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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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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

Portland Water Bureau to Activate Maintenance Run of its Groundwater Supply

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Get Ready for Groundwater!

On Monday, August 9th, the Portland Water Bureau will begin blending a small portion of its groundwater supply in the Columbia South Shore Well Field into Portland’s water distribution system as part of its regularly scheduled maintenance operation. The groundwater supply is a complex system that must be operated regularly to identify maintenance needs and issues. By doing this maintenance operation, the bureau will ensure the reliability of the system when needed, either in an emergency or as part of seasonal supply.

The rate of groundwater pumping will vary throughout each day. The system could potentially pump as many as 18 million gallons of groundwater per day (MGD) during the day, with no pumping at night. On average, the bureau expects to pump approximately 5 MGD for approximately 10 days. This represents about 3% of the city’s total daily water demand. The operation should last no longer than Friday, August 20th.

The bureau does not expect that customers will experience significant change in water quality, if any change at all.

For information on daily Water Bureau operations, visit or subscribe to e-mail news updates through the link under News & Events on the Water Bureau’s home page at