Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

Water For People Gala - February 4th

By 0 Comments | Add a Comment

Water for People helps bring access to clean water to communities around the world.Since providing water for people is our livelihood, it's not something we take for granted. While there are challenges of aging infrastructure and complex regulations, we've really got it quite good here in Portland. A water system likes our is really a dream for many communities around the globe.
Water For People is a non-profit that began as a charity run by water utility professionals across the country through the American Water Works Association, and is still supported mostly by water utility professionals. The organization now works in eleven countries where water and sanitation isn't a daily luxury. It's our way of sharing our talents in places with water scarcity. Regardless of your profession, consider learning more about global water issues and supporting an organization that really helps communities develop and protect reliable sources of clean water.

Learn more about Water for People's work around the world, and join the cause.

6th Annual Water for People Gala
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Scottish Rite Center
1512 SW Morrison, Portland

Hosted bar and hors d'oeuvres 6pm

Dinner, keynote speakers and music to follow

Tickets: $50

Contact Carla Ralston, 503-577-1220

Additional donations are gratefully accepted. 

Keynote speaker: Betsy Damon, Director of Keeper of the Waters

Musical guests: Rare Monk

Artwork from the Zimbabwe Artists Project

Your attendance and donations directly support the work of Water for People to provide financial support and empower communities to end water and sanitation poverty.

Carla Ralston

Business Operations


Turbidity Event in Bull Run

By Teresa Black 6 Comments | Add a Comment

Portland Water Bureau shifts water supply from Bull Run to Columbia South Shore Groundwater system due to high turbidity event

Today the Portland Water Bureau is turning off theBull Runwater supply system and activating the supply system from the Columbia South Shore Well Field. Recent heavy rains and increased stream flows have contributed to a rapid increase in turbidity, or suspended sediments, in the Bull Run system. The Bull Run water supply is not filtered.

"We are blessed to have two high quality sources of water available to us," said Portland Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff. "When Mother Nature hits us hard, it's tremendously comforting to know that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field when theBull Run system is shut down due to turbidity. It is extremely rare to have a backup system such as Portland's and it is one of the primary reasons we have been able to retain the Bull Run as an unfiltered source."

It will take about 24 to 60 hours, depending on a customer’s location, for groundwater to move through the distribution system. Users will experience water quality beginning with the water quality of 100% Bull Run and shifting to 100% groundwater as the water moves through the distribution system. The Columbia South Shore Well Field provides a high quality water supply for Portland Water Bureau customers, which meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations.

The bureau will operate the groundwater system as long as weather conditions and water quality dictate. Notification will be distributed when the well field is shutdown and the system returns to 100% Bull Run water.

Customers with questions can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

Traffic Advisory: Nighttime construction hours on SW Naito Parkway extended

By 0 Comments | Add a Comment


Nighttime construction hours on SW Naito Parkway extendedStarting tonight, the contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will begin work one hour earlier at 8:00 PM on SW Naito Parkway, near downtown. Work will cease at 6:00 AM to accommodate the daily commute on the heavily used roadway.

Work days on SW Naito Parkway will be Monday night through Friday morning for the next four to five weeks. Construction is currently at SW Market Street and will proceed southbound to SW Caruthers Street.

Flaggers and traffic cones will direct motorists around the rolling work zone. Some lane closures and delays should be expected. Motorists and bicyclists are encouraged to find alternate routes to avoid this work zone.

This work is part of the second phase of the Portland Water Bureau's Westside Header Project that will install a new 5,000-foot, 36-inch diameter steel water main to replace an existing critical but aging supply pipeline. Construction work on SW Naito Parkway began in September 2011. The entire project is estimated to be completed by late spring 2012. 

For more information, contact Tim Hall, Public Outreach, 503-823-6926, 503-381-0056.

Come Celebrate Portland's 5th Loo!

By 2 Comments | Add a Comment

LInvite to Couch Looocated at NW Couch and 8th Avenue in the North Park Blocks, the Couch Loo will be dedicated next Tuesday, January 31st at 1 p.m. Commissioner Randy Leonard and project staff will be joined by children and faculty from the nearby Emerson School for the "first flush." 

The new Portland Loo location was chosen to accommodate the needs in this high foot-traffic area of town for tourists and locals visiting Powell's Books, and conveniently located between the MAX/bus lines and the streetcar. This Loo also replaces a problem-plagued bathroom that was recently closed at SW Ankeny and 8th Avenue. This particular installation was accomplished in collaboration with the Portland Parks and Recreation, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and The Emerson School.

Emerson’s School Administrator, Tara O’Neil, is particularly excited about the new Loo location:

“Being on the North Park Blocks, our school is very urban. Before the Loo installation teachers would regularly need to report biohazards on the playground, we’d also have strangers knocking on our school doors asking to use our restroom, and our parking lot was often confused with a urinal. We are really grateful that our students/teachers won’t be faced with that issue. Plus, the artwork by the students on the Couch Loo is just fabulous!”

Each Portland Loo includes artwork on the door, most of them local photography. Yet, the Couch Loo is adorned with vibrant drawings of flowers by the students at is really quite beautiful.

Designed and fabricated locally, the Portland Loo is attractive, functional, open 24 hours a day and more affordable than any other permanent toilet structure. All the Portland Loos are cleaned and maintained semi-daily by Central City Concern staff. The City actually has a patent on the design, and cities from across the country have been interested in purchasing them, and last fall a Loo was purchased by the City of Victoria in BC Canada. For more information, visit and visit a Portland Loo for yourself!

Anne Hill
Project Management Analyst

Toilet Replacement Grant Opportunity - Due February 21st

By 0 Comments | Add a Comment

Swapping your old toilet with an efficient toilet can save you lots of money.The Portland Water Bureau is now accepting applications for toilet replacement projects from non-profit organizations operating multi-family properties that serve low-income residents throughout the Portland Water Bureau retail service area. Limited funding is available for the program. This is a reimbursement grant only.

Toilets are one of the largest users of indoor water in a typical multi-family building and account for roughly 26% of the water used. Upgrading older model toilets with WaterSense labeled High-Efficiency Toilets (models that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less) will provide significant water and cost savings to low-income housing providers.

Applications are due February 21, 2012. For more information or to find application materials visit -

Sarah Santner

Water Efficiency Coordinator