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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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Join Our Team: Water Treatment Operator II & Water Quality Assistant

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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 Portland 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 Portland Water Bureau currently employs approximately 600 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 Jobs Available at the Water Bureau

Water Treatment Operator II

  • Closing Date/Time: Mon. 08/18/14 4:30 PM Pacific Time
  • Salary: $25.51 - $32.98 Hourly
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Location: Bull Run, Sandy River Facility, 10991 SE Lusted Rd, Sandy OR 97055, Oregon
  • The Position: The Water Treatment Operator II will operate, maintain, and repair chemical handling, water treatment and water conveyance equipment for the City's water supply.
  • Additional Job Information/Apply: Start here
  • Questions: Contact Chaunci King, Senior Human Resources Analyst with the Bureau of Human Resources, at Chaunci.king@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4034.

Water Quality Assistant
2014-2015 Student Employee, Off-Campus/College Work Study Program

  • Pay: $11.00 Hourly
  • Job Type: Flexible hours between 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Hours are typically about 10 hours a week during the school year.
  • Location: 1900 N. Interstate Ave., Portland, OR 97227
  • Transit: Within a half mile of the work location there are five bus lines (4, 17, 35, 44, and 85), the CL Streetcar Line, and the MAX Yellow Line. Description of
  • Duties:
    • Assist in conducting research to understand impact of bureau operations on drinking water quality
    • Assist in use of data management tools to provide water quality statistics and reports for the public and drinking water regulators.
    • Routine duties including data entry and checking, copying and faxing, driving a city vehicle, and fulfilling ad hoc requests for data, graphs, and information.
  • Requirements/Skills:
    • Technical background in one or more of these areas;  environmental science, engineering, chemistry, biology, microbiology or geology.
    • Basic computer skills including using MS Excel for graphs
    • Good writing ability
    • Ability to learn and ability to work independently
    • Valid Driver's License and good driving record.
    • Work Study Positions are open and available only for students with college Work Study grants approved by a college Financial Aid Office.
  • Apply: To apply, contact Kim Gupta at 503-823-7642.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Groundwater Tour + Free Lunch = ‘Subs on the Slough’ Event

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Join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for the annual "Subs on the Slough" event on Friday, August 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the canoe launch near the Portland Water Bureau’s groundwater pump station, 16650 NE Airport Way.

Participants in this free lunchtime tour will learn all about Portland’s Columbia South Shore Well Field, the back-up drinking water supply for Portland Water Bureau customers.

Visitors will also learn about the Columbia Slough watershed, view the solar array that helps off-set the Portland Water Bureau’s electrical needs, and talk about how everyone can help protect our groundwater resources.

Lunch is provided at picnic tables along the scenic Columbia Slough trail. Advanced registration is required and this event is suitable for children ages 10 and older.

Register today!

For more information, contact Penny Beckwith at 503-281-1132 or Doug Wise at 503-823-7473.

Doug Wise
Groundwater Protection Program 

PSU Capstone Students Praise “Portland’s Water”

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Bull Run watershed tour for a PSU Capstone class 
Bull Run watershed tour for a PSU Capstone class

The Portland Water Bureau has been providing support for the Portland State University (PSU) Senior Capstone class about the Portland’s water system for more than 12 consecutive terms. The course is taught by historian Catherine Howells, whose inimitable passion has made the class very popular. Water Bureau staff lecture throughout each term to provide depth to the class content. These students’ comments below sum up the general feelings of the more than 200 students that have taken the course:

“It was interesting learning about the struggle of removing the open reservoirs in Mount Tabor because of the neighborhood involvement. We as the general public lack this kind of information and we make wrong assumptions about institutions like the Water Bureau. The field trip to the Bull Run was the best educational experience I have ever had. It helped me picture the historical facts of the water system in Portland.”

“I was transformed from someone who knew nothing about Portland’s unique water system to the most knowledgeable person in the room on the subject. This course opened my eyes to something so incredible and special, and its influence has inspired me to think about other ways in which I can learn about the community around me.” 

Student teams develop conceptual outreach projects to share information about the city’s water and the Water Bureau each term. Student creativity knows no bounds as they pore through archives, compare Portland to other cities, and draw on their diverse disciplines to produce projects that vary from architectural renderings of new educational facilities to original, short-form documentaries.

This spring, one student, Christie Milligan, took an artistic approach that has literally struck a chord. She produced a song about Portland’s water supply. Her fiancée and daughter lent their wonderful singing voices for the song. Christie’s song highlights the visionary Bull Run watershed – the source of Portland’s pristine drinking water since 1895. The song has garnered national attention from the American Water Works Association and appeals to all.

The one thing that the Capstone students profess is an appreciation for Water Bureau staff.  According to students, this is something for the bureau to be proud of.  Staff are modeling career paths for students entering a workforce where many talented people are progressing toward retirement.

In the words of one student: “Hearing from all the different engineers and the various jobs that they hold was insightful. Even though they all sound stressful, the engineers seemed rewarded and enthusiastic about their careers.  I have actually been considering going back to school to get an engineering degree.”

To learn more about the PSU Capstone partnership, visit http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/psucapstone.

Ross Turkus
Engineering Services Group

Paddle and Learn at the 20th Annual Columbia Slough Regatta

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On Sunday, August 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., citizens are invited take part in the 20th Annual Columbia Slough Regatta. Hundreds of people will meet at NE Mason Street and NE 150th Court in Portland to enjoy a leisurely wildlife-watching group paddle on safe, calm water.

This family event, sponsored by the Columbia Slough Watershed CouncilPortland Water Bureau, and many others, is held annually in honor of Portland’s hidden waterway. The channels and wetlands of the Columbia Slough watershed provide important habitat for bald eagles, turtles, fish, and otters, as well as enthusiastic kayakers and canoeists. The Portland Water Bureau’s Columbia South Shore Well Field is also situated entirely within the slough watershed. 

Participants may spot Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Western Painted Turtle, Beavers and more!

Individuals and families are welcome to bring their own boat or borrow one from the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.

A donation of $8.00 per person is requested. Register early for the event!

Doug Wise
Groundwater Protection Program

Test Results are Clean, Water is Safe to Drink

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Results from a routine water sample on Friday, July 25, 2014 showed a presence of total coliform bacteria. 

Follow-up samples were collected immediately. Seven resamples came back clean on Saturday, July 26, confirming that water is safe to drink.

The Portland Water Bureau collects approximately 240 routine bacteriological samples per month throughout the system. It is not unusual for one of these samples to test positive for bacteria. Immediately after an initial detection, the Water Bureau tests additional samples to confirm the presence of possible contamination in drinking water.

For more information about your water, customers should contact the Portland Water Bureau Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Jaymee Cuti
Public Information