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 02/12/15: Water Bureau Installs Large Piping Connections on SE 68th at SE Division Street, Traffic Routed Around Work Between SE 66th and SE 69th Avenues

Add a Comment

A contractor for the Portland Water Bureau is currently installing large piping connections on SE 68th Avenue at SE Division Street. The work requires that one eastbound lane on SE Division Street be routed around the work zone, between SE 66th and SE 69th avenues, while under construction.

Traffic on SE 68th Avenue, between SE Division and Mt. Tabor Park is open to local access only. Detour signs are posted and sidewalks remain open for pedestrians.

The new piping is part of the water system improvements required to connect two of the city’s large water conduits to the Westside supply line. The first conduit was connected in March 2014 on Southeast 67th Avenue. The second conduit is being connected now, as only one conduit can be worked on at one time.

Typically, work hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. This work is slated for completion in spring 2015. Motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes.

Terry Black
Public Information

Rebate for WaterSense Labeled Toilets Makes Cents

Add a Comment

The single best thing you can do to improve toilet efficiency is to replace an old inefficient toilet with a newer water-efficient model.

Toilets are typically the largest indoor water user. While older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons per flush, new high-efficiency toilets and dual flush toilets use 1.3 or less.

The Portland Water Bureau is now offering a toilet rebate for WaterSense® labeled toilets.

Water Bureau customers can apply for the $50 rebate by replacing a toilet that uses 1.6 gallons per flush or more with a new WaterSense® toilet. To earn the WaterSense® label, toilets must use 20 percent less water than the current federal standard and meet rigorous performance criteria.

Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

How to Apply

  • Step 1: Select, purchase, and install your new WaterSense® labeled toilet.
  • Step 2: Make sure to save your receipt.
  • Step 3: Recycle your old toilet and save the receipt. The old toilet must be recycled at an approved recycling center.
  • Step 4: Complete and sign the Residential Rebate Application form. Attach a copy of the sales receipt and a proof of recycling of old toilet.

Approximately four to six weeks after receiving your completed application and verifying eligibility, the Water Bureau will send a rebate check.

Rebate Questions?

Call 503-823-4527, e-mail, or visit

Remember, saving water makes cents!

Sarah Santner
Water Efficiency

Have You Tested Your Home’s Plumbing for Lead?

Add a Comment

Does your home plumbing contain lead?

If your home was built between 1970 and 1985, lead solder may have been used to join the pipes. Lead can also be found in brass plumbing fixtures and components. Lead is a major health threat to children and pregnant women, and a lead-in-water test is the only way to know if your plumbing is adding lead to the water.

The Portland Water Bureau provides FREE lead-in-water test kits to all of our customers. Order yours from the LeadLine either online or by calling 503-988-4000.

Have You Tested Your Home’s Plumbing For Lead?What is the Portland Water Bureau doing?

In Portland, the primary source of exposure to lead is from lead-based paint and dust. However, lead may be present in tap water, especially in homes built between 1970 and 1985. The main source of lead in water in the Portland area is household plumbing. Lead is rarely found in regular testing from the Bull Run Watershed. There are also no known lead water mains or service lines in the drinking water distribution system.  To reduce the amount of lead that enters the water from home plumbing, the Water Bureau adjusts the pH of the water, which can reduce the presence of lead in tap water by more than half.

What can you do?

Follow some easy steps to avoid possible exposure to lead from plumbing, including:

  • Avoid using water that has been standing in your household pipes for cooking, drinking, and making baby formula. When a faucet is not used for several hours, run the cold water tap until the water feels noticeably colder (about 30 seconds to 2 minutes), which brings in fresh water from the distribution mains. 
  • Consider using a filter: Check whether it removes lead. Not all filters do.
  • Consider buying low-lead fixtures. As of January, 2014 all pipes, fittings and fixtures are required to contain less than 0.25% lead. When buying new fixtures, consumers should seek out those with the lowest lead content.

To learn more about all lead hazards, order a FREE lead-in-water test kit, find locations for FREE blood lead level screening for children, or learn more about other lead poisoning prevention resources in the Portland area, contact the Multnomah County Health Department LeadLine at 503-988-4000 or

Sarah Messier
Water Quality Information

UPDATE: Powell Butte Reservoir 1 to Undergo Routine Maintenance Cleaning

Add a Comment

On the afternoon of February 26, Portland Water Bureau operating engineers completed the draining of Powell Butte Reservoir 1 into Johnson Creek. Reservoir 1 is now completely emptied and will undergo a routine cleaning and inspection to ensure sanitary and structural integrity.

The draining process began on February 9 and lasted just under three weeks. Throughout the entire operation, the flowrate of water into Johnson Creek was monitored 24-hours a day by the Water Bureau’s Water Control Center. Water Bureau operating engineers routinely tested the water for temperature, pH, and chlorine residual, ensuring that acceptable discharge parameters and environmental regulatory requirements were met. No chlorine residual was detected at any time during the discharge.

The reservoir will now receive a thorough cleaning and inspection.

Portland Water Bureau operating engineers are in the process of slowly draining water currently in Powell Butte Reservoir 1 into Johnson Creek.

Since the draining process began on Monday, February 9, operating engineers have been routinely testing the water for temperature, pH, and chlorine residual. No chlorine residual has been detected. 

On Thursday, February 19, draining into the creek from the reservoir will begin occurring 24-hours a day, instead of just during normal work hours. This decision culminated from a reduction in stream flow and a low chance for precipitation.

The flowrate of water into Johnson Creek will continue to be monitored 24-hours a day by the Water Bureau’s Control Center. Routine testing of the water will carry on throughout the operation to ensure acceptable discharge parameters and environmental regulatory requirements are met.

In an estimated 15 days, Powell Butte Reservoir 1 will be completely emptied and will undergo a routine cleaning and inspection to ensure sanitary and structural integrity.

On Monday, February 9, the Portland Water Bureau will begin conducting a routine maintenance draining and cleaning of Reservoir 1 at Powell Butte Nature Park in Southeast Portland. 

Water Bureau operating engineers will slowly drain the approximately eight-million gallons of water currently in Reservoir 1 into Johnson Creek. The engineers will be on site during work week hours to supervise the operation.

The flowrate of water into Johnson Creek will be monitored 24-hours a day by the Water Bureau’s Control Center. Frequent testing of the water for turbidity, temperature, pH, and chlorine residual will occur throughout the operation, ensuring acceptable discharge parameters and environmental regulatory requirements are met.  

Once the draining is complete, the reservoir will undergo a thorough cleaning and inspection.

Reservoir 1’s draining is estimated to be complete by Wednesday, February 25.

Powell Butte Reservoir 1 was built in 1979-1980 and became operational in 1981.Powell Butte Reservoir 1, along with the newly operational Reservoir 2, are valuable assets to the water infrastructure. The two 50-million gallon underground tanks will help provide sufficient drinking water storage capacity to meet anticipated future growth in demand for water.

The Water Bureau follows strict guidelines and maintenance schedules to ensure the reservoirs are kept at optimal levels of operation. The underground reservoirs receive a thorough cleaning and inspection every five years to ensure structural and sanitary integrity.

For questions regarding reservoir maintenance, please contact Tim Hall, Public Information, at 503-823-6926 or by e-mail at:  

Visit the project webpage at:

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Employees’ Unique Artwork Showcased; David Rosenak Wins Employee Art Exhibit People’s Choice Award

Add a Comment

All the Art that Fits display

In December, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) unveiled the 18th annual “All the Art that Fits” art exhibit. An annual favorite for the City of Portland and Multnomah County employee artists and visitors, the display showcases employee artwork in the lobby of the Portland Building.

During the exhibit, RACC invited visitors to vote for their favorite works. This year, artwork submitted by the Portland Water Bureau’s own David Rosenak won the RACC People’s Choice Award!

 David Rosenak wins the RACC People’s Choice Award
"Untitled" oil on plywood artwork wins David Rosenak the People's Choice Award (left), David drawing in his studio (right, photo courtesy of the Oregonian)

David, an employee in the Finance and Support Services Group, spent more than a-year-and-a-half working to complete the oil on plywood panel. A labor of love, his black and white piece depicting a cityscape is extremely detailed and dramatic. This piece, along with additional paintings by David, will be featured in the Portland Art Museum in spring 2015.

Artwork by Bob Goldie (left) and Carrie Popenuk (right)

Six additional extremely talented Water Bureau employees also contributed their creative works to display, ranging from photography to mixed media and marquetry, ink on paper, and canvas work.

Artwork by Sarah Fine (left) and Lori Snyder (right)

They include Dylan Abel, Bob Goldie, and Leigh Kojiro in the Engineering Services Group, Sarah Fine in the Resource Protection and Planning Group, and Carrie Popenuk and Lori Snyder in the Customer Services Group.

Artwork by Dylan Abel (left) and Leigh Kojiro (right)

Congratulations to David for receiving the People’s Choice Award and a big thanks to Dylan, Bob, Leigh, Sarah, Carrie, and Lori who submitted unique artwork and truly deserve to be recognized for their craft!

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information