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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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Join our Team: Assistant Program Specialist, Engineering Technician II, Surveying Aide II

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 Opportunities

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
 Assistant Program Specialist  Full Time  $4,106.00 - $6,324.00 Monthly Mon. 05/23/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time  Apply Here
 Engineering Technician II  Full Time  $26.64 - $33.99 Hourly Mon. 06/06/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time  Apply Here
 Surveying Aide II  Full Time  $24.26 - $28.24 Hourly Mon. 06/06/16 4:30 PM 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 Bureau Tradeswomen Make a Splash at Women in Trades Career Fair

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Participants lined up to take part in the main break simulation led by tradeswomen from the Portland Water Bureau at the annual Women in Trades Career Fair, produced by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., last weekend. This interactive fair encourages middle and high school girls and women to explore the possibility of a future career in the trades.

For more than 13 years, women from the Portland Water Bureau have been a key part of this unique event with the goal of promoting and supporting the advancement and employment of women in the trades.

Young girls and adult women suited up in rain ponchos, boots and other safety gear to learn about the real work that talented and dedicated tradeswomen at the Portland Water Bureau perform every day. 

“The Portland Water Bureau is a great place to work and build a career. I am proud that we have steady participation in the Women in Trades Career Fair, which strengthens our future workforce,” said Michael Stuhr, Water Bureau Administrator.

Many Portland Water Bureau employees attended with their daughters, who gained first-hand experience by jackhammering with the Bureau of Maintenance, climbing a ladder with Portland Fire and Rescue and climbing utility poles with Portland General Electric.

For more information about this successful event, please visit To get to know tradeswomen at the Portland Water Bureau, check out these past blog articles here, here, and here.

Preparing for Our Customer’s Summer 2016 Water Needs

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Bull Run water system is designed to capture and store rainfall from the rainy season to provide an adequate water supply during the dry summer months. The city has an additional, high quality water source in the Columbia South Shore Well Field which augments summer supply. This groundwater source is the state's second largest water supply after Bull Run.

The Portland Water Bureau is prepared once again to meet our customer’s water needs, even through another hot and dry summer.

Since 1993, the Water Bureau has developed annual contingency plans for summer season supply. Each spring an interdisciplinary team evaluates a range of variables related to water supply and demand. These include available water supplies, past and projected water demand, the impacts of regional conservation programs, public health protection, water quality, and native fish protection to name a few.

The plan is used to guide operational strategies to ensure the Portland Water Bureau continues to provide high-quality drinking water to our customers while meeting all of our system’s needs. 

Looking Back, Moving Forward
The Water Bureau's 2015 Summer Supply summary can be viewed on our website along with tips to use our water wisely. The 2016 Summer Supply Plan is currently being developed and will be posted online as well.

Powell Butte Nature Park Visitor Center Now Open!

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Visitor Center at Powell Butte Nature Park

In mid-May 2016, the Powell Butte Nature Park Visitor Center officially opened its doors to the public.

The new Visitor Center is now open for public use Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No reservation is needed.

The facility features a solar roof, full-wall mural of Portland, interactive display panels, pipe exhibits including a 90’ walk-through pipe, a paved interpretive trail highlighting the butte’s diverse habitat types, and displays by local tribes. The facility also includes restrooms that will be open during park hours.

The Visitor Center replaces the “little red shed” which served as the Nature Park’s maintenance building and restroom for many years.

The Visitor Center, along with the caretaker’s house and maintenance building, were required under the Portland Water Bureau’s Conditional Use Master Plan to build the second of two 50-million gallon underground reservoirs at Powell Butte. The first 50-million gallon underground reservoir became operational in 1981 and the second in 2014.

For additional information, visit  

Keeping the Visitor Center Safe
If you see someone in the act of tampering with, removing, or destroying park property, please contact Portland Police at 9-1-1 and Water Bureau Security at 503-823-6084.

Our Infrastructure and the Triple Bottom Line

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Infrastructure Week is a time to appreciate and learn more about the infrastructure all around us. At the Portland Water Bureau, we often refer to ourselves as the invisible utility, as most of our impressive infrastructure such as Dams 1 and 2 are protected within the Bull Run Watershed or buried beneath our feet.

This week, we are pulling back the curtain on our  infrastructure that keeps our system safe and reliable.

One important factor in maintaining our infrastructure is planning. The Portland Water Bureau has a strong, decade-long asset management program. We use the wisdom of leading business practices, which has resulted in national recognition. Leaders in our Asset Management group chair the National Asset Management Committee for the American Water Works Association, an association of 50,000 water utilities. The Portland Water Bureau is routinely called upon to share our practices in risk management, business cases and asset management plans.

Asset management involves many business practices to manage assets and meet service level goals, in a cost effective way. These practices help inform us when we need to invest money to maintain, repair, or replace our assets. We take a sophisticated approach to consider operations and maintenance costs throughout the life of the asset. The most advanced approach is considering the triple bottom line analysis of financial, social and environmental costs and benefits.

A part of asset management is understanding the purpose of the asset. We identify our goals (service levels) and consider how the asset supports that goal. We set goals, measure our performance and communicate our results. The Portland Water Bureau is currently proposing a customer survey to ask for feedback about some of our key service levels, such as call holding time, water outages, seismic resilience, online services and automated meters.

Risk management is a huge part of asset management. Certain assets have a very high consequence if they fail. If that asset has a high likelihood that it will fail, we say that asset is a high risk, and we prioritize actions towards risk mitigation. Some of our water pipes that cross under freeways or major rail lines are considered our highest risks. Why? Because a failure of those pipes could take out those roads or lines, compromising safety and resulting in costly interruption of traffic.

We look for opportunities to improve. We continue to make progress on our goals and we look forward to learning from our customers’ priorities. With wise investments and careful planning, we are proud to provide safe and reliable drinking water for generations to come.