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Portland Water Bureau

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

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Park Center Opening Rescheduled for March 2014

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau must postpone the re-opening of the new Park Center at Powell Butte Nature Park in southeast Portland until March 2014. It was scheduled to open in October 2013.

Powell Butte Nature Park Visitors Center under construction

The contractor and several of their sub-contractors on the bureau’s Powell Butte Reservoir 2 Project have requested more time to complete work on the new, much anticipated Visitors Center (classroom, interpretive displays, and restrooms), the main parking lot and improvements to the multi-use trail system.

The park continues to remain open to the public during posted visiting hours. Alternate parking locations remain available at SE Holgate Boulevard and SE 136th Avenue; the Bowling Center parking lot at SE Powell Boulevard and SE 164th Avenue, and at 14424 SE Center Street at the bureau’s Vivian Pump Station lot. 

Park users are reminded to keep out of the fenced, hazardous construction areas.

The Portland Water Bureau appreciates the public’s patience and cooperation as we near completion on the second 50-million gallon underground reservoir at Powell Butte and the exciting publicly-required park improvements.

Tim Hall
Public Information

PBOT TRAFFIC ADVISORY 11/08/13: Burnside Repaving to Close Eastbound Lanes Sunday and Monday; Last Stage of Repairs Following Water Main Break

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that the section of West Burnside Street damaged by a recent water main break is slated to be repaved this weekend.

Eastbound lanes of West Burnside Street between SW Broadway and Third Avenue will be closed from 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 10  through the evening of Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day. The work depends on dry weather and the schedule may change.

The repaving is the final stage of emergency repairs undertaken by the City of Portland bureaus of water and transportation following the rupture of a 24-inch water main in the early hours of Oct. 29. That break underneath West Burnside Street and Southwest Fourth Avenue caused localized flooding and affected eastbound lanes for two blocks around the site as well as one block of SW Fourth Avenue south of Burnside Street.

The Transportation Bureau reopened the street within four days of the break with a temporary paving fix to restore traffic flow and increase access to local businesses.  The intent was to return to the area when weather allows.

Crews need dry weather to complete paving, and the bureau expects a short window this weekend.

During paving, eastbound traffic will be detoured onto SW Broadway to SW Stark Street and then to SW Second Avenue before rejoining West Burnside Street.

One block of SW Fourth Avenue also will be repaved  and will be closed at SW Ankeny Street. Northbound travelers on SW Fourth Avenue will be rerouted at SW Pine Street to SW Second Avenue.

For more information, see the Transportation Bureau’s Oct. 31, 2013 news release.  For updates over the weekend, follow @PBOTinfo on Twitter.

Supporting Columns & Concrete Floor Pours in Process at Kelly Butte Reservoir

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Over the next several months, the 25-million gallon underground reinforced concrete reservoir being built a top Kelly Butte in Southeast Portland will begin to rise from the ground. 

The 394 by 296 foot underground reservoir will be constructed as two separate cells, each with a capacity of 12.5 million gallons. The two cells will operate independently of one another, providing the Portland Water Bureau with the ability to efficiently clean out or repair one side or the other, all while keeping the system in service.

By mid-September, crews overseen by the Portland Water Bureau and contactor Hoffman Construction Company had completed the excavation of the reservoir’s footprint. Starting in October, truck loads of concrete were brought onto the site and offloaded into a concrete pump truck that began pouring the 266 20-foot-by-20 foot squares that will comprise the floor of the reservoir.

Reservoir floor

The floor is being poured in a checker-board pattern which will allow for a precision watertight seal and help control shrinkage cracking. The reservoir’s floor is scheduled to be completely poured by spring 2014. 


In conjunction with the floor pours, supporting columns are in the process of being constructed using metal forms. Upon completion, 252 columns will support the roof of the reservoir.

After the Kelly Butte Reservoir is brought online in 2015, every five years Water Bureau crews will drain, inspect and wash down each cell.

Kelly Butte Reservoir - Model Rendering of Completed 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 LT2 rules.  The Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve not only east Portland, but it will also be a stopover to supply water to the Washington Park reservoir and southwest Portland area water storage tanks.

Learn more about the construction of the Kelly Butte Reservoir and the intricate network of underground piping, multiple vaults and overflow basin on the project webpage.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

New Report Raises Awareness on Water’s Importance to National Economy

By Teresa Black Add a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a report on The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy, November 2013. While recognizing that “…reliable information on the economic importance of water is, in many ways, elusive…” the report intends to supply decision-makers with the information necessary to guide decisions about the use and management of the nation’s water resources; and identifies other areas of research needed.

Portland Water Bureau customers may find some relevance to the information regarding drinking water supplies:

Cover of EPA Report

  • Ratepayers often face prices that do not reflect the long-term cost of delivering water to the user.
  • Public water supply systems across the nation are investing heavily in capital-intensive treatment technologies and source water protections to avoid the impacts of contaminated drinking water.
  • Approximately $385 billion is needed to be spent on water system infrastructure over the next 20 years nationwide, with most of those dollars needed for transmission and distribution lines.
  • There are an estimated 250,000 main breaks in theUSeach year. The frequencies of Boil Water Advisories will become increasingly common due to severe weather conditions and aging infrastructure.

Read the full report here.

Terry Black

Public Information