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Portland Water Bureau

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


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“Your Sustainable City” Shows Support at Good in the Hood Food & Music Festival

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Photo courtesy of Good in the Hood website

The annual Good in the Hood Festival returns this weekend to North Portland. A multi-cultural music and food festival, the event promises to delight with a kick-off celebration, good neighbor night, music, parade, kid’s space and food vendors.  Last year, over 30,000 people attended the festival.

This year, the parade will be held on Saturday, June 29th, beginning at King School Park.  The festival runs all weekend at Lillis-Albina Park/Harriet Tubman Middle School at North Flint Street and North Russell Street.

During the festival, keep your eye out for the “Your Sustainable City” booth, staffed by City of Portland employees hailing from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Portland Water Bureau, Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Bureau of Transportation.  Please stop by and to learn how you and your family can implement practices that will lead to healthier living for the planet and its inhabitants, big and small. 

For more information about Good in the Hood festival, visit the event website:

Lindsay Wochnick
Community Information & Involvement

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Hot Weather Ahead…Make Sure to Stay Hydrated with Cool, Clean, Cheap & Constant Bull Run water


Over the weekend and well into next week, Portlanders will experience record-breaking high temperatures. The Portland Water Bureau encourages Portlanders to stay hydrated and keep your body temperature down during the heat.

Tips for staying hydrated: 

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.
  • If plain water does not interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free!

Lindsay Wochnick
Community Information & Involvement 

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Ode to Fountain Operators - Fountain Operations Transfers to Portland Parks & Recreation

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Vanna White poses with John Bee for Wheel of Fortune filming by Salmon Street Springs Fountain in 2011With the new fiscal year, the responsibility of Portland’s decorative fountains is being transferred to Portland Parks & Recreation. Information and updates about the municipal fountains can now be found on the Portland Parks and Recreation website.

We would like to take one last chance to recognize the dedication of the Portland Water Bureau’s “fountains staff.” Responsibility of the municipal fountains has changed over time and the task has been back in the hands of bureau staff since 1999. One of the long-time fountains operator, John Bee*, has mixed feelings about the change. “We’re kind of sad, but also happy,” said John.

Maintaining all 19 fountains has been a significant duty. The operating engineers have been involved most directly in the task of cleaning and maintaining the public fountains, but the painters have also removed their fair share of graffiti. A myriad of other staff have also been involved in different fountain-related work; from engineers providing feedback in the design process for new fountains to Customer Service representatives fielding hundreds of calls on hot days, asking “Is Jamison on?”

Yet, beyond the day-to-day work that the fountains require, what will be remembered most are all of the stories. Here are just a few:

• The Rose Festival always brings its share of carnival related trash, but one year someone decapitated a giant plush bear. Staff found bits of Styrofoam for the next two years!

• Vanna White, hostess of Wheel of Fortune, met staff while taping for the show with a backdrop of Salmon Street Springs.

• A tourist from Europe lost his expensive hearing aid and somehow John Bee managed to fish it out, and it still worked.

• A few summers ago, there was a soaping spree at Ira Keller Fountain. In the end, it was the local transients who made it known that it wasn’t cool to put soap in the fountain.

Staff often receive a great deal of compliments, especially from tourists who are surprised to see such well-cared-for fountains.” People love the fountains, but many end up trashing them, said John “Graffiti, shopping carts, cigarette butts… you name it and our fountain staff have likely seen it.”

Each fountain is truly unique and has required a certain learning curve and ability to problem-solve. The Water Bureau has been lucky to have the talented staff who have worked so hard to maintain Portland’s public fountains. The bureau is certain that the Portland Parks  & Recreation staff will take the same pride in their work in maintaining the fountains.

Darcy Cronin
Sr. Community Outreach & Information Representative

* This article is based on a tour of the fountains with John Bee, Operating Engineer.

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Volunteer to Help Keep Powell Butte Nature Park Healthy & Safe for People & Wildlife

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Powell Butte Nature Park

On Saturday, July 13, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, the public is invited to volunteer their time and work skills alongside volunteers from the Friends of Powell Butte Nature Park, Hands On Greater Portland and Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) to perform necessary park and trail restoration work.

Restoration projects include trail maintenance, fence repairs, invasive plant species removal, trash pick-up and other tasks. Please wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, sturdy walking shoes, and bring a hat, water bottle, and if needed, rain gear.

Please be aware that a major construction project is underway at Powell Butte as a contractor for the Portland Water Bureau builds the city’s new 50-million gallon underground reservoir and several new permanent park structures.  Volunteers are reminded to keep out of fenced hazardous construction areas and to stay on open designated park trails during the restoration event.   

Volunteers will meet at the Gates Property parking lot, located SE Holgate Boulevard, east of at SE 136th Avenue. PP&R staff will be on site to greet you and will provide gloves, tools, training for the day's activity and a snack to keep you energized.  There is a public restroom located at the parking lot.

This volunteer opportunity is family-friendly and all ages are welcome to participate. However, children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult for the duration of the volunteer event.

For more information, please contact Susan Hawes, PP&R Stewardship Coordinator, at or (503) 823-6131.  

Lindsay Wochnick
Community Information & Involvement

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July is Smart Irrigation Month

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Water late in the evening or early in the morning!

Summer water use really starts to rise in July as Portlanders get to work watering their lawns, flowers and vegetable gardens. This trend holds true across the country, so in order to increase awareness about smart water use outdoors, the Irrigation Association named July as Smart Irrigation Month.

Create a vibrant outdoor space by following a few tips when it comes to irrigating your lawn and landscape: 

  • Water when the potential for evaporation is low – late in the evening or, preferably, early in the morning.
  • If you water your landscape with a hand-held hose, use a device with an automatic shutoff nozzle.
  • Use a drip irrigation system in planting beds that allows water to work its way slowly into the soil and keeps evaporation to a minimum.
  • If using an in-ground automatic irrigation system, regularly inspect and repair broken heads and pipes immediately.

Remember, a well-designed and well-maintained irrigation system will use water efficiently while creating a healthy landscape for years to come.

Click here for additional ways to make every drop count in your landscape.

Sabrina Litton
Portland Water Bureau Efficiency Program

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