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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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Teachable Kid Moment: Beat the Heat & Outdoor Water Efficiently

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

As a parent, it can be a real challenge to keep your kiddos cool and entertained during hot weather. But, one mom in Northeast Portland turned her toddler’s love of playing with water to her advantage this past weekend when she set her daughter up with a hose in a part of the garden that needed to be watered. 

“Hazel regularly helps me water our vegetable garden,” said Bonny, a program specialist with the Water Bureau. “But, this was really a win-win situation since it kept her entertained for quite a while, and it gave the garden bed surrounding our patio a much needed soak.”

The Portland metro area is set to see more sizzling temperatures over the coming weekend and into next week. This means that many Portlanders will spend at least some of their time outdoors tending to lawns, gardens, and landscapes.

Here are 10 ways to help you beat the heat and use water efficiently outdoors.

Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project: August 2016 Update

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau and contractor Hoffman Construction Company have officially begun a long-term capital improvement project to update the Washington Park reservoir site at 2403 SW Jefferson Street. The project complies with federal and state mandates, seismically strengthens key water infrastructure on Portland’s west side, and helps ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system.

A new 12.4 million gallon, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir will be constructed with a reflecting pool/water feature on top. The new reservoir will preserve the historic drinking water function provided by the original reservoirs and be engineered to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake.

Existing Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland wildlife habitat area, bioswale, and reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.

When complete and online, the new reservoir will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people. This will include all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, three hospital complexes, more than 60 parks, and the Oregon Zoo.

Construction will proceed through 2019. A pause will occur from 2020 to 2022 to allow soils to consolidate to reduce any vertical movement. From 2022 to 2024, construction of interpretive features, including the two reflecting pools and surface features, will conclude the project.

Mid-September 2016 - March 2018
Starting September 12, 2016 and lasting for 12 to 18 months (March 2018), the following construction activity will occur.

This will cause impacts to traffic, parking, and TriMet bus service.

See chart below and access an online map detailing traffic impacts and entrances into and exits out of Washington Park during this period.

  • Tree and vegetation clearing within the project site and on SW Sacajawea and Sherwood boulevards
  • Major earthwork
  • Construction of upper and lower shoring walls
  • Construction of underground Reservoir 3


  • All parking spaces closed on SW Sacajawea Blvd.
  • All parking spaces closed on SW Sherwood Blvd.
  • All parking spaces closed on SW Lewis Clark Way.

Road Closures  

SW Sacajawea Boulevard

  • Closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from the intersection of SW Sacajawea Blvd./SW Rose Park Rd./SW Wright Rd. to SW Park Pl.

SW Sherwood Boulevard

  • Closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from SW Sacajawea Blvd. to the Soccer Field.
  • Closed to all vehicle traffic from the Soccer Field to SW Kingston Ave.
  • SW Sherwood Blvd. sidewalk remains open for pedestrian use and bike traffic from SW Kingston Ave. to the Soccer Field.
  • The Children’s Playground, Elephant House Picnic Center, and Soccer Field are accessible by foot.
  • Tour buses and the free park shuttle allowed access onto SW Sherwood Blvd. at SW Kingston Dr. for turnaround at the Soccer Field.

Traffic Flow Reversal

  • The flow of traffic is reversed on SW Lewis Clark Way. One-way traffic will travel SW Lewis Clark Way and exit the park on SW Park Pl.

Multi-Use Shared Path

  • A designated path separate from vehicles will be available on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists can use the path to travel both in and out of the park on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • Cyclists are required to walk and not ride bicycles on the path. 

Intermittent Closures on Madison Ct. Trail

  • Pedestrians and cyclists can enter and exit the Madison Ct. Trail on SW Madison St. and SW Sacajawea Blvd.
  • The trail will be closed intermittently; watch for detour signage.

TriMet Bus Service

  • Bus Line 63 - Washington Park/Arlington Heights will be detoured.
  • Stops will be closed, including 6177 - SW Sacajawea & Sherwood Blvds.; 4346 - SW Park Pl. & Lewis & Clark Way in Portland Westbound; and 4343 - SW Park Pl. and Green Westbound

Park Attractions Open
During the project, park attractions will remain open, including:

  • Amphitheater
  • International Rose Test Garden
  • Children's Playground**
  • Soccer Field**

**Pedestrian and cycle access only; no vehicles permitted on SW Sherwood Blvd.

Park Trails

  • Mac Trail: Open, not affected by project work. Continued access via SW Sherwood Blvd. and SW Sacajawea Blvd.
  • SW Madison Ct. Trail: Closed intermittently, watch for detour signage.
**Construction-related traffic impacts are subject to change. To avoid traffic delays through the area, plan ahead and consider alternate routes to get to your destination. The traffic plan spanning mid-September 2016 to March 2018 has been approved by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Safety is our top priority. The Water Bureau will be conducting evaluations and adjusting traffic flow as conditions require. The Water Bureau will be working with Portland Parks & Recreation, Explore Washington Park, and neighborhood associations to gather on-the-ground feedback and determine if changes are necessary.
  • W Burnside Rd. to SW Tichner Dr.
  • W Burnside Rd. to SW Fischer Ln.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd.
  • SW Canyon Rd. to SW Knights Blvd. 
  • SW Tichner Dr. to W Burnside Rd.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd. 
  • SW Fischer Ln. to W Burnside Rd.
  • SW Lewis Clark Way to SW Park Pl.
  • SW Knights Blvd. to SW Canyon Rd.



Tree Pruning / Inspection Within project site, around the reservoirs, along SW Sacajawea Boulevard, SW Lewis Clark Way, & SW Madison Court X        
Construction Fence Installation Within project site X        
Erosion Control Within project site  X        
Vegetation / Tree Removal Around the reservoirs, by SW Sacajawea and Sherwood boulevards  X  X      
Selective Site Demolition Within project site  X  X      
Remove Weir Building Within project site   X      
Disconnect Reservoir 4 Inlet and Outlet Piping Within project site   X      
Removal of Stilling Tank inside Gatehouse 4 Within project site   X      
Construct Upper and Lower Shoring Walls Within project site   X X

KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE The Water Bureau will be presenting project updates at upcoming local neighborhood association meetings. Join us to learn more about the project. 

To contact us with questions or concerns or to sign up to receive project updates by e-mail:

Join Our Team: Community Outreach and Information Representative

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau is currently recruiting for a Community Outreach and Information Representative.

The Community Outreach and Information Representative performs skilled, professional duties in the design, development, and implementation of bureau-wide communications and public awareness and engagement with a focus on digital communications. The position will be responsible for building and executing a comprehensive social media strategy through research, platform determination, benchmarking, messaging and audience identification. The position will also generate, edit, publish, and share daily content (original text, images, and video) that builds meaningful connections, answers questions or concerns, and engages community members.

The Community Outreach and Information Representative is housed with the Community Information and Outreach group within the bureau, and will be responsible for working with this team to represent the bureau in meetings with groups and individuals, identify threats and opportunities for the bureau, and work with other staff to respond to identified issues and concerns. A valid driver's license may be required for certain assignments.

This recruitment will remain open until 100 applications have been received or until August 29, 2016, whichever comes first.

Applications received after the 100 application limit has been reached will not be included in this recruitment process.

Learn more and apply here.

Conduit 2 Gets a Facelift

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Portland Water Bureau employees at the Sandy River Station (SRS) recently completed a repair project on Conduit 2. Conduit 2 travels 26 miles from the Bull Run Watershed to the Powell Butte Reservoirs.

Pipe wrapping 
Specified by the Engineering Services Group, the fiberglass pipe wrap will halt the corrosion and form a protective layer around the pipe. This was the first pipe wrap installation of its kind performed by the Water Bureau and may be used in the future on other sections of conduit. 

At one point along the way, the pipe runs a short distance above ground and across a creek. This section of the pipe is protected by a culvert that channels the creek away from the conduit. Upon inspection, the conduit was observed to be in extremely poor shape due to corrosion. In addition, the existing culvert was undersized and had rotted away.

Installation of new culvert 
A new culvert was installed to protect the conduit.

To address these challenges, the 44-inch conduit was excavated. The SRS crew and painters then worked together to install a fiberglass pipe wrap around the conduit.

Buried conduit and restoration nearing completion. 
Buried conduit and restoration nearing completion.

The pipe was finally buried and the site restored with native vegetation. The entire project was completed in an efficient four weeks.

More About Conduit 2
Conduit 2 was built in 1911. It is a lock bar steel pipe with riveted joint. The diameter of the conduit ranges from 44- to 52-inches, and has the capacity to deliver 50 million gallons per day to customers.

Portland Water Bureau Returns to 100 Percent Bull Run Water

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Tomorrow, Aug. 10, the Portland Water Bureau will return to 100 percent Bull Run water. On July 25, the Portland Water Bureau blended a small portion of water from wells at the Columbia South Shore Wellfield to perform its annual maintenance operation of the groundwater system. Now that this maintenance operation is complete, the groundwater system is ready for use if needed for seasonal or emergency use.

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 are again notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water.

As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system.

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

The city’s groundwater supply is a complex system composed of electric pumps, chemical feed systems, electronic controls and other equipment that must be operated regularly to identify maintenance needs. By doing this operation routinely, the bureau will ensure the reliability of the system when needed, either in an emergency or to meet seasonal supply demands.

During the groundwater maintenance run, the average contribution of groundwater to the system has been approximately 15 percent of the total daily water demand. Due to the low percentage of groundwater being blended with the Bull Run Source, the bureau does not expect there to be a large change in water chemistry. It takes up to two weeks, depending on location and overall water demand, for the 100 percent Bull Run water to make its way through the distribution system to homes and businesses.

Customers with questions are encouraged to call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.