GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
These irrigation systems have a backflow assembly that is located between the drinking water supply and irrigation system. Backflow assemblies allow water to enter your irrigation system while at the same time preventing water that is in your irrigation system from flowing back into the drinking water supply. Once a year homeowners are required to test the backflow assemblies connected to their system. Backflow assemblies are essential in keeping you, your family, and Portland’s drinking water safe.
Why do I have to test my backflow assembly every year?
Testing is required every year by the State of Oregon Health Authority to ensure that your assembly is functioning properly. Every year in April, the Portland Water Bureau sends reminder letters to single-family homes to test their backflow assemblies. The perfect time to test is between April and June since this is after freezing weather has passed, which can damage your backflow assembly, and before the heavy watering season begins.
Who can test my backflow assembly?
Homeowners need to hire a private company to test their backflow assembly. The Oregon Health Authority provides a list of state certified backflow assembly testers on their website. Some of these companies specialize in specifically testing backflow assemblies, and some are landscape companies that provide that service. Either type of company can perform the testing you need. The market is fairly competitive, so homeowners can expect to pay between $25 and $45 per test.
What happens during a test?
The tester will test your assemblies and record the assembly serial number and test results. Your tester may or may not use stickers that the Portland Water Bureau provides as a courtesy with your reminder letter. If they don’t use them, your test is still valid, and you may just discard the stickers. When finished, the tester will then give you a copy of the report, keep a copy for themselves, and send a copy to the Portland Water Bureau. When the Portland Water Bureau Backflow Records department receives the test report, your account is updated with the results and is marked as up-to-date.
Annual testing is necessary to let the State and Portland Water Bureau know that your backflow assembly is in compliance every year, and assures you that you are keeping your family’s drinking water safe.
Questions about your backflow assembly or backflow assembly testing?
Contact Portland Water Bureau Backflow Records at 503-823-3256.
Janet Carpenter and Sarah Messier
Water Quality Information
Photo slideshow courtesy of the Portland Water Bureau's Flickr Photostream.
The Portland Water Bureau and Hoffman Construction Company crews began work on the project in late 2012 with demolition of the 43-year-old, 10-million gallon above ground steel tank.
Close to a year of excavation on the butte followed with the removal of about 180,000 cubic yards of rock and soil to make way for the new underground tank two-and-a-half times the old tank's size.
Beginning in the fall of 2013, more than 2,000 truckloads of concrete were brought onsite, pouring the reservoir’s floor.
By summer 2014, the reservoir’s wall, roof, and support columns were completed.
The underground reservoir has now disappeared from view completely, being covered with onsite earthwork.
Also constructed onsite is a stormwater detention basin, an overflow detention basin, multiple vaults, and valve structures.
Work at the site will continue through 2015 with construction of access roads, fencing, landscaping and the strategic planting of more than 1,660 trees and 7,250 shrubs across the entire site. The total project cost was estimated at $90 million and is currently projected to finish under this budget.
The Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve Portland's east side and be a stopover to supply water to the Washington Park reservoir and southwest Portland area water storage tanks.
For additional information, visit the project webpage.
Water pressure not only keeps water moving in our system, it also protects water quality. As long as our system is under pressure, water is forced out of cracks or holes in pipes, which prevents soil and other contaminants from entering. If there is a total loss of pressure somewhere in our system, which can sometimes occur with a large main break, a temporary boil water notice may be issued to affected customers.
Questions or concerns about water quality? Contact the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line at 503-823-7525.
In recognition of Earth Day, the Water Bureau has highlighted a few of its sustainability efforts below:
Energy Use: The bureau’s Energy Committee works to improve energy efficiency at bureau facilities and pump stations and educate employees about energy savings.
Renewable Energy: The bureau has helped install 400 kW of renewable energy through solar arrays and micro-hydro to comply with City and State-wide renewable energy goals. This includes the installation of a new 78 kW array at the new LEED-certified Water Bureau Shops and Stores Warehouse as part of the Interstate Renovation Project.
Installation of solar array on the new Interstate Shops and Stores Warehouse
Carbon Emissions: The bureau’s carbon emissions for calendar year 2013 were 35 percent lower than its 2007 baseline carbon emissions due to in part to energy efficiency measures and lower vehicle fuel use.
Recycling Rate: The City of Portland has a 90 percent recovery rate for city bureaus. The Water Bureau’s recovery rate was 75 percent in Fiscal Year 2013-14, a two percent increase from the previous year, and total garbage generation was one-third lower.
To learn more about how the Water Bureau works to create a healthier environment and use ratepayer resources wisely, visit our Sustainable Operations webpage.
Climate Science & Sustainability Coordinator
Spraying has begun and will continue during the summer months.
The current spraying is focused around trees (maple, fir, oak, ash) and plants (yarrow, roses, willow) newly planted as part of the Water Bureau’s Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project’s re-vegetation plan. The spraying targets non-native, highly invasive, state-listed noxious weeds or City of Portland Nuisance Plants which, left untreated, would rapidly increase and interfere with the natural ecology of the park, including the newly established trees and plants. The treatment is carefully targeted and won’t be applied near water storage facilities.
The spraying is part of the City of Portland’s invasive management program and is required for compliance of permits conditions as required by our permit for Powell Butte phase II. The Water Bureau is using state certified pest control applicators for all weed control requiring herbicide and following strict guidelines of the Portland Parks Integrated Pesticide Management (IPM) Program.
No portion of the park will be closed during the spraying operations. However, park users are encouraged to watch for signage and avoid areas which are actively being sprayed.
Members of the public who have questions about the contact spraying are encouraged to contact the Water Bureau Public Information team at 503-823-3028 or by e-mail.