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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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MEDIA ADVISORY 10/01/15: Portland Water Bureau Increases Groundwater Blend

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Beginning today, October 1, the Portland Water Bureau will increase the blend of groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field to approximately 60 percent.

Drinking water from the Bull Run watershed and the well field will continue to meet all of Portland’s water needs. Portland is not experiencing a water supply shortage. The bureau expects to return to 100 percent Bull Run water after the fall rains begin filling up the Bull Run reservoirs.

Public notification is not required, but the Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater and when it has significant operational changes. The media and sensitive water users will again be notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water.

Due to a dry spring, above average summer temperatures, and available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau has been using the Columbia South Shore Well Field since July 16 to supplement the Bull Run water supply.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations.

“Our job is to deliver high-quality, safe and reliable drinking water to almost one million customers. At the end of an unusually dry spring and summer, we are fortunate to have two water sources that can continue to supply water to all of our customers,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr.

As part of our ongoing supply planning, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to manage our water supply throughout the remainder of the dry season.

Weekly supply updates will be posted to For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Electricians Assess Control Panels for Compliance, Performance

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Water Bureau electrician checks replacement motor starters for the sump pump controls in an underground vault in SE Portland.Portland Water Bureau electricians conducted an operational and acceptance assessment of newly installed sump pump control panels that became damaged during construction, located within three new vaults installed as part of the Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project.

Using special fall protection personal protective equipment, fresh air monitors, and traffic zone safety measures, electricians worked alongside Water Bureau project managers, inspectors, and the construction manager to confirm integrity of the panels in the vaults.

Assessments such as these are an additional way for the Water Bureau to ensure on-site performance of installed equipment is in compliance and will perform effectively, reliably, and efficiently.

Photo: A Water Bureau electrician checks replacement motor starters for the sump pump controls in an underground vault in SE Portland.

September Water Quality Trivia

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

This summer, the Portland Water Bureau has been supplementing its water supply by blending water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field with water from the Bull Run Watershed.

Which one of the following statements about groundwater is false?

A. Customers may notice white water spots on their dishes or other surfaces when groundwater is added to the distribution system. This is due to the increased mineral content or hardness of groundwater.

B. Depending on their location in the distribution system, some customers receive water piped directly from the well field.

C. Groundwater is run briefly once per year, even if it is not needed to supplement supply. An annual maintenance run is necessary to check equipment and monitor well water quality.

D. Groundwater receives the same treatment as Bull Run water. Chlorine and ammonia are added for disinfection and sodium hydroxide is added to adjust pH.

Answer: B is a false statement. Customers do not receive water directly from the well field. Groundwater only enters the distribution system after it travels to Powell Butte where it is blended with Bull Run water.

Questions or Concerns about Water Quality?
Contact the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line at 503-823-7525.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 10/02/15: Two-Month Water Main Improvement Project on SE Flavel Street Begins October 5; Traffic Impacts Expected

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

During the week of October 5, 2015, a contractor overseen by the Portland Water Bureau will begin a two-month water main improvement project to replace aging infrastructure, increase fire flow capacity, and continue to ensure adequate and reliable water delivery to the Pleasant Valley neighborhood and surrounding community.

Water Main Improvement Project

Approximately 900-feet of 4-inch cast iron water main located under SE Flavel Street from SE Henderson Drive to SE 122nd Avenue will be replaced with approximately 400-feet of 12-inch ductile iron main and 500-feet of 8-inch ductile iron main. Additional water services will be installed and several new hydrants will be connected.

Crews are scheduled to work onsite Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Until the end of November 2015, motorists and bicyclists traveling east and west bound on SE Flavel Street from SE Henderson Drive to SE 122nd Avenue will experience traffic impacts, including lane detours, shifts, and traffic delays. Travelers are urged to use alternate routes and are reminded to drive slowly, exercise caution, and follow the direction of flaggers when traveling in and around the construction area.

As alternative routes of travel, utilize SE Foster Road and SE Mt. Scott Boulevard to SE Ridgecrest Road.  

For additional information on the project, visit

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: NW St. Helens Road Lanes will Close Saturday Morning for Water Bureau Work

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

One lane of U.S. 30 will be closed in both directions west of Northwest Kittridge Avenue Saturday morning while City of Portland crews make repairs.

The lane closures on Northwest St. Helens Road will involve about 500 feet of road from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. one day September 26. One lane in each direction will remain open.

Crews will be grinding and overlaying a section of road where a Portland Water Bureau water main break took place last February.

Travelers should use caution and look out for work crews when in the area Saturday morning.