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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Protect Your Home's Plumbing this Winter

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Rain, ice and snow can play havoc with water pipes. Below are tips for protecting your home’s plumbing this winter:

OUTSIDE PLUMBING

  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the home.
  • Close all foundation vents and fill vent openings with wood or StyrofoamTM blocks.
  • Wrap outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation if you don’t have a separate outside valve to turn them off. Use molded foam-insulating covers which are available at hardware stores. Newspaper or rags (covered with plastic wrap) are another option. 
  • Disconnect garden hoses and drain in-ground irrigation systems.

INSIDE PLUMBING

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, crawl spaces and basements.
  • When below-freezing weather is forecast, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. This allows these pipes to get more heat from inside your home.
  • If you leave home for several days, put your furnace on a low setting. This may not prevent freezing pipes but it can help.
  • Let a slight drip of water run when temperatures dip below freezing. Use cold water to avoid water heating charges.

WHAT IF PIPES FREEZE?

  • Thaw plumbing lines safely with a hair dryer. Once the pipe has thawed, make sure to leave a little water running so the pipe doesn’t freeze again.
  • Do not open the water meter box near the curb. It could increase the chance of freezing water at the meter.

WHAT IF PIPES BREAK?

  • Close your main water shut-off valve to your house. Most shutoff valves are located where the water line enters the house, either at the front of your house where you connect your hose, or basement near the hot water heater, or inside the garage.
  • Turn off the water heater. Locate the dedicated shut-off valve on the cold water inlet.
  • Remember, the repair of broken pipes on the customer’s side of the meter is the customer’s responsibility. Contact a plumber for repair work.

The Water Bureau reminds customers that the best way to handle any sort of water emergency in your home including broken pipes is to be prepared before it happens. Taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the plumbing system in your home and note the location of all shut off valves are important steps in preventing a plumbing emergency from turning into a disaster. 

Customers that experience urgent water problems should call the Portland Water Bureau’s 24/7 emergency hotline at 503-823-4874.

Join Our Team: Environmental Technician II

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

If you're interested in joining an award-winning public utility where employees thrive on the pride of delivering a life-essential product with world class customer service, the Portland Water Bureau might be just the place for you.

The Water Bureau is a recognized leader in the utility industry. We've achieved this success by investing in the very best people and empowering them to find new and better ways to meet our customer's needs.

The Water Bureau currently employs approximately 560 people. All current job postings with the City of Portland are posted online, and updated weekly. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Current Opportunity at the Water Bureau

Position Emp. Type Salary Closing Date
Environmental Technician II  Full Time  $26.64 - $33.99 Hourly Tue. 12/08/15 4:30 PM Pacific Time

Learn More about the Water Bureau 

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

December Water Quality Trivia

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Which of the following actions will help you maintain high quality drinking water inside your own home? 

  • Clean faucet screens (aerators) a few times per year at kitchen and bathroom faucets.
  • Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water faucet.  Use cold water and heat the water as needed.
  • If a faucet has not been used for several hours, run the cold water for 30 seconds to two (2) minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.
  • Install a backflow device on your irrigation system to prevent backflow contamination to your potable water supply.

Answer
All of the above.

Ensuring the delivery of high quality water is a shared responsibility between the Portland Water Bureau and our customers. The Water Bureau monitors and maintains the drinking water system up to and including the water meter. Beyond the water meter into the house is the responsibility of the customer.

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

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 11/24/15: Portion of Northbound Lane of SE 60th Avenue Flagged on Wednesday, Nov. 25

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Approximately 150 feet of the northbound lane of SE 60th Avenue south of SE Hawthorne Boulevard will be closed to through traffic intermittently between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Flaggers will be directing traffic.

Portland Water Bureau Construction and Maintenance crews will be restoring the sidewalk on the east side of SE 60th Avenue, where construction was performed in October.

Parking on SE 60th Avenue directly across from the construction zone will be restricted. The sidewalk adjacent to the construction zone will be closed and pedestrians will need to walk around the work area.

Remember to drive slowly, exercise caution when traveling in the construction zone, and obey traffic controllers.

Project information can be found online at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/mttabor.

UPDATE 12/2/15 - Bubblers Again Serving Bull Run Drinking Water Throughout the City

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

UPDATE -- Dec. 2, 2015
Bubblers Again Serving Bull Run Drinking Water Throughout the City
With the weather warming up, Portland's iconic Benson Bubblers are being turned back on.

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On Tuesday, Nov. 24, the Portland Water Bureau will begin turning off the city's Benson Bubbler drinking fountains because of predicted cold temperatures and wind, which can cause safety hazards on sidewalks for pedestrians. Each of the 130 bubblers is turned off by hand.

Two bubblers will be will be kept on – one on the Westside at Fifth Avenue and West Burnside Street and one on the waterfront near the west end of the Steel Bridge – to provide water to those who rely on them as their primary water source.

The Water Bureau has alerted 211Info, asking them to contact homeless service providers to make water available to homeless people who depend on Benson Bubblers.

Once temperatures warm up, the iconic bubblers will be turned back on.

Main breaks, service leaks and frozen water meters can also occur as a result of cold weather. If you observe running water in the street, believe you are not receiving water from your meter, or experience an urgent water problem, please contact the Portland Water Bureau's 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503‐823‐4874.

For more information on the Benson Bubblers, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/bensonbubblers.