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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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Groundwater supply discontinued, Portland goes back to 100% Bull Run

By Teresa Black 4 Comments | Add a Comment

Today the Portland Water Bureau is reactivating the Bull Run water supply and discontinuing its current run of groundwater supply from the Columbia South Shore Well Field (CSSWF). Bull Run water will be blended into the system for several hours before groundwater is turned off. The Water Bureau plans to turn off the Columbia South Shore Well Field and return to 100% Bull Run water supply late in the day today.

Storms in mid-January produced heavy rains and increased stream flows in the Bull Run watershed resulting in elevated turbidity, or suspended sediment, levels. Turbidity levels have steadily decreased in the Bull Run water supply system since the rains subsided. Since turning on the Columbia South Shore Well Field on January 21, the Portland Water Bureau has utilized groundwater to provide 100% of supply.

It will take about 24 to 60 hours, depending on customer location, for Bull Run water to move through the distribution system and replace the groundwater in the system. Both sources of water are high quality water supplies which meet or surpass all federal and state drinking water regulations.

The Portland Water Bureau strongly encourages customers with water quality questions or concerns to call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

Terry Black

Sandy River Basin Community Information Representative

Have You Tested Your Home's Pipes For Lead?

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Every year our Lead in Water Education and Testing Program sends out a mailer with a simple message:

Lead is a major health threat to childrenand pregnant women.

Testing your home's pipes for lead is important to your children's health.If your home was built between 1970 and 1985, lead solder may have been used to join

the pipes. A lead-in-water test is the only way to know if this is adding lead to the water.

Mail the attached postage-paid reply card for 

To avoid possible exposure to lead from plumbing:

  • Never use water from the hot water tap for making baby formula.
  • Use only cold, fresh water from the cold water tap for drinking and cooking.
  • Avoid using water that has been standing in the pipes by running the water until it feels noticeably colder (30 to 2 minutes).

The mailer is sent in partnership with other local water providers, and includes a multi-lingual message:

  • Me gustaría recibir una prueba gratis para detectar el nivel de plomo en el agua.
  • Я хочу получить бесплатный набор дл тестирования воды на содержание в ней свинца.
  • Có, tôi muốn được một bộ thử chất ch. trong nước miễn phí.

Your water provider and local health agencies want to protect your child from lead.

For more information about ALL sources of lead and for locations of FREE lead screening for children:

Contact the LeadLine - or 503-988-4000

Scott Bradway
Lead Education and Outreach Program Manager

Construction buzzing on Powell Butte Reservoir 2 Project

By Robin Hagedorn 0 Comments | Add a Comment

Construction buzzing on Powell Butte Reservoir 2 ProjectCrews are digging down another 10 to 15 feet to prepare the base of the new 50-million gallon reservoir inside Powell Butte Nature Park. In May 2010, another contractor completed Phase 1, removing more the 323,000 cubic feet of material from the site. Once the additional excavation is completed, the contractor -- SSC Construction -- will begin concrete work, laying the foundation for the massive five acre structure.

In addition to the digging, workers have upgraded erosion control measures and added fencing to more work locations. Crews have been busy preparing the site for the new Maintenance Facility. This building will be shared by the Portland Water Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreation.

The park remains open to visitors. The City will soon open a new temporary parking lot located near the Old Holgate Trail Head on SE Holgate near SE 136th Ave. This lot will give visitors another choice to reach the nearly 10 miles of trails in the park.  The Portland Water Bureau has also leased 36 parking spaces for public use from the Rose Bowling Center on SE Powell Blvd. at SE 164th Ave. A second temporary lot on SE Center St. at SE 144th Ave. will open this summer.

Public and worker safety are the top priority. Over the course of the two-year project, there will be many large trucks on roads inside the park. Visitors are reminded to use and stay on open designated park trails and be careful at trail-truck crossings. Please obey signs to keep off the construction haul roads – they are not park trails. Further, some trails will be closed for short durations when construction work is close by.

Please do not attempt to visit the hazardous reservoir excavation site.

Tim Hall

Public Outreach

Pittman Addition HydroPark Transformed Thanks to Community Grants

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Pittman Addition HydroPark is transformed into a sculpture space, thanks to two community grants!Two community grants are helping transform Pittman Addition HydroPark into a sculpture space.


You may already know the story of Pittman Addition HydroPark, and how the open space was developed through a community design process and opened in fall 2009. (Or maybe you just recall the giant carrot that was spotted at Pittman Addition last spring). From the very beginning, community members really wanted to create a sculpture space for temporary art, but the bare-bones budget for adding basic amenities to the park wouldn't cover the expense. So, community members agreed to form Friends of Pittman Addition HydroPark, which is fiscally sponsored by North Portland Community Works (an umbrella non-profit through the Office of Neighborhood Involvement). The group of neighbors and artists has been working together since 2010 to bring art to the park.


This week five sculpture pads are being poured, thanks to a $11k Community Livability Grant from the Portland Development Commission. Through a partnership with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council the park will be further transformed in March, when the whole southern sound wall will be planted with native plants. The planting labor will be done by Verde, a local non-profit that provides employment and training opportunities.


More good news came this week when we learned that the project was awarded a Community-Based Grant from the Union Pacific Foundation for $2500 to provide artists with stipends to install sculptures. A call-to-artists will be done this spring, and a community celebration of the new sculpture space will be planned for June.


This will be the first public sculpture space for temporary art in Portland.


Darcy Cronin

Sr. Community Outreach and Information Representative

Don't miss the last Fix-It Fair of the 2011-2012 Season!

By Sabrina Litton 0 Comments | Add a Comment

Learn simple ways to save money and be healthy at home at the Feb 25 Fix-It Fair.

The City of Portland’s 25th annual Fix-It Fair season is in full swing. Don’t miss the last fair this February 25th at Jefferson High School (5210 N Kerby Ave 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Click here for map and directions )

While you are there, don’t forget to visit the Portland Water Bureau’s table where our staff can advise you on ways to save water and lower your bill. Or take our class “Saving Water makes Cents” at noon to learn about how to identify and fix leaks.


What you'll find at a Fix-It Fair

PWB Staff at a fix it fair

Ongoing exhibits and hourly workshops on topics such as:pwb astaff at fix it fair

PWB Staff at fix-it fair

  • Water and energy savings
  • Safe and healthy home
  • Food and nutrition
  • Neighborhood and community resources
  • Recycling
  • Weatherizing your home
  • Gardening and growing your own food
  • Yard care and composting
  • Transportation


  • Free lead blood testing
  • Free giveaways
  • Hourly door prizes
  • Free professional childcare
  • Free lunch
  • Free minor bike tune-ups and flat tire repair for students and families 

See you there!

Download the brochure including workshop schedule for the upcoming Fix-It Fair.


Portland Water Bureau customers can get water efficiency information and free conservation devices at any time by calling (503) 823-4527, or ordering online at