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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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Operation Switch: Mission #6 - Get a Head

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Conserve Water and Save Energy and Money

The energy efficiency folks over at PGE recently contacted me about Operation Switch, an online experiment which uses social media to encourage customers to undertake energy saving missions in their own lives. The mission entails making small changes that can make a big impact. From July 26th - August 16th the Operation Switch mission is to change out your old showerhead for a new water and energy efficient model. Since showers use both energy and water I thought you might enjoy hearing about Operation Switch and perhaps joining in the fun.

If you feel like joining Operation Switch and making the switch, remember that Portland Water Bureau customers are eligible to get a free showerhead (and other water saving devices) directly from us. Visit our conservation page to order your kit today!

Sarah Murphy Santner
Residential Water Conservation Coordinator 

Straightway Services

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Straightway Services youth spread mulch at Sabin HydroPark

Water Bureau Staff Help Mentor Local Kids

Summer is a very busy time for the bureau's grounds crew, which maintains over 150 properties scattered from Portland to the watershed. When help is offered, we take it.

This summer Straightway Services is providing 10-12 youth and 3-4 "mentors". They volunteer one day a week through the summer, and have already helped spread mulch at Pittman Addition and Sabin HydroParks. The volunteer crew will also be improving Powell Butte trails.

The volunteer program is about more than teaching youth how to use a shovel and small hand tools. Youth volunteers are matched with a yearlong mentor and have classroom training on accountability. Straightway Services also runs a youth academy year round that provides mentors for youth and their families. They provide critical counseling for the parents on a weekly basis helping them deal with traumatic life experiences such as addiction, divorce, incarceration and homelessness. If you'd like to support their programs, Straightway Services is having an annual fundraiser August 27th.

This the second summer the Portland Water Bureau has partnered with Straightway Services to offer an opportunity for hands on service learning in community accountability. We certainly appreciate their help!

Rich Rice
Grounds Crew Supervisor

Water Flows Under the Sandy River to Portland

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Big Upgrade to Water Delivery System from Bull Run into Portland


The Portland Water Bureau established a new milestone this month, with construction on the Sandy River Crossing (SRX) Tunnel Conduit Relocation Project entering a new phase.  

Water that flowed to Portland through two 72” conduits over the Sandy River now flows under it via an 100’ deep, 435’ long tunnel.











The project was designed to safeguard Portland’s water supply conduits from natural and human-caused hazards. Water flows from Bull Run Reservoir 2 to Portland through three large conduits (approximately 4 feet to 5 ½ feet in diameter). Along their length, the conduits cross rivers, creeks, and streams.

Just outside the Bull Run watershed, two of the conduits crossed the Sandy River on a 114 year-old bridge. Vulnerability studies conducted by the bureau identified this conduit bridge crossing as a high priority for safeguarding. The potential damage to the conduits, remoteness of the area, and importance of the conduits to delivering Portland’s water are several of the reasons this project is a high-priority one.

Crews have been working for over a year now to dig and reinforce the shafts and tunnel, realign the portion of the underground conduits with the new sections in the tunnel, and re-charge the new conduits that deliver 2/3 of Portland’s water supply to the metropolitan region.

These two conduits now travel the 22 miles to Powell Butte Reservoir unexposed and protected, bringing water reliably to your tap.

Terry Black

Sandy Basin Community Information Representative

(503) 823-1168


Upgrading the Water System

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So Why is SE 60th Avenue Closed?

Here’s the Big Picture - the around-the-clock closure of SE 60th Avenue, between SE Lincoln Street and SE Hawthorne Boulevard, was necessary to install two very large water utility vaults. This big hole was too large to allow for plating the street for vehicles to pass over when no work is underway.

The 24-hour closure will end on Saturday, August 7. However, construction crews must continue to close this section of 60th Avenue as well as a short block of Hawthorne Boulevard between SE 60th and 59th avenues, during daylight work hours, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, starting Monday, August 9.

Steel plates will be laid to permit safe vehicular passage on the roadway.  The contractor estimates that all the street work will be completed by August 27. This work is an additional part of the Mount Tabor Reservoirs Maintenance and Security Projects. 


Barricades and detour signs will remain posted for public safety.  Motorists and bicyclists are encouraged to find alternate routes, or use the detour, and obey all traffic laws.


Tim Hall

Senior Community Outreach Coordinator

Sabin "I DO"

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Couple Ties Knot at Water Bureau HydroPark in NE Portland

Wedding vows are rightly saved for special places.Couple says vows in Sabin HydroPark Occasionally I'll get calls from brides interested in a small ceremony at Dodge Park, at the confluence of the Bull Run and Sandy Rivers. Yet, it was a bureau-first to field a request for vows to be exchanged in the shadow of water towers at Sabin HydroPark.

The bride grew up in Portland, and now lives in L.A. She wanted a place that would be very "Portland," and she had watched the transformation of the water facility into a public open space on family visits. On the morning of the ceremony, the new mother-in-law led the bride and others in yoga in the park. The reception dinner was held at Lucca's and an "after party" was held at Kennedy School. Very Portland.

As I coordinated with the bride, they only needed to follow park rules: first-come first-served, use trash/recycling cans, no alcohol, dogs on leash...etc. It was a DIY wedding, and with some rented chairs and floral arrangements, a romantic stage was set.

Congratulations newlyweds!

Darcy Cronin

Facilities Services Specialist