc. which can harm wildlife in our streams.
  • Actively manage and maintain your irrigation system. Regardless of whether you use a hose or have an automatic sprinkler system, check regularly for leaks and misdirected spray.
  • “Hydro-zone” your yard. Grouping plants with similar moisture needs in the same area makes it easier to make sure they get the water they need without overwatering. Separate plants from grassy areas, which have different water requirements.
  • Water lawns 1 inch of water per week (more during long, hot dry spells). A good rule-of-thumb for watering your landscape is to apply 50% of what you put on grass, on perennials and shrubs, and 75% for vegetables.  Check out to sign up for the Weekly Watering Number to get the amount of water in inches that your lawn will need that week.

For more information or to get a FREE hose nozzle and watering gauge visit the Portland Water Bureau’s conservation web page.

Sabrina Litton

Resource Protection & Planning


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New Signs at Interactive Fountains Indicate New Rules for Public Health and Safety

Recent changes to the rules regarding how interactive fountains are regulated by the State of Oregon have meant some changes for the fountains maintained by the Portland Water Bureau. The fountains are now defined by the state as "public wading pools" and, as such, require new health and safety signage.

The following six fountains are licensed by the State of Oregon as interactive fountains under the Dept. of Human Services Swimming Pool Rules.  They meet design and operation requirements for wading safety.

  • Salmon Street Springs Fountain
  • Holladay Park Fountain
  • Jamison Square Fountain
  • McCoy Park Fountain
  • Bill Naito Legacy Fountain in Waterfront Park
  • Teachers Fountain at Director's Park

The following two fountains are not licensed by the State of Oregon; they do not meet the interactive fountain safety requirements for water quality, pool depth, or entrapment/entanglement. 

  • Ira Keller Fountain
  • Lovejoy Fountain

If you have any questions about the new designation of these fountains as public wading pools, please contact Luanne Zoller at (503) 823-3876.