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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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City's Emergency Coordination Center construction gets underway; Water Bureau offices included

By Robin Hagedorn 0 Comments | Add a Comment

L-R: Mayor Adams, Carmen Merlo, David Shaff, Commissioner LeonardToday, (from left) Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Bureau of Emergency Management Director Carmen Merlo, Portland Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff, and City Commissioner Randy Leonard broke ground on the City’s new Emergency Coordination Center (ECC), located at SE 99th Avenue and SE Powell Boulevard.

The ECC will be the City’s coordination hub during a disaster. It will bring together City bureaus in a single location during an emergency to harness critical response resources, support elected officials in making policy decisions, and provide safety information to the public.

The $19.8 million facility will also provide a permanent home to the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Portland Water Bureau’s Emergency Management and Security Offices. The new building will be located directly adjacent to the existing Bureau of Emergency Communication facility, or 911 Center.

The City has needed a new ECC since 2007, when it was first identified that the current facility is underequipped, undersized and too geographically spaced apart to accommodate an effective response to a regional disaster.  The new ECC will correct  these shortcomings, and improve the City’s ability to handle an earthquake, flood or other major emergency for decades to come.

The facility was designed by Michael Willis Associates; the general contractor Emerick Construction.

Tim Hall

Public Outreach


Cycle the Well Field - Saturday, June 2nd

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Free bicycle ride to learn about groundwater protection.

Annual Cycle the Well Field ride attracts bicyclists to learn about groundwater protection.

You are invited to join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council this Saturday, June 2nd for a bicycle tour through Portland's Columbia South Shore Well Field and Groundwater Protection Area. Located in the Columbia Slough Watershed, the well field is capable of producing close to 100 million gallons of water per day. The well field is used as an emergency back up source to the Bull Run reservoirs and to augment the region's water supply during the summer when demand for water is high. It is because of this excellent groundwater source that Bull Run can be maintained as an unfiltered water system. Come join us to learn more. 

The Ride: Portland Water Bureau staff will reveal the mysteries of groundwater as you ride through the groundwater protection area. At several stops along the way, you will learn about local hydrology, how groundwater provides flexibility and reliability to the city's water supply and how you can protect this important resource. Bring your bike, helmet, water, and lunch. Dress for the weather.

Length and Difficulty: The ride is approximately 16 miles over relatively flat terrain. The ride isat a slow to moderate pace with multiple stops and lunch at Blue Lake Park. Suitable for advanced beginners and intermediate riders due to the length and possible headwinds. Ages 12 and up are welcome. Helmets and pre-registration are required.

Start/Finish Location: aloft Hotel at Cascade Station (MAX Station) - 9920 NE Cascades Parkway, Portland, OR 97220

Date and Time: Saturday, June 2, 2012. 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Space is limited so register now by contacting Melissa Sandoz at or call 503-281-1132 or register on-line.

Rebecca Geisen

Water Resources Program Manager

Water service interruption scheduled for section of Sandy Blvd, NE 121st to NE 141st

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Tonight, Tuesday, May 29, maintenance crews from the Portland Water Bureau must temporarily shut off water service for many houses, apartments and businesses along NE Sandy Boulevard, between NE 121st and NE 141st Avenues, and north of NE Prescott Street.  The night-time shutdown will be from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Affected residents and business owners were notified last week.

For more information, please call Portland Water Bureau Public Outreach, at 503-823-6926.

Tim Hall

Public Outreach

Oregon Health Authority Denies Portland's Request for More Time to Complete Reservoir Compliance Schedule

By Teresa Black 3 Comments | Add a Comment

PORTLAND, OR– The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division Drinking Water Program (OHA) today denied the Portland Water Bureau’s request for an adjustment to its regulatory schedule to replace the uncovered drinking water reservoirs at Mt.Tabor and Washington parks. The decision by OHA means that Portland’s existing regulatory schedule to end the use of the uncovered reservoirs by December 31, 2020 remains in effect. Portland had requested an extension of that schedule to the year 2026.

“We are very disappointed in this decision,” said Portland Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff. “We made a case to the state that was very similar to the one made by New York City in successfully extending its reservoir compliance schedule. Oregon is clearly choosing a very different approach for administering federal drinking water rules.”

The Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2), issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2006 requires that all uncovered finished drinking

water reservoirs in the United States either be covered or have treatment facilities installed at the outlets. In March 2009 Portland entered into a compliance schedule with EPA to end the use of its uncovered reservoirs by the year 2020. When the State of Oregon took primacy for the rule in July 2009, the Oregon Health Authority assumed enforcement responsibilities for the compliance schedule.

Portland submitted a detailed request for an extension to its uncovered reservoir compliance schedule in February 2012 based largely on the challenges of successfully managing the several large design and construction projects that would be necessary to complete the work by 2020. Similar arguments about the sequencing of large projects were cited by New York City when it succeeded in its request for an extension to its own reservoir compliance schedule in 2009.

To view the February 10, 2012 Portland Water Bureau deferral request, click here.

To view the May 17, 2012 letter from OHA denying deferral request, click here.

Terry Black

Public Outreach

Traffic Advisory Update- Water construction extended on SW Market Street at SW Naito Parkway

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Citing the need for more time due to difficult working conditions, the contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will continue work in the intersection of SW Naito Parkway at SW Market Street until Friday, May 18. The work could be completed sooner.

Work hours are 9:00 am - 3:00 pm and the signals will be turned off at SW Market and Naito. Flaggers will be used to get vehichles, bicycles and pedestrians through. Expect delays. The signals will be turned with flaggers.

With a smaller work zone, fewer traffic lanes will be closed and the signal lights will be on. Flaggers and traffic cones will help move motorists past the site. Motorists and bicyclists are encouraged to find alternate routes to avoid delays.

This work is part of the second phase of the Portland Water Bureau's Westside Header Project to replace an aging supply pipeline that is critical to the city’s water system.

For more information, contact Terry Black, Public Outreach, 503-823-1168 or 503-823-8978