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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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Fall 2016 Bull Run Working Group Meeting Scheduled

By Teresa Black Add a Comment

The public is invited to attend the Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest Bull Run working group meeting on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. at the Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters located at 16400 Champion Way in Sandy Oregon. An agenda is available here.

Under the terms of a 20-year agreement between the Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest, staff engaged in the management of the Bull Run watershed, Portland’s primary drinking water source, will meet semi-annually each year. The purpose of these meetings is to review work plans, budgets and staff assignments; and communicate accomplishments and issues addressed during the course of management activities. An annual report is presented at the spring meetings.

For more information about the 20-year stewardship agreement between the Portland Water Bureau and the Mt. Hood National Forest, please go to Protection and Stewardship | The City of Portland, Oregon or

Washington Park Reservoir Project - September 2016 Update

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau and contractor Hoffman Construction Company have started a long-term capital improvement project to update the Washington Park reservoir site at 2403 SW Jefferson Street. The project complies with federal and state mandates, seismically strengthens key water infrastructure on Portland’s west side, and helps ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system.

A new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir will be constructed in the same footprint of existing Reservoir 3 (upper) with a reflecting pool/water feature on top. The new reservoir will preserve the historic drinking water function provided by the original reservoirs and be engineered to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake. When complete and online, the new reservoir will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, five hospital complexes, more than 60 parks, and the Oregon Zoo.

Existing Reservoir 4 (lower) will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland wildlife habitat area, bio-swale, and reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.

Construction started Sept. 12, 2016 and will proceed through 2020. A pause is scheduled to occur from 2020 to 2022 to allow soils to settle. From 2022 to 2024, construction of interpretive features, including the two reflecting pools and surface features, will conclude the project.

From September 12, 2016 until March 2018, major earthwork will occur along with the construction of shoring walls and the new underground reservoir. Work during this stage will cause temporary impacts to traffic, parking, and TriMet bus service.  

Access a map of park impacts online.

Road Closures

  • SW Sacajawea Boulevard is closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from the intersection of SW Sacajawea Boulevard/SW Rose Park Road/SW Wright Road to SW Park Place.
  • SW Sherwood Boulevard is closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from SW Sacajawea Boulevard to the Soccer Field.
  • SW Sherwood Boulevard is closed to all vehicle traffic from the Soccer Field to SW Kingston Avenue.
  • SW Sherwood Boulevard sidewalk is open for pedestrian use and bike traffic from SW Kingston Avenue to the Soccer Field.

Tour Buses, Free Park Shuttle

  • Tour buses and the free park shuttle are allowed access onto SW Sherwood Boulevard at SW Kingston Drive for turnaround at the Soccer Field.
  • No unauthorized vehicles will be permitted on SW Sherwood Blvd.

Traffic Flow Reversal

  • The flow of traffic is reversed on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • One-way traffic travels SW Lewis Clark Way and exits the park on SW Park Pl.

Multi-Use Shared Path

  • A designated path separate from vehicles is now available on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists can use the path to travel both in and out of the park on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • Cyclists are required to walk and not ride bicycles on the path. 


  • All parking spaces are closed on SW Lewis Clark Way, SW Sacajawea Blvd., and SW Sherwood Blvd.


  • Madison Ct. Trail: Pedestrians and cyclists can enter and exit the Madison Ct. Trail on SW Madison St. and SW Sacajawea Blvd. The trail will be closed intermittently; watch for detour signage.
  • Mac Trail: Open, not affected by project work. Continued access via SW Sherwood Blvd. and SW Sacajawea Blvd.

TriMet Bus Service

  • TriMet Bus Line 63 - Washington Park/ Arlington Heights is detoured.
  • The following stops are closed: 6177, 4346, and 4343
  • Check for updates.

Park Entrances

  • W Burnside Rd. to SW Tichner Dr.
  • SW Canyon Rd. to SW Knights Blvd.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd.

Park Exits

  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd. 
  • SW Knights Blvd. to SW Canyon Rd.
  • SW Lewis Clark Way to SW Park Pl.
  • SW Tichner Dr. to W Burnside Rd.  

The traffic plan spanning now until March 2018 has been approved by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The Water Bureau will be conducting evaluations and adjusting traffic flow as conditions require. The Water Bureau is working with Portland Parks & Recreation, Explore Washington Park, neighborhood associations, and the community to gather on-the-ground feedback and determine if changes are necessary. Please provide your traffic and signage feedback by phone, e-mail, or on the dedicated webpage.


General Site Work         

  • Construction trailers for project team members to work, meet, and manage the project have been delivered and installed. 
  • The Portland Bureau of Transportation approved traffic control plan spanning Sept. 12, 2016 to March 2018 was successfully implemented. The plan includes road closures, parking changes, a traffic flow reversal, and a multi-use shared path for pedestrians and cyclists along with more than 130 signs, reader boards, and flaggers to maintain a safe, uniform flow of traffic in Washington Park.
  • Vegetation and trees are in the process of being removed from around the project site. Of the approximately 210 trees to be removed, 19 percent (40 trees) are non-native/invasive. Roughly 47 percent (80 trees) of the healthy, non-invasive trees removed will be used in river restoration projects in the Sandy River Basin. These projects will help create pool habitat, increase cover, and improve spawning beds for migrating, spawning, and rearing fish populations. Several trees were also delivered to the Oregon Zoo for use in primate exhibits. After construction is completed, the Water Bureau has committed to plant 20 percent more trees and shrubs than required.

Reservoir 3 & 4 Work      

  • The wrought iron fencing surrounding Existing Reservoir 3 and 4 has been removed. Portions will be rehabilitated off‐site and incorporated into the redeveloped surface water feature. Prior to removal, the fence was photographed, documented, tagged, inventoried, and specially packaged for protection so that it could be taken off site for restoration, some for repurposing, and all for protection during construction.
  • The construction fencing surrounding the site has been installed.
  • The Weir Building, constructed in 1949 to screen water, has been removed. Its removal will provide the necessary space to build shoring that will in turn support the underground reservoir construction.
  • Large equipment is mobilizing on site for the installation of two shoring walls, one temporary and one permanent, to allow excavation for the new seismically reinforced underground reservoir fortress.

Photos of project work are accessible on the project's Flickr album.

Please contact us with questions, concerns, or to sign up to receive monthly project updates.

Visit the Portland Water Bureau Table at Sellwood/Milwaukie Sunday Parkways

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

The last Sunday Parkways event of the season is Sunday, Oct. 2 in the Sellwood/Milwaukie neighborhood. This is the first time ever that Sunday Parkways is expanding to Milwaukie. The new route will include Westmoreland, Sellwood, and Water Tower Parks plus the Milwaukie Farmers Market and the Milwaukie Business District. Stop by the Your Sustainable City booth at the event to share in some Sunday Parkways history in the making, and also enjoy the live music, delicious food, and sendoff for the season of this very fun and successful community event. 

The Water Event Station (WES) will be at the Your Sustainable City booth in Westmoreland Park, where you can get a drink of water and learn more about our water system, water sources, water quality, and how to use water wisely.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit  

Goodbye, Preparedness Month; Hello, Preparedness

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

We had a blast learning about Preparedness Month with you!

At the Portland Water Bureau, we prepare as part of our daily work - hardening the backbone of our water system and building storage that will last for generations.

This month, we shared with you the stories of your neighbors and their best preparedness efforts.

Your neighbors Darcelle of Darcelle XV Showplace, Neighborhood Emergency team member Catie and Victor of Caspian Kabob are prepared for an emergency by storing water. View their stories here:

Then we asked you to share your story. Make your own video to show your stored water. Post to or @PortlandWater on Twitter with the hashtag #ShowYourH2O and you’ll be entered to win a LifeStraw personal filter for your emergency kit.

We also created an “I ♥ Preparedness” display of many different options for water storage at home, from the LifeStraw personal filter to a 55 gallon drum and many, many options in between. Stackable WaterBricks were particularly popular. We brought our display throughout the city all month, demonstrating in downtown Portland, at the Portland Water Bureau’s Employee Safety Fair, at the Red Cross’ Prepare Out Loud event and at Aquifer Adventure.

In an emergency, everyone has a role to play. What’s your role?

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for an emergency is to have an emergency kit that includes water. People can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. In the Pacific Northwest, your kit should be able to sustain your entire household (pets too!) for 14 days. Experts predict that our region is overdue for a major earthquake that will severely damage water systems and other infrastructure. When this occurs, it will take time for emergency supplies to reach the greater Portland-metro area. You will need to rely on your own resources until help arrives.
Keep learning about safely storing water for an emergency. Need help getting started?

• See HOW to store your emergency H2O.
• See WHERE to store your emergency H2O.
• See WHAT types of containers to use for your emergency H2O.
• Using your own containers to store water for an emergency? Here’s how:

Check back at to keep learning.

Preparing Your Garden for a Change in Weather

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

It’s almost time to change your watering habits for the fall. This is a great time to prepare your garden and irrigation systems for the cold months ahead. Here are some tips:

  1. Compost your autumn leaves and other garden debris so you will have homemade mulch to add to your garden come spring.
  2. Add waterwise plants to your garden now so that they can use this fall's rainfall to start getting established. Get ideas from our Waterwise Plant Guide here.
  3. Remember to winterize your automatic sprinkler system and faucets. Taking time to winterize this fall will help to prevent broken pipes this winter and ensure that your system will function correctly when you set everything back up next spring.
  4. Give your lawn a little TLC. Fall is a great time to give your lawn a little pick me up for next spring and summer.

For more information about using water wisely, please visit