Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 02/21/14: Lane Shifts on SE Powell Boulevard, between SE 97th & SE 100th Avenues, Begin Sunday, February 23rd to Prepare for Water Vault Construction

Add a Comment

During the night and early morning hours beginning Sunday, February 23, through Tuesday, February 25, 2014, Portland Water Bureau crews must close one lane of westbound traffic on SE Powell Boulevard between SE 97th Avenue and SE 100th Avenue, to prepare a work zone for an upcoming water vault excavation project. Motorists traveling east and westbound on SE Powell Boulevard will be directed by flaggers past the work zone.

After the preparation work and scheduled to start on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, a contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will begin a four-month long project to construct a large concrete vault under the westbound lane in the 9700 block of SE Powell Boulevard, directly in front of the Central Church of the Nazarene. The 30 foot wide by 60 foot long vault will house complex piping that will connect to the city’s new 25-million gallon underground reservoir atop Kelly Butte.

This work was previously scheduled to begin in early February, but was delayed due to inclement weather.

What motorists traveling on SE Powell Boulevard need to know:

  • During the vault construction, there will be no traffic lane closures on SE Powell Boulevard.
  • East and westbound traffic lanes on SE Powell Boulevard, between SE 97th Avenue and SE 100th Avenue, will be shifted around the work zone. 
  • The bicycle lane on that section of SE Powell Boulevard will be closed for safety reasons during the construction.
  • Northbound access to Interstate 205 freeway will be open.
  • The sidewalk along the south-side of SE Powell Boulevard will be open.
  • The sidewalk on the north-side of SE Powell Boulevard will be closed.
  • TriMet’s bus stops on SE Powell Boulevard near the work zone will be open. 

Please use caution when traveling on SE Powell Boulevard. Be sure to watch for construction workers, be ready for sudden stops, and obey all traffic controls and flaggers. To avoid traffic delays, motorists and bicyclists should use alternate routes. 

Construction of the vault is scheduled for completion this summer 2014, under normal weather conditions.

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 

Join the Portland Water Bureau's Online Community!  
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. See us on Flickr.

Water Bureau Submits FY 2014-15 Requested Budget

Add a Comment

On February 3, 2014, the Portland Water Bureau submitted its Fiscal Year 2014-15 Requested Budget to the City’s Budget Office.   

The Requested Budget and rate proposal was extensively reviewed and then unanimously approved by the Water Bureau’s Budget Advisory Committee (BAC).  The BAC consists of volunteer members of the public, front-line staff, and labor representatives who provided input and feedback on the bureau’s five year Capital Improvement Program and budget priorities from bureau directors and senior managers.

Staff from the Office of Management and Finance, Commissioner Nick Fish’s policy director, and members of the Portland Utility Review Board (PURB) participated. There was also an opportunity at each open meeting for public comments.

One of the BAC members noted, “The bureau is to be commended for keeping rate increases down despite many infrastructure challenges. It has been a pleasure to serve on this committee. We appreciate the management leadership and Commissioner Fish’s engagement.”

The next steps in the budget process include public hearings, City Budget Office budget review, and City Council work sessions. In late April 2014, Mayor Charlie Hales will release the proposed budget decisions and then on June 19, 2014, the City Council will vote to adopt next year’s budget.

To review the Water Bureau’s FY 2014-15 Requested Budget, visit:

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information 

Join the Portland Water Bureau's Online Community!  
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. See us on Flickr.

Public Invited to “Online” Open House; Provide Your Feedback on the Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project

Add a Comment

New Reservoir 3? 
New Reservoir 3? 

Throughout this month, the Portland Water Bureau is seeking feedback on the community recommended concept for the visible features of the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project through a virtual online open house. Comments collected will be shared with the project team and the Community Sounding Board, who are park users, neighborhood association representatives, and Portland Parks & Recreation staff providing project input and feedback to the Portland Water Bureau.

Click here to enter the online open house.

Over the past seven months, the Portland Water Bureau has held multiple open houses, Community Sounding Board meetings, community briefings and hosted a mailing list and project website to facilitate gathering public input and feedback about the project. Visit to learn more and explore the various ways to provide project feedback.

The Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project will replace upper Reservoir 3 with a 15-million gallon underground tank and repurpose the existing Reservoir 4 to serve as an overflow and stormwater retention/de-chlorination facility. In addition, due to a historic landslide – dating back to the original reservoir construction in 1894 -- the Water Bureau must take steps to stabilize the hillside.

The project is slated to start in spring 2016 and be completed by December 2020.

Tim Hall
Public Information

Join the Portland Water Bureau's Online Community!  
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. See us on Flickr.

Portland Water Bureau Offices Closed Monday, February 17th in Observance of Presidents' Day

Add a Comment

In observance of the Presidents' Day Holiday on Monday, February 17, 2014, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed. This includes the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the first floor at 1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

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

  • Online
  • By phone using a credit or debit card: Dial 503-823-7770, press 1
  • Drop off: Leave a payment in the Water Bureau's night box located outside the front door at 1120 SW 5th Avenue.

Customers are reminded to contact 503-823-7525 with questions regarding water quality or pressure. To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

Carrie Popenuk
Customer Services Group

Join the Portland Water Bureau's Online Community!  
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. See us on Flickr.

OBP Documentary Film Details Bull Run, Portland’s Ingenious, Gravity-Fed Water System

Add a Comment

Bull Run Lake 
Bull Run Lake 

Starting Monday, February 17th, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) will begin re-airing a 2010 historical documentary titled, “Bull Run.”

The documentary explores the Bull Run watershed, the primary drinking water supply for the City of Portland and its 19 wholesale customers. The protected Bull Run watershed is located 26 miles from downtown Portland in the Sandy River basin on the Mt. Hood National Forest. The 102 square-mile protected Bull Run watershed collects water from rain and snowmelt that then flows to the Bull Run River and its tributaries.

The river drains into two watershed reservoirs, where more than 17 billion gallons are stored. The Portland Water Bureau treats the water before it enters the three conduits that transport it to Portland. The water moves through the system by gravity, requiring no fossil fuel consumption to move water from its intake to the main reservoir at Powell Butte Nature Park, where a second reservoir is now under construction.

The Bull Run documentary combines old photographs and charts with modern aerial footage and geographic information systems mapping of the Bull Run watershed, detailing how it was identified back in 1886 and showing viewers the brilliantly effective system for transporting and distributing water to serve more than 900,000 residents in the Portland metropolitan region.

During the documentary, Casey Short, author of the only full-length book on Bull Run, recounts the early history while Dave Rowley, one of the few people to have actually lived in the watershed, shares stories from his childhood there.

Other contributors to the program include: Catherine Howells, a water historian who teaches a course on the Bull Run at Portland State University; Rick McClure, a regional historian for the U.S. Forest Service; Richard Robbins, retired Water Resource Program Manager for the Water Bureau; and the Water Bureau’s Chief Engineer Michael Stuhr.

On OPB Channel 10, the “Bull Run” documentary will air on the following dates and times:

  • Monday, February 17 at 9:00 PM
  • Wednesday, February 19 at 2:00 AM
  • Wednesday, February 19 at 11:00 PM 
  • Friday, February 21 at 4:00 AM
  • Monday, August 12 at 10:30 PM
  • Wednesday, August 14 at 3:30 AM

The documentary can also be viewed online at OPB’s website

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Join the Portland Water Bureau's Online Community!  
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. See us on Flickr.

Heartbleed Security Notice

A serious security vulnerability known as "Heartbleed" was recently discovered in OpenSSL, a popular software library commonly used by many websites on the internet to encrypt communication between a user's computer and a web server. is NOT affected by this vulnerability as it does not use the OpenSSL software library. Please rest assured we are dedicated to protecting your security on this website.