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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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Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Portland’s drinking water meets or surpasses all public health standards.

The Portland Water Bureau released its annual water quality report online. The federally-required report outlines how Portland is continuing to deliver clean and safe drinking water to nearly a million customers.

“Delivering safe and high-quality drinking water to our customers is the Water Bureau’s top priority,” said Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr. “During this time of heightened interest in water quality, we encourage you to learn more about what goes into delivering safe water to your tap.”

The report highlights the steps Portland is taking to improve its seismic resilience and general information about Portland’s drinking water system. The report, which summarizes water quality results for 2015, outlines that Portland’s drinking water met or surpassed all public health standards.

Portland’s drinking comes from two high-quality sources – the clean, cold and protected water of the Bull Run Watershed and Columbia South Shore Well Field.

Among other information, the report indicates that less than 10 percent of high-risk homes tested have lead levels greater than the Environmental Protection Service’s action level of 15 parts per billion. These are homes where the plumbing is known to contain lead solder and represent a worst-case scenario for lead in water. The estimate of homes that have exceeded when you look at all of the homes tested by Portland, is approximately 3 percent.

The Portland Water Bureau system does not have lead pipes and our distribution system has never used lead service lines. The Portland Water Bureau has worked to remove known sources of lead from system.

Customers concerned about lead in water may wish to request a free lead-in-water test kit. These are available by contacting the LeadLine at 503-988-4000 or Since lead in water can come from faucets and brass fixtures as well as lead solder, testing their water is the easiest way to check for lead in their home plumbing. To learn more about reducing lead exposure, visit

The Portland Water Bureau mailed a postcard last week to inform every customer about the availability of the report online. Customers are able to request a paper copy, either online or by phone. The report is available in large font for the visually impaired. Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Spanish and can be found online or by calling the Portland Water Bureau Water Line at 503-823-7525.

The report is available online at:

Join Our Team: Customer Accounts Specialist I

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Water Bureau is not just a place where people work, but a place where people come to stay. We have a strong commitment to customer service, equity, diversity, responsiveness, community involvement, and environmental stewardship. 

Current Job Opportunity

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Customer Accounts Specialist I Full Time $17.77 - $25.62 Hourly Mon. 06/27/16 10:35 AM Pacific Time Apply Here

Learn More about the Water Bureau 


For more information on jobs at the Water Bureau, contact the Water Administrative Manager at 503-823-1956 or by e-mail

Water at Work - Mobile Pumping Unit Training

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Operating Engineers Kevin H., Kevin S., Tom, Brian, and Sam train alongside
Portland Fire & Rescue to operate one of the newer pumping units.

The team of Operating Engineers (OE) use mobile pumping units (retired fire engines) for pump station bypass operations in the event of power loss and for system pumping to accommodate shutdowns.


The OEs operate and test these pumpers annually at various facilities in our system.

Water at Work - Needle Valve Refurbished

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Left - The crane truck lifted the need valve from the barge below.
Watershed Specialist III Craig observes the process.

Right - Construction Equipment Operator Conway and
Watershed Specialist I John work to reassemble the valve.

In May 2015, the 8,000-pound Needle Valve #1 was removed from the face of Dam 1 in the Watershed for refurbishing. This past April, Sandy River Station crew members successfully reinstalled the new and improved needle valve, now ready for use during the 2016 summer supply season.

Watershed Specialist II Fred and Operating Engineer III John guide the valve back into place.

Removing the needle valve was no small task. It required using a crane on the dam to lower the valve it to a barge below where it was transferred to shore. A large crane then pulled the valve off the barge to dry land where it was worked on. 

Watershed Specialist I Keith pushed the barge to the base of the needle valve platform using a Jon boat.
Construction Equipment Operator Conway and Watershed Specialist I John rig up the valve to the crane.

A big thanks to the capable and efficient Sandy River Station crew!

Water at Work - Installing New Injectors

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

During the groundwater off season, Operating Engineers Eric and Jasmine (not shown in photo) removed the old PVC injectors and installed new stainless retractable injectors.

During the 2015 groundwater augmentation run, one of the hypochlorite injectors used to treat the Well Field water before entering our distribution system unexpectedly failed. This caused a temporary shutdown of the chemical injection in order to make an emergency repair.

To ensure the groundwater system would not be affected by a future injector malfunction, stainless retractable injectors were installed. These new injectors are designed to be removed from the pipe without having to shut down the groundwater system. This is one of the many system improvements that have been made since the last groundwater run.

Special thanks to Groundwater Operating Engineers Eric and Jasmine for preparing the Groundwater Pump Station for the next run!