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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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TRAFFIC ADVISORY 08/07/14: Portland Water Bureau Pipe Project Impacts Traffic on SW Terwilliger Boulevard and SW Capitol Highway

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Traffic is impacted by construction of the SW Carolina Pump Mains-Phase 2 project at the intersection of SW Terwilliger Boulevard and SW Capitol Highway. This also affects SW Terwilliger Boulevard from the intersection to SW Burlingame Terrace. This project began in July and will be completed in November.

Traffic impacts include:

  • A short stretch of SW Terwilliger Boulevard, between SW Burlingame Terrace and SW Vincent Place, will be reduced to one lane of alternating traffic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9. Both traffic lanes will reopen when the survey work is completed that same day.  
  • SW Terwilliger Boulevard will be intermittently reduced to one lane between the intersection of SW Capitol Highway and SW Burlingame Terrace beginning Aug. 7 to Oct. 15.
  • Two lanes of traffic will be redirected by cones on SW Capitol Highway at the intersection with SW Terwilliger Boulevard. Both eastbound and westbound lanes will remain open. 

Flaggers are stationed to pass traffic through safely. Motorists are reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly stop. Alternate routes are encouraged for motorists to avoid traffic delays.

For more information, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/swcarolina.

Terry Black
Public Information
503-823-1168

  

Best Practices for Outdoor Irrigation

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Here in the Portland metro area, water consumption is at its highest during the summer months due to outdoor watering.

Oftentimes this is because people don’t know how much water their landscape needs. It’s one reason why irrigation is a key component to water conservation efforts.

Best practices for irrigation include:

  • Preparing the soil to ensure proper drainage and holding capacity by adding organic materials such as compost. Healthy soil needs less water than poor soil.
  • Grouping plants with similar irrigation needs together and selecting plants that are appropriate for the location and condition of the site.
  • Watering when the potential for evaporation is low – late in the evening and early in the morning.
  • Actively managing and maintaining irrigation systems by checking regularly for leaks and misdirected spray.
  • Using a watering gauge (or tuna can) to help indicate when lawns have been watered one inch of per week (lawns may require more during long, hot dry spells).
  • Watering lawns and other landscapes with appropriate amounts. A good rule-of-thumb for watering perennials and shrubs is to apply 50 percent of what is used on lawns and for vegetables to apply 75 percent of what is used on lawns (although new starts require more water).

To get helpful brochures on general landscape planning and maintenance, or information on finding an irrigation contractor, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/conservation.

Not sure how much to water? Visit www.conserveh2o.org and sign up to receive a customized Weekly Watering Number that will help you determine the amount of water in inches that your lawn will need for that week.

Water Efficiency Team

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