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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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Powell Butte's Temporary Parking Locations Open

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Holgate parking lotThe Portland Water Bureau has opened two new temporary parking lots established for the Powell Butte Reservoir 2 Project. Because part of the project includes the construction of a new interpretive center, caretaker house, and maintenance facility, and parking center  – all part of the Powell Butte Master Plan – the current main parking lot will need to be closed for extended periods during this construction.

While Powell Butte Nature Park remains open, visitors will now have a few more options for access to nearly 10 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

The lots are located at SE Holgate Blvd. at SE 136th Ave. on part of the Portland Park & Recreation’s Gates Park property, and at 14424 SE Center St., near SE 144th Ave. on the Water Bureau’s Vivian Pump Station site.  In addition, the Water Bureau has leased parking spaces from the Rose Bowling Center at SE Powell Blvd at SE 164th Ave.

Park visitor parking is only for posted seasonal hours, and no overnight parking is permitted.  Portland Police and Water Bureau Security officers routine patrol the lots.

Tim Hall

Public Outreach 

Watersongs Photography Exhibit

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Watersongs photography by Mike O'BrienAside from keeping us kicking, and tasting great, water is undeniably beautiful.

A retired City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability employee, Mike O’Brien, has turned his passion toward capturing the beauty of water. “Watersongs” is the title of his current exhibit, which provides a “sense of the transcendental beauty of the waters and the forest.” The photographs from this exhibit were shot in the Opal Creek Wilderness, located at the upper end of the North Fork Santiam watershed in the Elkhorn Valley.

Last Thursday Artist Reception for “Watersongs” by photographer Mike O’Brien

Thursday, March 29th 6-9pm

Living Room Realtors – 1422 NE Alberta Street

Wine, hors d’oeuvres & community connection


Powell Butte Nature Park Center Parking Lot Closure

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The Park Center Parking Lot, located at the top of the hill from the 162nd and Powell Blvd entrance to the Powell Butte Nature Park, will be closed either partially or completely for the rest of the year. The closure will allow the construction of a new parking and Interpretive Center.


The parking lot will be partially closed from April 2nd through April 29th, 2012. Approximately half of the parking capacity will be reduced. The trails leading to and from the Park Center Parking Lot will be detoured during construction. The Anderegg, Mountain View and Wild Horse trails will be connected with a temporary ADA trail at the east end of the parking lot. Temporary restroom facilities will be provided near the existing facilities. The drinking water fountain will not be operable and park users are urged to bring drinking water for themselves and their pets.

On April 30th, 2012, the parking lot will close completely and the park entrance at 162nd and Powell Blvd will be blocked. Interim parking is located at the Vivian Parking Lot at 14424 SE Center St., Gates Parking Lot at 13799 SE Holgate Blvd., and the Rose Bowl at 3800 SE 164th Ave. All temporary parking lots provide easy access to the Nature Park trail system. The park center facilities will remain closed through December 31st, 2012. 

Maps of the trail detours, park closure areas, and interim parking areas can be found at Powell Butte Reservoirs Project.

Terry Black

Public Outreach

Portland Wins "Best Tasting Water" Contest

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Judging smell water samples for scent.The Portland Water Bureau entered this year's NW Oregon sub-section of the America Water Works Association (AWWA) Best Tasting Water Competition at the March meeting in Salem. There were ten regional competitors for best tasting water: City of Salem, Oak Lodge Water District, City of Forest Grove, McMinnville Water and Light, Veolia Water Wilsonville, Rivergrove Water, Hillsboro - Cherry Grove, Joint Water Commission, and City of Lake Oswego. Portland came out as the best of the best. 


The water samples were tasted for three different criteria: scent, flavor, and aftertaste. A score of 1 to 10 is given to the samples. Three (3) judges scored those samples, and the total from all judges is scored. A perfect score would be 90 points. The Portland Water Bureau received a total score of 78 out of 90.


The next step is to take our best to the Pacific NW section of the AWWA annual meeting in Yakima. This conference will be held May 2-4 with the best tasting water taste test to be held on the evening of Wednesday, May 2nd. Wish us the best…


Chris Wanner

Director of Operations

Chris Wanner receives plaque for best tasting water.

It's raining, it's pouring...

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If you’ve been wondering whether our drizzly March set records in the watershed, the answer is a definitive YES.


Here's how the wettest 10 Marches at Headworks stack up:























2012 was the second wettest March since we started measuring in 1899.

To put it in context for the Bull Run watershed, it typically rains 130 inches a year. All this rain fills the reservoirs with 17 billion gallons of water at peak capacity. Now that's a LOT of rain!


Doug Bloem

Environmental Specialist – aka PWB weatherman  

A large shelf mushroom in the Bull Run watershed, photo by Roman Johnston

It's hard to get good rain photos in the watershed, but Roman Johnston captured this large shelf mushroom in all it's wet wonder.