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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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Headworks Operators Recognized with Award from NOAA

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Accepting award 
Water Bureau water treatment operator (right) accepts the prestigious award from Acting Meteorologist-in-Charge Tyree Wilde (left).

On January 15, Portland Water Bureau water treatment operations staff at Headworks were presented with a Length of Service Award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) for maintaining weather records for the last 125 years.

The award was presented by Tyree Wilde, the Acting Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Portland Weather Forecast Office. 

The Water Bureau is one of the few remaining charter members of the NWS Cooperative Observing Program (Coop), taking daily weather reports from the beginning of the program in 1889. The Coop is a network of more than 9,000 volunteer observers across the United States who provide critical weather information that forms the backbone of this nation’s climate observations.   

Reports consist of precipitation amounts as well as maximum and minimum temperatures for the date.  Long, continuous observation records provide an accurate picture of a locale’s weather patterns and give climatologists and others a basis on which to predict future trends.

Andrew Degner
Water Treatment

22nd Annual Children’s Clean Water Festival - Teaching the Next Generation

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This past Tuesday, March 10, the Portland Water Bureau participated in an extraordinary event called the Children’s Clean Water Festival

Students from Irvington elementary school get a real hands-on experience dissecting a hatchery salmon with U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff.

The festival is a one-day environmental education event for 4th and 5th grade students from around the Portland Metro area. This year more than 1,500 children from more than 20 different schools attended the event.

Commissioner Nick Fish discusses the importance of Clean Water with students from Oliver Elementary school.

Staff from the Water Bureau are part of the planning committee, serve as class guides, and teach classes on topics such as groundwater, how to build a water main, and water tasting.

This year City Commissioner, Nick Fish was also a participant at the festival.

The Children’s Clean Water Festival is organized and presented by a coalition of government and non-profit partners including:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • City of Forest Grove
  • City of Hillsboro
  • City of Portland (Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services)
  • City of Tigard
  • Clackamas River Water Providers
  • Clean Water Services
  • Friends of Outdoor School
  • Oak Lodge Sanitary District
  • Regional Water Providers Consortium
  • Rockwood Water People’s Utility District
  • Tualatin Valley Water District
  • U.S. Geological Survey

Sarah Santner
Water Efficiency

Second Annual City Utility Rate Review: Presentation, Follow-Up

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Second Annual Utility Rate ReviewOn Thursday, March 12, the City of Portland invited members of the community to the second annual City Utility Rate Review meeting. 

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss drinking water and sewer-storm water rates. Mayor Charlie Hales, City Council members, and management staff from both the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services were on hand to answer questions and discuss the combined 4.8 percent rate increase proposed by the City’s two utility bureaus.

As a courtesy to our customers, the presentation given during the Utility Rate Review has been uploaded to the Water Bureau’s FY 2015-16 City Utility Rate Review webpage.

Portlanders in attendance were invited to provide feedback and pose questions to the Council. At the conclusion of the meeting, city staff committed to post follow-up answers online by Friday, April 3.

Stay Informed, Get Involved

To learn more about the City's budget process and find opportunities to offer feedback during the budget process, visit the City of Portland City of Budget Office’s website.  

Key Links

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information 

Reducing Lead Hazards in Portland

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Each quarter, the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services offer important information on rebates, payment options, drinking water quality, and water efficiency tips in printed inserts that accompany your sewer-stormwater-water bill.

Bill insert from Lead Hazard Reduction Program Bill insert from Lead Hazard Reduction Program 
March Bill Insert 

In the March bill, customers will find an insert from the Portland Water Bureau’s Lead Hazard Reduction Program about lead in drinking water. The Lead Hazard Reduction Program focuses on providing information and tools to protect you and your family from the most common sources of lead. In Portland, lead in water is generally only a concern in a home with copper plumbing and lead solder. These tend to be homes that were built or plumbed between 1970 and 1985. However, the most common source of lead exposure is dust from lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. 

Community partners around the Portland-area are supported by the program to help residents identify and reduce exposure to lead hazards. Resources from our community partners that are available to you include: 

To learn more about these programs and about reducing lead exposure around your home, contact the Multnomah County Health Department LeadLine at 503-988-4000 or

Sarah Messier
Water Quality 

Get to Know Your Watershed at Slough 101

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Activities on the Slough

Join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council on Saturday, March 14 for Slough 101, a FREE workshop about the Columbia Slough watershed and its unique story.

Event detailsSponsored by the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services, Slough 101 covers local history, water, wildlife, and current issues in the watershed. 

Explore watershed health, environmental issues, and recreation opportunities in North and Northeast Portland, Gresham, and Fairview, and participate in hands-on groundwater activities, levee and pump station tours, and macroinvertebrate (aka: stream critters) identification.

Light refreshments will be provided. The workshop is suitable for adults and teens, age 14 and older.

Pre-registration is required. Register online or call 503 281-1132.

For more information, visit the Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s Activities and Events webpage

The Columbia Slough is a 60-mile long remnant of lakes, wetlands, and slow-moving channels in the southern floodplain of the Columbia River. Today the 40,000 acre watershed contains 24,000 homes, 4,500 businesses, andis home to 1/10 of all the jobs in Oregon. The region’s back-up drinking water source, the Columbia South Shore Well Field, also lies deep below the eastern half of the watershed.

As habitats are modified throughout the Portland metropolitan region and the entire Northwest, the Slough’s importance as a component of our regional system of greenspaces grows. The Slough is one of the largest urban waterways contained wholly within the metropolitan urban growth boundary. This vast ribbon of habitat and open space can be explored by foot, bicycle or canoe and kayak.

The Slough and its watershed represent an irreplaceable resource, both for the region and for north and northeast Portland, Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale, and Wood Village. Learn more here.

Doug Wise
Groundwater Protection