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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Media Advisory 09/05/12: Logs Flown in to Restore Salmon Habitat in Gordon and Trout Creeks

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Gordon and Trout Creek Habitat Restoration Project Map

The Portland Water Bureau will conduct a salmon habitat restoration project in Gordon and Trout creeks, tributaries of the Sandy River, the last two weeks of September 2012. The project will require the use of a heavy-lift Vertol helicopter to fly in and place 520 logs along the creeks.

Columbia Helicopters has been contracted to do the work. The restoration work will occur on Monday through Fridays between 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, and it is projected to start September 17. Residents should be aware that helicopters will be moving trees in these areas and SE Gordon Creek Rd. will be flagged at times for safety reasons.

Chinook salmon spawning occurs in the lower portions of Gordon and Trout creeks. The logs will be placed at 60 sites along Gordon and Trout creeks and then will replace large trees that would normally fall into the streams and provide habitat suitable for native salmon species. Large and small woody debris accumulations benefit fish by slowing stream velocity, creating resting areas, scouring deep pools, providing cover for fish, collecting gravel for spawning beds and providing nutrients and homes for aquatic insects eaten by the fish.

"These locations on Gordon and Trout creeks were identified as high potential areas for fish recovery and protection", says Steve Kucas, Environmental Compliance Manager for the Portland Water Bureau, who is directing the project. 

The logs to be used have been sustainably harvested. Some were buried deep in the mud of the Columbia River while others were cleared from the Portland Zoo to make room for the new animal hospital. Many logs originated from the Basket Slough National Wildlife Refuge near Dallas Oregon, where they were removed to return the harvested area to a historic oak woodland state.

The project sites are on Metro Regional Government and Longview Timberlands LLC owned land. A local Christmas tree farm has allowed Columbia Helicopter to stage a refueling site on their property. The helicopter may make as many as 10 passes over the area each day.

The Portland Water Bureau is implementing a comprehensive set of fish habitat protection and restoration activities to improve conditions in the Bull Run watershed and throughout the Sandy River basin. The fifty-year goal is to recreate habitat conditions that will improve runs of fall and spring Chinook salmon, winter steelhead, coho salmon, and cutthroat trout populations.

Terry Black
Sandy River Basin Community Information

Aquifer Adventure: A Groundwater Treasure Hunt - ARRR!

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Ahoy thar matey! 

Please join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for Aquifer Adventure, a FREE pirate themed treasure hunt and learn how to protect groundwater while searching for hidden treasure. Build an edible aquifer, transform yourself into a molecule of water traveling through groundwater, race against the clock while you learn about water conservation, go on a canoe ride, and much more! There will be food for purchase, prizes, and Aquifer Adventure is suitable for all ages and no registration is required. Come prepared to walk, explore and learn fun facts about groundwater. We hope that you can join us -  and tell all your friends! 

Aquifer Adventure Flier

We can still use some volunteers to help with face painting, canoe rides, and other fun activities. If you are interested, please contact the Columbia Slough Watershed Council at 503-281-1132 or e-mail volunteer@columbiaslough.org.

Lindsay Wochnick
Senior Administrative Specialist
Community Information & Involvement

Make Your Bike Ride Safer by Reporting Road Hazards

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According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), six percent of Portland commuters go by bike. This is the highest percentage of bike commuters for a large American city and means more than 17,000 Portlanders choose to bicycle to work.

There are more than 319 miles of bikeways in Portland, and more than 50 miles already planned to be installed in the coming years.  The Portland Water Bureau wants to encourage cyclists to be aware of hazardous conditions along their preferred bikeway route. 

Missing Water Valve Cover
This week, a cyclist sent the Water Bureau a tweet that included a photo of a missing water valve cover in the bike lane on N. Marine Drive. Portland Water Bureau Construction & Maintenance quickly dispatched an employee to the scene with a replacement cover.

Cyclists, along with motorists and pedestrians, can all help the Water Bureau and other City bureaus address any hazards they may see by contacting the appropriate City bureau to report it:

  • Leaking Hydrant:  A leaking hydrant can cause a cyclist or pedestrian to take a fall. To report a hydrant hazard, please contact the Portland Water Bureau at 503-823-4874 and report the location.
  • Missing or Cracked Water Valve and Vault Covers: Theft of metal lids is a problem. Contact the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line at 503-823-7525 to report any missing or broken water valve or cover. Please provide the street location and nearest cross street or block address.
  • Potholes: To report a pothole within the City’s jurisdiction, call PBOT at 503-823-BUMP (2867) and leave a message with the following information: street location, nearest cross street or block address, your name, and a phone number.
  • Traffic/Street Light Malfunctions: Report to PBOT a street light outage at 503-865-LAMP (5267) or online.
  • Catch Basins: To lessen street flooding, residents and property managers are asked to help clean the inlets and catch basins (grated storm drains) in front of their properties. If you cannot clear a clogged catch basin yourself, notify PBOT that help is needed by contacting 503-823-1700.
  • Sinkhole: To report a sinkhole within the City of Portland, contact PBOT at 503-823-1700.
  • Debris, Mud, Rocks, and Fallen Trees and Branches: Contact PBOT at 503-823-1700 to report debris that is blocking a road or sidewalk.

If you have an iPhone or Android, you are encouraged to download and utilize the “City of Portland PDX Reporter” application to notify the City of Portland of problems or issues with publicly maintained infrastructure. To learn more, click here.

Lindsay Wochnick
Senior Administrative Specialist
Community Information & Involvement

Is Your Home Water Smart? Find out for FREE!

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Is Your Home Water Smart?The Portland Water Bureau is working with Energy Trust of Oregon to offer customers a FREE Water Audit and Home Energy Review.

An Energy Trust energy advisor will visit your home and do a walk-through to identify areas where energy and water are typically lost, including:

  • Inefficient or leaking water fixtures – toilets, faucets, showerheads
  • Insulation levels in the attic/ceiling, walls, floors and ducts
  • Heating systems
  • Air sealing and windows
  • Ventilation
  • Moisture problems
  • Old appliances

You will also receive free water- and energy-waving products that help make your home more efficient immediately (eligibility requirements apply):

  • High –performance showerheads
  • Water-saving faucet aerators
  • ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (up to 10, a $50 value)

After the review you’ll receive a prioritized list of customized recommendations for your home and a list of cash incentives that may be available for qualifying, water and energy-saving home improvements. 

To schedule your FREE Water Audit and Home Energy Review, call Energy Trust at 1-866-368-7878, or visit www.energytrust.org/her. Make sure to ask for a Water Audit with your Home Energy Review.

To qualify, customers must have a Portland Water Bureau residential water account AND must heat their homes with Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural or Cascade Natural Gas.

Sabrina Litton
Resource Protection and Planning

Benson Bubblers Celebrate Centennial Birthday

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Benson Bubbler Fountain

In 1912, Simon Benson, a local businessman and philanthropist, donated $10,000 to the City of Portland to purchase and install 20 bronze drinking fountains located throughout the downtown Portland area.

The first of these fountains, coined “Benson Bubblers” after their initial patron, was installed at SW 5th Avenue and SW Washington Street.  Another one of the original Bubblers was installed in front of Benson’s home to commemorate his generous gift to the city. The remaining 18 original bubblers were installed by 1917.

Architect A.E. Doyle designed the four-bowl bubblers.  Each bubbler is made of copper, although years of weathering give them an eye-catching patina finish. Most of the bubblers were made in local foundries, although two Bubblers were specially constructed by students at Benson High School.

The city currently boasts 52 of the four-bowl fountains and 74 of the one-bowl variations. The four-bowl bubblers reside in downtown Portland and two additional four-bowl bubblers call Sapporo, Japan and the Maryhill Museum of Art home.

Though the single-bowl variations look like Benson Bubblers, they are not. In fact, in the 1970's, the Benson family asked that the installation of the four-bowl fountains be limited to certain downtown boundaries so as not to diminish the uniqueness of them.

The Portland Water Bureau proudly maintains all 52 of the four-bowl Benson Bubbler Fountains. The drinking water from the Bubblers is fresh from Bull Run, not recycled and flows freely from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, year-round.  For public safety, they are shutdown during freezing weather.

During a 15 year span, the Portland Water Bureau made significant changes in the design and operation of the Bubblers to improve water efficiency. In 1995, the bureau narrowed the water feed lines, cutting the water use almost in half.  Five years later, timers were installed, shutting off the Bubblers during low-usage periods. And in 2005, the Water Bureau installed flow-restricting devices in the Bubblers in order to reduce the amount of water used.  Because of these water efficiency measures, the Bubblers now use less than 1/10th of one percent of Portland’s daily water demand.

2012 marks the year in which the initial Bubblers turn 100-years old.  Even after a century, these iconic Bubblers still stand proud, as a defining, iconic element of our city's history.  

Help the Portland Water Bureau to commemorate the anniversary by visiting, drinking, and refilling your water containers from the Bubblers.  Click here to download a Benson Bubbler brochure and map!

Lindsay Wochnick
Senior Administrative Specialist
Public Information & Involvement