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Portland Water Bureau

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY 04/23/13: Portland Water Bureau to conduct underground survey work on SW Nevada Street week of April 29, 2013

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Starting Monday, April 29 through Friday, May 3, 2013, a Portland Water Bureau crew will conduct exploratory underground survey work (potholing) that will affect both lanes on SW Nevada Street, between SW Macadam Boulevard and SW Virginia Street. The work will take place between the hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Flaggers will allow local access only for residents and deliveries during the survey work. Some street parking will be restricted during work hours. This work must be conducted to determine the exact locations of utility conduits under the pavement to ensure they do not conflict with a new water pipeline's alignment.

The survey work is part of the first phase of the city’s project to construct a new drinking water pump station in Willamette Park, scheduled to begin in 2014.

For additional information, please contact Terry Black, Public Information, at 503-823-1168.

Terry Black
Community Information and Involvement

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Portland to Vote on Water Fluoridation in Special Election

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The decision to add fluoride to Portland’s drinking water will be determined by a public vote in the May 21, 2013 Special Election. Ballots will be mailed to registered Portland voters on Friday, May 3, 2013.

On September 12, 2012, the Portland City Council unanimously passed Ordinance No. 185612 that authorized and directed the Portland Water Bureau to add fluoride to the drinking water supply. Through a citizen referendum process, the Council’s decision is now subject to a public vote.

For informational purposes, the Portland Water Bureau has posted a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions we’ve received from the public and news media on water fluoridation. The page is online at

Tim Hall
Public Information & Involvement

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Simple Tips for Sprucing Up Your Sprinkler

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Sprinklers needs regular maintenance too.It’s been a long, hard winter for your yard. While your plants go dormant to cope with the colder weather, your sprinkler system can feel the effects of winter, too. Cracks in the pipes can lead to costly leaks, and broken sprinkler heads can waste water and money. Now is the perfect time to spruce up your irrigation system so you don’t waste water and money this summer.

Before you ramp up your watering this spring, look over your irrigation system by remembering four simple steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select:

  • Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled program. View a list of list of WaterSense partners in the Portland area.
  • Connect.  Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Direct. Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to the landscape.
  • Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste a lot of water and money. Update your system’s schedule with the seasons, or select a WaterSense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.

Don’t forget to add “sprinkler spruce-up” to your spring cleaning list this year.

For more tips and resources visit the Portland Water Bureau’s efficiency program at or EPA’s WaterSense program at

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Slow Down for Work Zone Safety

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Install of two large underground utility vaults on SE 147th Ave. at SE Powell Blvd

A contractor for the Portland Water Bureau is installing two large underground utility vaults on SE 147th Ave. at SE Powell Blvd. Traffic headed both east and west on SE Powell Blvd. may be slowed or stopped briefly to allow vehicles to turn north onto SE 147th Ave. or to exit onto Powell Blvd.  Please stay aware and find alternate routes if possible.

With dry summer weather, motorists in Portland will likely see more construction work that impacts city streets.  A lot of this work is to upgrade water mains and sewer pipes, and repair road pavement.  With this necessary work comes an increase in traffic delays. 

National studies indicate that driver distraction is the biggest factor in work zone collisions along with excessive vehicle speed.  And 40 percent of work zone collisions occur in the transition area just prior to the work zone.

The Portland Water Bureau asks motorists and bicyclists to keep in mind the following safety tips when observing bright orange signs, cones, barricades, utility workers and traffic flaggers: 

  • Use an alternate route. When you can, avoid streets with posted work zones.
  • Expect delays.  Plan to leave early so you can drive safely through the work zone and avoid having to rush.
  • Be alert. Pay attention to the driving task and watch the cars ahead of you.
  • Obey all speed and warning signs. They are there for your safety and will help prevent a collision.  
  • Do not tailgate.  Double the following distance.
  • Carefully move over.  When possible give workers more room between them and your vehicle, but do not veer into on-coming traffic lane.
  • Watch for vehicle access. Be aware that temporary construction may impact either side of the road, or adjacent streets.
  • Stay clear of construction vehicles.  Heavy vehicles travel in and out of the work areas and can make sudden moves. 

Please help keep you, other drivers and utility workers protected by slowing down for work zone safety.

Lindsay Wochnick
Community Information and Involvement

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Join us for Cycle the Well Field on June 1st

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What local resource is capable of producing close to 100 million gallons per day of high quality drinking water, is the second largest water source in the State of Oregon and is used as a back up water supply for customers served by the Portland Water Bureau? 

Answer: The Columbia South Shore Well Field!

Columbia South Shore Well Field Groundwater Aquifers

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a series of 27 water supply wells located between the Columbia River and I-84, and stretching from I-205 in Portland all the way to Troutdale. Groundwater from the well field is used to supplement water from the Bull Run watershed during turbidity events or hot summer weather when water demand is greatest.

Columbia South Shore Well Field

Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 8:45am - 1:30pm personnel from the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council invite you, your friends and family aged 12 and up to take part in a yearly bike tour of this resource during the “Cycle the Well Field” event. 

Cycle the Well Field participants

Learn about the history, safety and functionality of Portland's underground drinking water system while pedaling over relatively flat terrain at a slow/moderate pace. Helmets are required and light refreshments provided. Bring water and a lunch or plan to purchase a box lunch. 

Advanced registration is required for this free event. Please contact Penny Beckwith, Columbia Slough Watershed Council Outreach Director, at 503-281-1132 or register on-line

Lindsay Wochnick
Community Information and Involvement

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Heartbleed Security Notice

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