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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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People Behind the Water: Jeff Sandberg

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Meet Jeff Sandberg!


Water bureau employee Jeff Sandberg


Jeff Sandberg is the Water Conservation Programs Coordinator for the Portland Water Bureau. He provides technical assistance to business, industrial and institutional customers seeking to reduce their water consumption. Says Jeff, "There is no replacement for water. Using it effectively and efficiently is essential. No society can flourish without a reliable source of clean water. Our economy, industry, health and indeed our very lives depend on water."


Getting Into Graywater

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Join the Portland Water Bureau and Sloan Valve Company at

12:30 PM on Saturday April 23rd at the Portland Water House at 1616 NE 140th Portland Oregon for a class to learn about graywater rules in Oregon and the innovative AQUS system.  The AQUS system captures water from sinks and reuses it for toilet flushing.  This is one of the graywater systems that are approved for installation in Oregon.    

Until recently the use of graywater was not allowed in the

State of Oregon.  In the summer of 2009 the State gave the

green light for the use of graywater for toilet flushing.  In January of this year the State published its draft rules to allow the use of graywater for irrigation purposes. 

The class will be held at the newly constructed Portland Water House - a demonstration home full of innovative, local, green building products - including the AQUS graywater system.

Light snacks and coupons for the AQUS system will be provided. 

RSVP required. 

Contact Sarah Santner, Portland Water Bureau 503-823-7444 or

Protecting Public Health

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This week, April 4-10th, is National Public Health Week, and in the spirit of the "Safety is No Accident" theme, it's important to remember that the safe water we drink every day is no accident, either.

The first obligation of water suppliers is to provide water that is safe for consumption. In a world where an estimated 3 million people die every year from preventable waterborne disease, water systems in North America allow us to drink from virtually any public tap with a high assurance of safety. In fact:

  • A safe water supply is critical to protecting the public health - the first obligation of all water suppliers. Without our modern water systems, diseases such as cholera and dysentery would be part of everyday life.
  • In the United States, water utilities monitor for more than 100 contaminants and must meet close to 90 regulations for water safety and quality. Those water standards are among the world's most stringent.
  • Community water supplies are tested every day. Tap water undergoes far more frequent testing than bottled water.

During National Public Health Week let's all take a moment to be thankful for clean, safe water and the professionals who work to bring it into our homes and businesses everyday. If you'd like to learn more about National Public Health Week and the American Public Health Association (APHA) please visit Let's all work together to create a safer and healthier nation.

Inside a Benson Bubbler

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Inside a Benson Bubbler

The iconic four-bowl drinking fountains, located throughout Portland, are known as the Benson Bubblers.  Many know that these drinking fountains help keep the city hydrated, yet few know how these amazing fountains are put together.

The bubbler exteriors are made of four main parts including the base (acts as the stand), the cap (which encloses the base), the arms (which come out of the base in order to create four areas for the bowls), and the bowls (where the water comes out).

As simple as that sounds there are many parts within the bubbler that allows it to run the way that it does.  Valves, controllers, pipes, and tubes are only some of the pieces needed to provide the bubblers with running water.  An irrigation valve is used to connect the water meter to a tube that runs up the bubbler.The tube is protected by a pipe and is drawn up to a square chamber with four openings known as a manifold, which sends the water into four different directions. 

Almost all of the Benson Bubblers are set on a timer and run from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M.  There are a very limited number that are left on continuously, and those that do run all hours are typically placed in areas where the water can help benefit the less fortunate (areas with a high homeless population, for example).  For those bubblers that are on a controlled time system, a transmitter is hooked up to the meter in order to set the hours during which the bubbler will run.  Once the timer is set the transmitters are removed and used to control the remaining bubblers.

- Abby Wynne

Dispatching Information and Resources

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Dispatching Information and Resources

At the Portland Water Bureau the Dispatch team at our Interstate Facility responds to nearly 200 phone calls per day.

About half of the calls are from the public. Customers call to report leaks, water main breaks, and problems with fire hydrants. The dispatcher discusses the issue with the customer and attempts to locate the problem. Once the problem has been located a Water Bureau employee responds to the location to determine the severity of the problem and what steps to take. A service request is then issued and the repair scheduled.

Water Bureau field crews call Dispatch if they need assistance locating meters or construction sites. The Dispatch office is equipped with a variety of computers and monitors that allow the service dispatcher to locate everything from hydrants, meters, general construction sites, and even the location of employees.

The Dispatch team is an integral part of ensuring our ability to deliver water to our customers!

-Abby Wynne