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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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Making Progress on Interstate Renovations

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Structural steel roof trusses, columns, beams and joists were erected in September 2013. 

The 11-acre Interstate facility accommodates approximately 240 employees and includes a water control center, water quality laboratory, material storage area, vehicle parking and administrative offices. Construction and maintenance field personnel and associated heavy construction equipment are also supported and staged from this facility.

During the $35 million Interstate Renovation Project, the Maintenance Building will be replaced with a highly-efficient facility to meet the Water Bureau’s current Operation and Maintenance programs. Incorporating the most current energy design criteria, it will be substantially more economical to operate. The new buildings and campus will be designed and constructed to comply with the City’s Green Building Policy and to obtain a LEED Gold certification. The entire project will have significant site improvements.

September 2013 Update
The structural steel roof trusses, columns, beams and joists are now in place on the Shop, Stores and Warehouse Building. The next step in the project is to install the framing, or stud walls on the building. Waterproof wall barriers will then go up. Once done, the exterior walls, or skin, will be applied. The exterior skin is comprised of several different materials including brick, metal cladding, aluminum windows and plastic wall panels. 

The exterior of the building will be completed in late 2013. Workers will be working on the building’s interior throughout the winter months.

For project information, contact Terry Black, Public Information, at 503-823-1168. For additional updates, visit the project webpage.

Terry Black
Public Information

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Maintenance & Construction Crews Hard at Work throughout the City

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Portland Water Bureau Maintenance & Construction (M&C) crews are called upon to conduct a variety of tasks in order to upgrade and maintain the water system that provides fire protection and delivers high quality drinking water to almost a million Portlanders. 

Crews working around the city can be found removing, installing and repairing water meters, hydrants, valves and pipelines. They work in all weather, and emergency crews are prepared to respond in the dead of night, when needed.  Assigned work can be straightforward or complex, and working conditions can sometimes present unique challenges.

 Narrow streets like this one in the West Hills create unique safety and access challenges for our field crews.

A recent water main replacement project in Portland’s southwest hills proved complex for the M&C crew connecting the newly installed eight-inch ductile iron water main to the two existing mains on each end. The road was not only narrow, but in fact was the only way in and out of a system of dead-end streets. Residents and emergency vehicles needed access to the road with very short wait times. The M&C crews worked fast to finish the “tie-ins” and keep the road clear for residents.

Terry Black

Public Information

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Dye Study Conducted at Bull Run River

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Starting in the summer of 2014, the Portland Water Bureau will be required to meet lower water temperature targets in the lower Bull Run River to improve habitat conditions for fish. 

The Water Bureau has been preparing to meet those requirements. The rock weir at the downstream end of the stilling basin below Dam 2 was removed because it held water up and caused heating. The north water intake tower at Dam 2 is currently being reconstructed to allow cold water to be stored for summer use. The Bureau will be releasing some of that cold water in the early morning each summer day so that the late afternoon peak temperature downstream at the Larson’s Bridge site will be lower. 

With the rock weir now gone, the Bureau needs to again determine how long it will take water to travel from Headworks to Larson’s Bridge.  This information is vital in helping to determine the timing of the release of cold water. 

Assistant Program Specialist Ross Turkus releases dye just below Headworks.
Assistant Program Specialist Ross Turkus releases dye just below Headworks.

To figure this out, staff recently completed a study using fluorescent dye introduced into the Bull Run River. Senior Engineer Jeff Leighton led the study team that released dye while the river was running at a 20 and 40 cubic feet per second flow, the range of river flows that will be used in the future. Portland Water Bureau fish biologists confirm that the bright-colored dye that was selected for the test does not harm aquatic life. 

Engineering Intern James Ferris sampling for dye near Larson’s Bridge.
Engineering Intern James Ferris sampling for dye near Larson’s Bridge.

Water samples were collected and analyzed using an instrument called a fluorometer.  The fluorometer can detect dye concentrations down to one (1) part per billion in water. It took on average about 11.5 hours for water to get to Larson’s at 20 Cubic Feet per Second (cfs) and seven (7) hours at 40 cfs.

Jeff Leighton
Engineering Services Group

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Tower Cranes Used for Reservoir Construction

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Tower cranes will aid in reservoir construction.

Perched high above Kelly Butte is the newest piece of equipment which will be used to help construct the new 25-million gallon underground reservoir.

The tower crane, rising 145 feet in the air and installed on the north edge of the reservoir site, is easily visible from the I-205 freeway, SE Powell Boulevard and SE Division Street. In December, a second 118-feet tall tower crane will be erected on the south side of the reservoir site.

Tower cranes are often a common fixture at major construction sites. Atop Kelly Butte, construction crews overseen by Hoffman Construction Company will use the cranes to lift steel and rebar, concrete form work and falsework, large tools and a wide variety of other building materials as the reinforced concrete reservoir takes shape.

The two cranes will be onsite for the remainder of the project.

The construction of the reservoir, along with the intricate network of underground piping, multiple vaults and an overflow basin, 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 in 2015. The Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve not only east Portland, but it will also supply water to the Washington Park reservoir and southwest Portland area water storage tanks.

For additional information on the project, visit http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/kellybutte.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

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Join Volunteer Restoration at Powell Butte Nature Park

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On the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, the public is invited to volunteer alongside the Friends of Powell Butte Nature Park, Hands On Greater Portland and Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) to perform needed park and trail restoration work at Powell Butte Nature Park.

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, 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. 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

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