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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

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Kelly Butte Reservoir: Building for Today, Planning for Tomorrow

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July 2014 aerial photo of worksite
July 2014 aerial photo of worksite 

In just under two years, Portland Water Bureau and Hoffman Construction Company crews have made momentous progress in building the new 25-million-gallon underground reservoir.  As part of the project, a new access road, an overflow basin, multiple vaults and valve structures, and an intricate network of underground piping were constructed atop Kelly Butte in southeast Portland. 

  • Reservoir: Crews have completed pouring the reservoir’s 400-foot by 300-foot floor and roof, as well as 252 supporting columns, and its five walls (four sides, one divider wall). Work to install appurtenances inside the reservoir (washdown piping, stairs, railings) are underway. Electrical and instrumentation systems will be installed and operating to create a functioning facility. Testing of the new reservoir is scheduled to begin later this summer.
  • Valve Structures: During July, crews will install electrical systems and conduits, as well as the HVAC systems in the north and south valve structures. The structures are designed to protect equipment that precisely control water flow to and from the reservoir.
  • Pipe Connection: In February, crews began construction of a large concrete vault under the westbound lane in the 9700 block of SE Powell Boulevard. By late June, the vault was constructed, waterproofed, and backfilled. In early July, SE Powell Boulevard was resurfaced, striped, and paved.
  • Overflow Detention Basin & Stormwater Overflow Pond: Currently under construction is a new detention overflow basin and storm water pond. 

Upon completion in summer 2015, the Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve Portland's east‐side water customers, and be a stopover to supply water to the Washington Park reservoir and southwest Portland area water storage tanks.

For additional information on the Kelly Butte Reservoir project, visit

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

“Your Sustainable City” Awaits You at Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways Event

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Northeast Brochure for Sunday ParkwaysThis Sunday, July 27, the public is invited to Sunday Parkways in Northeast Portland for an afternoon of fun! Explore the Northeast Neighborhood Greenways while you make your way around the Northeast Portland route. Don’t forget to stop by Woodlawn, Alberta, and Fernhill Parks where a collection of fun activities, music, and delicious food awaits you.

Each year at the Sunday Parkways events, the Portland Water Bureau partners with several other City bureaus to provide information on sustainability-focused programs the Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Bureau of Development Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, Independent Police Review, Procurement Services and Portland Water Bureau offers to citizens, including transportation alternatives, water conservation, recycling, green building, parks services and more!


This Sunday, Portland Water Bureau staff will be at Alberta Park to distribute water conservation information and materials for 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.

Please stop by and to learn how you and your family can implement practices that will lead to healthier living for the planet and its inhabitants, big and small. 

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

Judi Ranton
Water Efficiency

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Completion of NW Portland Reservoir, Pump Station in the Home Stretch

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In October 2012, the Portland Water Bureau’s Engineering Services Group and Contractor Emery & Sons Construction, Inc. began work on the Forest Park Low Reservoir project. The project includes construction of a 1.3-million gallon reinforced-concrete underground drinking water reservoir and an adjacent 1,408 square-foot pump station on City property off NW Skyline Boulevard, near NW Hawkins Boulevard.

Aerial view of construction site in February 2013   Aerial view of construction site in July 2014
Left to right: Aerial views of the construction site in February 2013 and again in July 2014.

Less than two years later, the project is nearing completion.  By the end of July, the reservoir will be connected to the live water system and fully operational.

The reservoir will soon disappear from sight, being covered and compacted with layers of soil and eventually native grasses.  
The reservoir will soon disappear from sight, being covered and compacted with layers of soil and eventually native grasses.

Currently, water is filling the reservoir. Last week, crews applied hydroseed to help establish grass cover on the slopes adjacent to and covering the 73-foot diameter reservoir. Non-native shrubs and brush lining SW Skyline Boulevard are being removed and will later be replaced with native trees to help expand the neighborhood’s tree canopy.

During this week, Water Bureau engineers will work with contract staff to conduct a walk-through of the site and address punch-list items. The final electrical inspection and testing of the reservoir’s backflow preventer will occur during this time as well.

Most noticeable to the traveling public will be the paving of the NW Skyline Boulevard and NW Hawkins Boulevard intersection July 23 through July 24. The paving is the final step in restoring the roadway that crews excavated in May to connect a critical pipeline from the newly constructed reservoir to the water system.

The new reservoir is part of an overall plan to better serve the current and future water needs of residents living at higher elevations in the Northwest Hills district. It will also help to improve water capacity for emergency fire protection.

For additional information on the Forest Park Low Reservoir project, visit

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Temporary Closure Set for Section of Trail in George Himes Park

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A 350-foot section of the SW Terwilliger Trail in George Himes Park in Southwest Portland will be closed from August through October 2014.George Himes Park trail closure

A contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be installing pipe under the paved section of the SW Terwilliger Trail starting at SW Capitol Highway and ending approximately 350-feet south of the intersection of SW Terwilliger Boulevard and SW Capitol Highway. A safe alternative route around the construction zone will be provided on SW Terwilliger Boulevard. Trail users can also take the George Himes Trail to avoid the construction zone.

The paved walking path and natural area disturbed by the project will be restored once the project is completed, scheduled for November 2014.

The contractor is installing 3,400 feet of new 24-inch diameter pipe from the intersection of SW Burlingame Avenue and SW Chestnut Street, north along SW Burlingame Avenue, then turn east on SW Burlingame Terrace down to SW Terwilliger Boulevard. Once on SW Terwilliger Boulevard, the construction will continue north to the traffic island at SW Capitol Highway where new underground utility vaults will be installed.

More information can be found on the project website at


**RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER** TRAFFIC ADVISORY 07/17/14: Section of NW Skyline Boulevard Reduced to One Lane for Paving July 23-24, Expect Delays

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Official Traffic Advisory

The Portland Water Bureau will be alternating the closure of the west and eastbound lanes of NW Skyline Boulevard, between NW Hawkins Boulevard and NW Cornell Road, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23 through Thursday, July 24

The work was previously scheduled for July 21 through July 22 but rescheduled due to the weather. 

The alternating lane closure will allow crews to repave about 150-feet of roadway at the NW Hawkins and NW Skyline boulevards intersection. All traffic lanes will reopen when the work day ends.

Flaggers will be stationed to pass traffic through safely. Motorists may experience a 15- to 20-minute delay and are reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly stop. To avoid traffic delays, motorists should use alternate routes around the work site.

In May, the Water Bureau excavated a space under the westbound lane of NW Skyline Boulevard to connect a pipeline from the newly constructed Forest Park Low Reservoir to the water system.  The final step in the process to restore the roadway will be to repave the NW Hawkins intersection from curb to curb.

The 1.3 million gallon underground Forest Park Low Reservoir is part of an overall plan to better serve the current and future water needs of residents living at higher elevations in the Northwest Hills district. It will also help to improve water capacity for emergency fire protection. 

The new reservoir is now connected to the water system and will be brought online during the week of July 21. For additional information on the Forest Park Low Reservoir project, visit

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information