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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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Portland Water Bureau Offices Closed January 16 in Observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

By Brian Balla

In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017.

This includes both the Customer Service Call Center and the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the first floor at 1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 8 a.m. 

During the holiday, Water Bureau customers are invited to pay their bill in the following ways:

  • Online
  • Pay by phone by dialing 503-823-7770 and press 1
  • Drop off: Leave a payment in the Water Bureau's night box located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue to the left of the building's front doors

To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

It’s Fix-It Fair Season!

By Brian Balla

Water Bureau employees provide water-saving resources at a Fix-It Fair in 2015.

Upcoming Fix-It Fairs
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017
9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
George Middle School
10000 N Burr Ave.
Portland, OR 97203

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Madison High School
2735 NE 82nd Ave.
Portland, OR 97220

The Portland Water Bureau is a proud sponsor of the City of Portland’s Fix-It Fairs.

A Fix-It Fair is a free event with exhibits and workshops that cover topics including water and energy savings, food and nutrition, recycling, home weatherization, gardening and growing food, yard care and composting and transportation. 

Attendees can also get free lead blood testing, free lunch, free professional childcare and hourly door prizes. Free minor bike tune-ups and flat-tire repairs are available for students and families.

Fix-It Fairs are presented by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability with support from the Energy Trust of Oregon, KBOO, KUNP Univision, Pacific Power, the Portland Water Bureau and the City of Portland.

For more information about Fix-It Fairs, visit

Frozen Water Pipes and Your Home: What You Need to Know

By Brian Balla

The Water Bureau reminds customers that the best way to handle any sort of water emergency in your home including broken pipes is to be prepared before it happens.

So what happens if you’ve prepared your home plumbing for winter and your pipes still freeze?

First, to determine if pipes are frozen, turn on faucets throughout the home. If some faucets work and others do not, you may have a frozen pipe.

What If Pipes Freeze?

  • Thaw plumbing lines safely with a hair dryer. Once the pipe has thawed, make sure to leave a little water running so the pipe doesn’t freeze again.
  • Do not open the water meter box near the curb. It could increase the chance of freezing water at the meter.

What If Pipes Break?

  • Close your main water shut-off valve to your house. Most shutoff valves are located where the water line enters the house, either at the front of your house where you connect your hose, or basement near the hot water heater, or inside the garage.
  • Turn off the water heater. Locate the dedicated shut-off valve on the cold water inlet.

Remember, the repair of broken pipes on the customer’s side of the meter is the customer’s responsibility. Contact a plumber for repair work.

Get Cold Weather Plumbing Preparation Tips

Find out how to prepare your home water systems for freezing temperatures with this helpful cold-weather preparation guide from the Portland Water Bureau.

Be Our Eyes and Ears: Winter is Main Break Season

Main breaks, service leaks and frozen water meters can also occur as a result of cold weather. If you observe running water in the street, believe you are not receiving water from your meter or experience an urgent water problem, please contact the Portland Water Bureau's 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503‐823‐4874.

Water Bureau Crews Work Around the Clock Fixing Cold-Weather Water Emergencies

By Brian Balla

Water Bureau maintenance crews repair pipes

Over the weekend, Portland Water Bureau crews were busy responding to emergency shut offs, out of water calls (due to frozen pipes) and six main breaks throughout the Portland region. Two main breaks each occurred in Southwest, Northeast and Southeast Portland.

Thank you to our dedicated maintenance crews for working hard to fix these cold-weather water emergencies.

Main Breaks: How to Report Them and What to Expect

Please be our eyes and ears.

If you suspect that a main is broken in your neighborhood, please call the Water Bureau’s 24-hour emergency line at 503-823-4874.

Learn more about water main breaks, and what to expect if a main breaks in your area, by visiting the Water Bureau’s Main Break Season info page.

Water Bureau Finds Cryptosporidium in Bull Run Water: City to increase monitoring efforts of drinking water source

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Today, the Portland Water Bureau received results that Cryptosporidium was detected in a routine water sample collected Monday, January 2, from the Bull Run watershed, which provides drinking water to Portland and neighboring communities. The lab results show that two individual Cryptosporidium oocysts were present in a 50-liter (~13 gallons) sample of water.

At this time, we do not believe there is any public health risk as a result of this detection. The public is not being asked to take any precautions.

The Portland Water Bureau currently does not treat for the parasite because of a variance issued by the State of Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in 2012. Instead, the Portland Water Bureau is required to conduct routine monitoring for Cryptosporidium and notify the public of any detections.

* The Portland Water Bureau tests at least 100 liters per week from the source water intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially pathogenic microorganism.
* This detection at the intake is the first since the Portland Water Bureau began operation under the variance in April 2012 and the first since December 30, 2011, when a single oocyst was also detected. These two instances are the only detections that have occurred since August 2002.
* As required by the conditions of the treatment variance, the Portland Water Bureau will begin increased monitoring next week at the source water intake for at least one year to demonstrate whether the Cryptosporidium concentration is less than 0.075 oocysts per 1,000 liters.

"Laboratory results indicate a detection of an extremely small amount of Cryptosporidium," said Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. "The Water Bureau will increase monitoring at the drinking water source, as we agreed to do as a condition of the variance. The variance continues to be valid despite this single detection."

The City has consulted with the Multnomah County Health Department and OHA. Public health officials have determined that no special precautions for Portland's drinking water are currently necessary, aside from increased monitoring and testing efforts currently underway. As is always recommended, people with severely weakened immune systems should seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care provider.

"Since animals can carry certain types of Cryptosporidium, if we test enough water we will eventually find this parasite, even from a highly-protected source like the Bull Run" said Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis. "Fortunately we have never had an outbreak of Cryptosporidium in the 120 years we have been drinking water from the Bull Run." The county's ongoing surveillance has shown no unexplained increase in Cryptosporidium cases.

The Water Bureau is performing a thorough investigation that may include additional sampling and will attempt to identify any possible sources of the Cryptosporidium detection. The Water Bureau will notify the public of any additional detections.

Additional information regarding Water Bureau's treatment variance is available at Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.