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Reservoir Demonstration at Mt. Tabor Park Expected to be Peaceful

By Lindsay Wochnick 27 Comments | Add a Comment

City bureaus encourage demonstrators to be good stewards
of one of Portland’s historic parks and the City’s drinking water.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and the Portland Water Bureau expect a peaceful, unpermitted demonstration today, July 12, at the city’s historic Mt. Tabor Park, located at SE 60th Avenue and SE Salmon Street.  The bureaus are aware that demonstrators plan to gather at 5:00 p.m.

Demonstrators are concerned about a federal mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that requires the City of Portland to cover its drinking water reservoirs to protect against any contamination.

Since 2006, the City has repeatedly sought to delay or avoid the EPA’s Long-Term Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2) mandate, but a federal court and the Oregon Health Authority have consistently rejected these appeals. Faced with a lack of further legal options and with deadlines looming, the City is moving forward with compliance, which includes disconnecting the Mt. Tabor open-air reservoirs once new enclosed reservoirs at Powell Butte and Kelly Butte are completed. The deadline to disconnect the Mt. Tabor reservoirs is December 31, 2015.  A June 2013 statement with more information on the City’s fight against LT2 can be found here.

“We welcome people who wish to assemble peacefully and exercise their first amendment rights,” stated Mayor Charlie Hales.  “We ask that demonstrators who come to Mt. Tabor to express their views also respect the park and follow park rules, so that everyone can enjoy it safely.

“I want to be clear that the City’s primary responsibility must be to protect the safety of our drinking water.  The water in Mt. Tabor’s open reservoirs goes directly to half of Portland’s households, and we will take all necessary steps to keep it safe.”

Portland Parks & Recreation is responsible for the protection and public enjoyment of our parks.  The Parks Bureau and Portland police have reached out to organizers of the planned demonstration.  While organizers have refused to secure a permit for the event, the demonstration is expected to be peaceful.  Portland Parks & Recreation will be educating demonstrators on park rules and good stewardship of our public land and its vegetation.  Mt. Tabor Park opens at 5:00 a.m. and closes at 12:00 a.m.

“Portland Parks & Recreation and the members of the City Council support free speech activities,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  “Those activities must be balanced with every Portlander’s right to access clean and safe parks in every neighborhood including Mt. Tabor. 

“PP&R is the steward of these public lands and it is our responsibility to protect the park and its natural areas. I am hoping for a peaceful event where people exercise their right to free expression mindful of the need to maintain our parks and water resources for the benefit of all Portlanders. I ask that demonstrators respect the special day for the couples holding weddings in the park this weekend. I hope Mt. Tabor Park, with its historic reservoirs and magnificent views, will continue to be a great location for weddings and other events for many generations to come.”

PP&R asks all visitors to help us to be good stewards of the park by adhering to applicable rules including but not limited to:

  • No camping (City Code 14A.50.020)
  • No structures are allowed without a permit (City Code 14A.50.050 and 20.12.080)
  • Properly dispose of any trash (City Code 20.12.090)
  • Protect the park and park vegetation (City Code 20.12.100)
  • Keep your dogs on-leash except in designated off-leash areas; please dispose of dog waste properly (City Code 20.12.140)
  • Protect Portland’s drinking water supply; do not throw or deposit anything into any of the reservoirs (City Code 14A.50.130)

Please adhere to park hours. No one shall be allowed in Mt. Tabor Park during the hours of park closure; the park will be closed from 12:01 a.m.(midnight) to 5:00 a.m. (City Code 20.12.210)

Please direct any questions about the reservoirs to Tim Hall, Public Information Manager, at, or call 503-823-6926. 

Please direct any park related questions to Mark Ross, Public Information Officer at

City of Sandy will be the 20th Wholesale Customer

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City of Sandy becomes the 20th wholesale customer for the Portland Water Bureau.

The City of Sandy will be serving drinking water from the Bull Run watershed beginning in early 2014. The Bull Run is one of five sub-watersheds in the Sandy River basin and is located just a few miles outside of the city. Sandy will become the Portland Water Bureau’s 20th wholesale customer, and will blend approximately half a million gallons of Bull Run water per day beginning in 2014, with the option of purchasing up to 10 million gallons per day in future years.

Portland Water Bureau crews modified its Hudson Intertie Facility to connect the City of Portland's Bull Run water supply to the City of Sandy’s water supply system. A new pipeline is currently under construction on Hudson Road between Southeast Lusted Road and Bluff Road, and work will continue south on Bluff Road into Sandy throughout the summer.

In the last few weeks, the City of Sandy contractor began installing  the piping and valves that will allow water to flow to Sandy later this fall.

For more information about the project go to the City of Sandy’s project webpage.

Terry Black
Public Information

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Public Invited to Open House on Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project

By Lindsay Wochnick 5 Comments | Add a Comment

You are invited! 

Washington Park Reservoirs 3 and 4Join us at an open house to learn more about upcoming improvements to the century-old Washington Park drinking water reservoirs. Meet and talk with Portland Water Bureau staff, project engineers and landscape architects.

At the open house you can:

  • Review project challenges, issues and considerations
  • Learn about the preservation of historical elements
  • Add to the ideas being explored for  above-ground features of the area

Thursday, July 25, 2013
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
First United Methodist Church, Collins Hall
1838 SW Jefferson Street (see map)

Drop by anytime between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.  A 10-minute overview presentation will be given every half hour.

Family Friendly - A children’s activity area will be provided.

Take Transit - The following TriMetlines service the open house location:

  • MAX Blue and Red lines - Goose Hollow stop
  • Bus lines - 6, 58, 68

Participate Online! - If you are unable to attend the open house, please visit the project website between July 25 and August 5 to review displays and comment on project issues and ideas: 

For more project information, contact Tim Hall, Public Information, at 503-823-6926, or

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Irrigation App Now Available for Portland Water Bureau Customers

By Lindsay Wochnick 5 Comments | Add a Comment

Do you have an automatic sprinkler system?
Are you a Smartphone user?

AppIf the answer is yes, download a free and easy to use App for your smartphone or tablet that will help you determine appropriate run times for your sprinkler system. Also available for tablets or online for your desktop computer.

This user-friendly online tool will walk through your individual landscape to calculate how much water each zone needs, based on your zip code, type of plants, soil, and sun exposure.

Visit or call 503-823-7439 to get your free promotional code! 

Learn more about the program at

Sabrina Litton
Portland Water Bureau Efficiency Program

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Up Next for the Forest Park Reservoir Construction: Concrete Roof Pour & Post-Tensioning

By Lindsay Wochnick 7 Comments | Add a Comment

In October 2012, a contractor for the Portland Water Bureau began work to construct a 1.3 million gallon underground drinking water reservoir and a 1,408 square-foot pump station. The reinforced concrete cylindrical tank is located on City property off NW Skyline Boulevard, near NW Hawkins Boulevard.

Continuing tank lid form support joist and sheeting install

Identified in the city’s water system as the Forest Park Low Reservoir, the 73-foot diameter structure has quickly taken shape. In eight months, the outside walls and concrete floor of the reservoir were poured and the nine interior columns cast and in place, ready to support the roof. Once the reservoir construction is completed, native grasses will be planted that will cover the structure.


During the rest of July, crews will conduct the first phase of wall “tendon post-tensioning.”  Post-tensioning is a method of reinforcing and strengthening concrete with high-strength steel strands or bars, typically referred to as tendons. 

Forest Park Low Tank Reservoir - July 2013

Following the post-tensioning work, crews will pour the reservoir’s roof, scheduled for Friday, July 26.  Because of the forecasted heat and the need to allow the 230 yards of concrete roof to efficiently cure, the pour will begin early that morning, with preparations starting at 5:00 am.

Later this summer, crews will be constructing the adjacent pump station.

To learn more about the Forest Park Low Tank Reservoir, please visit the project webpage.

Lindsay Wochnick
Community Information & Involvement

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