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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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Discover City Nature at the 12th Annual Explorando el Columbia Slough Festival

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Join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, the Portland Water Bureau and many other sponsors on Saturday, June 22nd, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm to celebrate nature and water in the city at the 12th annual Explorando el Columbia Slough festival. 

Explorando el Columbia Slough festival logo

This free bilingual family event will be held at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park at 7040 NE 47th Avenue. Activities will be offered in both Spanish and English for all ages and will include:

  • Guided canoe trips
  • Rock climbing
  • Live music
  • Folk dancing
  • Storytelling
  • Arts and crafts
  • Face painting 
  • Authentic food from Que Bacano! Sabor Colombiano and Montiel's Cocina

The first 300 visitors will receive a free Explorando t-shirt. No registration is necessary. Please share your excitement for the event by “liking” the Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s Facebook page!

Doug Wise
Groundwater Protection Program

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Reducing Exposure to Lead

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Portland has removed all known lead service connections from its distribution system. Exposure to lead through drinking water is possible if materials in a building’s plumbing contain lead. The level of lead in water can increase when water stands in contact with lead-based solder and brass faucets containing lead. 

If present, lead at elevated levels can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.

The Portland Water Bureau is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.

If you are concerned about lead in your drinking water, you can request a free lead-in-water test from the LeadLine. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the LeadLine, 503-988-4000, www.leadline.org or the Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800-426-4791, www.epa.gov/safewater/lead

People are exposed to lead in many other ways. In the Portland area, dust from paint in homes built before 1978 is the most common source of exposure to lead. Other sources include soil, pottery, traditional folk medicines and cosmetics, some sports equipment such as fishing weights and ammunition, and some occupations and hobbies.

Portland Water Bureau encourages customers to take necessary steps to avoid possible exposure to lead in drinking water: 

  • Run your water to flush out lead. If the water has not been used for several hours, run each tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until it becomes colder before drinking or cooking. This flushes water which may contain lead from the pipes.
  • Use cold, fresh water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
  • Consider using a filter. Check whether it reduces lead – not all filters do. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality. Contact NSF International at 800-NSF-8010 or www.nsf.org for information on performance standards for water filters.
  • Test your water for lead. Call the LeadLine at 503-988-4000 to find out how to get a FREE lead-in-water test.
  • Test your child for lead. Ask your physician or call the LeadLine to find out how to have your child tested for lead. A blood lead level test is the only way to know whether your child is being exposed to lead.
  • Regularly clean your faucet aerator. Particles containing lead from solder or household plumbing can become trapped in your faucet aerator. Regular cleaning every few months will remove these particles and reduce your exposure to lead.
  • Consider buying low-lead fixtures. New brass faucets, fittings and valves, may contribute to lead in your drinking water. Federal law currently allows brass fixtures, such as faucets, to contain up to eight percent lead. These fixtures are labeled as “lead-free.” When buying new fixtures, consumers should seek out those with the lowest lead content. Visit www.nsf.org to learn more about lead content in plumbing fixtures. 

For additional information on reducing lead exposure, please visit Portland Water Bureau’s website.

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Hit the Pavement this Weekend in Northeast Portland at Sunday Parkways

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Sunday Parkways activity; photo courtesy of PBOT

Summer in Portland means getting outside and immersing yourself in some of the many outdoor neighborhood events across town. This Sunday, June 23rd, the public is invited to Sunday Parkways in Northeast Portland for an afternoon of fun! 

On the route that winds around the Woodlawn, Alberta and Fernhill Parks and Rigler School, please stop and visit the Portland Water Bureau at Woodlawn Park. 

Northeast Sunday Parkways route map
Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways route map

Each year, we partner with several other City bureaus to provide information on the City’s multiple sustainability-focused programs. This united outreach effort called "Your Sustainable City," offers a wide variety of information on transportation alternatives, water conservation, recycling, green building, parks services, and stormwater management.

Portland Water Bureau staff will be there ready to distribute water conservation information as well as materials for other sustainable City programs. These fun events present a great way for the Portland Water Bureau to connect with the community as well as share water knowledge with the public.

Portland Sunday Parkways promotes healthy active living through a series of free events opening the city's largest public space - its streets - to walk, bike, roll, and discover active transportation while fostering civic pride, stimulating economic development, and represents the community, business, and government investments in Portland's vitality, livability and diversity.  

For additional information about this Sunday’s event and other free events this summer, visit the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s website.

Lindsay Wochnick
Community Information & Involvement

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY 06/21/13: Interstate 405 freeway on-ramp at N. Cook Street closed tonight at midnight for water system work

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Starting tonight at 12:00 midnight, Saturday, June 22, 2013, the Portland Water Bureau must close the north entrance on-ramp to the Interstate 405 freeway over the Fremont Bridge until 8:00 AM Saturday morning. The freeway on-ramp is located on N. Cook Street at N. Vancouver Avenue. The closure is necessary for bureau crews to install a new large water control valve and then repave the roadway.

Motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes, including using the Interstate 5 freeway southbound on-ramp from N. Alberta Street, east of N. Interstate Avenue.

Water Conservation Demonstration Garden Open for Visitors

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On July 10th, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, Portland Water Bureau’s Water Efficiency staff will be on hand at the Hazelwood Open Garden to answer questions, discuss the water wise features and distribute outdoor water efficiency kits.

Hazelwood Water Conservation Garden Open Garden

The demonstration garden was built in 2007 to showcase efficient irrigation, mulch choices and water-wise plants. The garden sits at the front entrance of the East Portland Neighborhood Office, and is a resource for east Portland neighbors. 

We hope to see you there! You are also invited to learn more about the Hazelwood Garden by watching a segment of Gardentime, a local gardening television show.

Sarah Murphy Santner
Water Efficiency 

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