Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Water Bureau

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


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

More Contact Info

Learn Water-Wise Planting Techniques at the Hardy Plant Society’s Fall Plant Fest September 7th!

Add a Comment

While it feels a little early to start thinking about fall, the recent rain is a reminder that here in Portland fall is the perfect time to make changes to your garden. Planting in the fall is an easy water-wise gardening technique which maximizes the winter rains to help establish new plants.

David Salman of High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will begin the day with a lecture tailored to Northwest gardeners.This weekend, the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO) will be celebrating the advance of autumn with a plant sale and lecture program titled “Water-Wise Plants for Northwest Gardens”. It will feature water–wise gardening expert David Salman, founder and horticulturist at High Country Gardens. His lecture will address how he brings drought-tolerant plants into cultivation and as well as water-wise gardening techniques tailored to our climate. 

The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, is a non-profit volunteer organization with over 2,300 members promoting education around a wide range of plants and gardening techniques.

WHEN: Saturday, September 7, 2013, Program runs 9:30 am to 11:00 am (doors open 8:30 am); plant sale runs 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm (11:00 am to 5:00 pm for those who attend the lecture)
WHERE: PCC Rock Creek, 17705 NW Springville Road, Portland OR, 97229 (just off NW 185th Avenue north of Highway 26)
COST: Lecture: $10.00 HPSO members ($20.00 for non-members). 

Learn more and register for the event here.

Sabrina Litton
Water Efficiency

Kelly Butte Reservoir: Rising from the Ground

Add a Comment

In October 2012, Portland Water Bureau and Hoffman Construction Company began construction to replace the 10-million gallon above ground steel tank atop Kelly Butte in southeast Portland with a 25-million gallon underground reinforced concrete reservoir. The Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve not only east Portland, but it will also supply water into southwest Portland.

The project will allow Portland to comply with federal rules that will lead to the three Mount Tabor open reservoirs being disconnected from the city’s water system.

Kelly Butte Reservoir project site in December 2012 Kelly Butte Reservoir project site in June 2013
December 2012 – June 2013 

Within the past 11 months, crews prepared the butte for the new reservoir, a temporary haul road, an intricate network of underground piping, multiple vaults and an overflow basin. 

Inlet and Outlet Pipes
Inlet and Outlet Pipes

Over the summer, the site continued to be excavated to ensure ample room for the two individual cells that will comprise the 25-million-gallon reservoir. 

East Cell Piping
East Cell Piping

Inlet and outlet pipes that will run under the reservoir have been placed and will soon be encased in concrete to provide seismic stability and support for the pipes.

Conduit 3 Meter Vault North Valve Vault
Left: Conduit 3 Meter Vault, Right: North Valve Vault

The floor slabs for the Parkrose meter vault, North valve vault and the Conduit 3 meter vault foundation have been poured and the exterior wall construction for each structure is in process. 

Within the next six months, the construction site will look significantly different. The 25-million gallon reservoir will begin to take shape with multiple concrete slab pours and wall and interior column construction.  Pipes will be encased in concrete and buried, and the concrete vaults will be fully constructed.

In the winter of 2013 and 2014, crews will tie-in Conduit 3 at SE Powell Boulevard. Conduit 3 - installed and placed online in 1925 - will deliver water directly from the Bull Run Reservoir 2 to Kelly Butte Reservoir. Kelly Butte is projected to become operational in the winter of 2014 with the entire project slated for completion in summer 2015.

For additional project information and photos, please visit  

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Pirates of All Ages Invited to a Free Family Festival

Add a Comment

Ahoy, mateys!  

 Celebrate groundwater at Aquifer Adventure!

Join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for Aquifer Adventure, a FREE pirate themed festival all about groundwater!

Aquifer Adventure flyerWhen:  Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm

Where: Portland Water Bureau Canoe Launch, 16650 NE Airport Way 

Come dressed in yer finest pirate togs ready to celebrate the importance of our own hidden treasure – GROUNDWATER – a critical component of the region’s drinking water system.

Learn how to protect groundwater while you search for hidden treasure, set sail on a pirate canoe, build an edible aquifer, transform yourself into a molecule of water traveling through the ground and more! Plus free pirate t-shirts for the kids!

There will be food for purchase and the event is suitable for all ages. No registration is required and all the activities are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

We hope you can join us for the fun! 

For additional information, visit or contact 503-281-1132.

Doug Wise
Groundwater Protection

September 2013 Volunteer Restoration Event at Powell Butte Nature Park

Add a Comment

Photo courtesy of Friends of Powell Butte Nature ParkOn the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, the public is invited to join the Friends of Powell Butte Nature Park, Hands On Greater Portland and Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and volunteer their time performing needed park and trail restoration work on Powell Butte in Southeast Portland.

On Saturday, September 14th, restoration projects will include trail maintenance, fence repairs, invasive plant species removal, trash pick-up and other tasks.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, sturdy walking shoes, and bring a hat and water bottle as hot temperatures are predicted. Volunteers will meet at the Gates Property parking lot, located SE Holgate Boulevard, east of 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.

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. 

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 503-823-6131.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Join the Portland Water Bureau's Online Community!
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. See us on Flickr.

Be Ready! September is National Preparedness Month

Add a Comment

Are you prepared for an emergency? Let us help!September 2013 marks the tenth annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public on preparing for emergencies, including natural disasters. The Pacific Northwest has its own challenges that can result in emergency situations. Extreme weather is the most likely cause of  local emergencies and preparing for earthquakes which are rare but can happen in the Metro area. To learn more about earthquake preparedness and participate in the Great OregonShakeOut, visit

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Portland Water Bureau encourages people to begin preparing for emergencies at home, work and within the community. Throughout the month of September, the Water Bureau will be providing information, resources, and tips on the Water Blog to assist you with emergency preparedness, focusing on assembling an emergency kit, developing an emergency plan, staying informed and taking part in activities to  help make your community safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to an emergency situation.

Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management is participating with Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) in the 30 Days, 30 Ways Preparedness Game. For information, visit or the PBEM website for more preparedness information.

Check back on the Water Blog each Monday for the rest of the month of September for tips on preparing yourself and your family for an emergency.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Join the Portland Water Bureau's Online Community!
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. See us on Flickr.