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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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Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project: Public Comment Period Open & Hearing Scheduled

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In order to comply with federal and state mandates, and ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system, the Portland Water Bureau is moving forward with a project to update the Washington Park reservoir site.

Public Comment Period Open for Type III Historic Resource Review Application
The public is now invited to review and submit comments to the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) on the Water Bureau’s Type III Historic Resource Review Land Use application.

Public comments can be e-mailed to BDS Planner II Hillary Adam, mailed to the below address, or mailed to the Historic Landmarks Commission at 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500, Portland, OR 97201. Please reference Land Use Review number LU 15-169671 HR in any communications.

Hillary Adam
Land Use Services, Bureau of Development Services
RE: LU 15-169671 HR
1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500
Portland, OR 97201

A courtesy copy of the application and subsequent updates submitted to BDS is posted on the Water Bureau’s project webpage. Note that BDS maintains the official application record which tracks updates and revisions over time.

Testify at Public Hearing
A public hearing before the Historic Landmarks Commission is scheduled for Monday, August 10, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. on the second floor of 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Conference Room 2500A. During the hearing, the Commission will listen to public testimony, evaluate the Water Bureau’s Type III Historic Resource Review Land Use application, and review the BDS staff report.  The decision of the Landmarks Commission can be appealed to City Council.

Background
In May 2015, the Water Bureau submitted a Type III Historic Resource Review application and a Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Reviews application to the BDS for the proposed Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project.

On June 30, 2015, BDS deemed the Type III Historic Resource Review application complete and issued a “Request for Response.” The Request for Response officially opened the public comment period and set a date for a public hearing, both of which provide opportunities for comment and feedback before a final land use decision is rendered.

The Type III Historic Resource Review application describes historic preservation and rehabilitation actions and proposes construction of a covered reservoir, reflecting pools, lowland habitat area/bioswale, and walkways.

These features, which are generally described in the Type IV Land Use Review (LUR) application approved in June 2015, will offer the public enhanced access to the new surface water features and classically-designed gatehouses, dams, and related structures.

The Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Reviews application is also considered complete. Both BDS and the Water Bureau will provide notification when the comment period opens and the date is set for the public hearing in front of the Land Use Hearing Officer.

For more information on the Type III LUR process, visit the BDS website

Project Details
The Water Bureau’s Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project proposes to build a new below-ground reservoir in the same general footprint as the existing upper Reservoir 3, with a reflecting pool on top.

The lower Reservoir 4 basin and the slope west of it are needed to provide landslide abatement; the slope will be restored to its pre-reservoir condition. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland habitat area/bioswale and a reflecting pool are also proposed in the Reservoir 4 basin. Work will primarily be within the Historic District. The project addresses major reservoir issues, including recurrent landslide damage, compliance with federal law, seismic vulnerability, and deterioration of the 120 year-old structures.

Next Steps
Before work permits are issued or construction begins, both the Type III Historic Resource Review and the Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Review applications must be approved. The applications are a result of a robust public involvement process that included multiple public open houses and nine Community Sounding Board meetings that guided design for the required visible features of the Washington Park project.

Additional Information & Contacts
For detailed project information, visit the project webpage or contact Water Bureau Public Information staff at 503-823-3028 or by e-mail or. Visit the Bureau of Development Services’ website or call 503-823-7300 for more information on the land use review application process.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Visitor’s Center Vandalized at Powell Butte Nature Park

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Visitor's Center vandalized

Between 10 p.m. on July 17 and 6 a.m. on July 18, the Visitor's Center at Powell Butte Nature Park was vandalized.

Nine of the 12 windows were smashed. An excavator onsite was also vandalized.

Visitor's Center vandalized Visitor's Center vandalized

For the public’s safety, the Visitors Center has been taped off and the broken windows have been boarded up. The plaza area around the Visitor’s Center is open along with the restrooms for public use.

The City is asking for your help. If you see someone in the act of tampering with, removing, or destroying park property, please contact Portland Police at 9-1-1 and Water Bureau Security at 503-823-6084.

More about the Visitor’s Center
The Visitor’s Center, along with the Caretaker’s House and Maintenance Building, is part of the Conditional Use Master Plan for the Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project. The project included the construction of a second 50-million gallon underground reservoir on the butte.  

The Visitor Center features a solar roof, full-wall mural of Portland and the city’s water and parks systems, interactive and educational display boards, a stone amphitheater, restrooms, interior pipe display case, outside pipe exhibits including a 90’ walk through pipe, habitat markers, brass bubbler, and displays describing Native American tribes who once hunted on Powell Butte. The parking area and spaces are “water permeable” and is part of the Water Bureau’s stormwater management.

The reservoirs at Powell Butte and the Kelly Butte Reservoir will offer Portlanders sufficient drinking water storage capacity to meet current and future drinking water demands, support fire suppression and emergency response needs, and offset the disconnect of the city's open reservoirs at Mt. Tabor Park and Washington Park.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Water Main Break at N Hunt Street and N Hamlin Avenue

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Water main break in N Portland Water main break in N Portland

This morning, the Portland Water Bureau responded to a water main break at N Hunt Street and N Hamlin Avenue.

Water main break in N Portland

Customers Experiencing Discolored Water
In most cases the water will clear on its own within two hours or less. If your water is discolored:

  • Use the water to flush toilets, but avoid running the water through filters, hot water heaters, and washing machines.
  • Wait an hour for the system to settle, then run water at one tap for up to five minutes to see if it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes. 

If the water does not clear in a few hours, or if there is also a significant loss of pressure, contact the Water Line at 503-823-7525 or by e-mail.

Construction for Hannah Mason Pump Station (Fulton Pump Station Replacement Project) to Disrupt Traffic on SW Nevada Street

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Construction continues on a Portland Water Bureau project to build a new pump station in Willamette Park in Southwest Portland. As part of the Hannah Mason Pump Station construction project, contractors will need access to SW Nevada Street, west of Macadam from July 20 through Aug. 14. Periodic construction will take place Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For one block west of Macadam, access along SW Nevada will be limited to local traffic only while crews install new pipes. As with any construction project, safety is our first priority. Please obey flaggers and all construction signs.

Map of project area

The Hannah Mason Pump Station is being built to replace the aging Fulton Pump Station on SW Nevada Street. Work began in March and will continue to the autumn of 2016. The Water Bureau is working closely with Portland Parks & Recreation and other local agencies to coordinate this project with ongoing operations and other projects in the area. We will keep neighbors, local businesses and other stakeholders updated as work progresses.

For more information, visit the project website: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/hannahmason

NEWS RELEASE 07/16/15: Portland Water Bureau to Augment Supply with Groundwater

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Beginning Thursday, July 16, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using its groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate water supply to its customers.

Portland is not experiencing a water supply shortage. The Bull Run watershed, in combination with the Columbia South Shore Well Field, is capable of meeting Portland’s water needs throughout the summer.

Public notification is not required but the Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater. One change that customers may notice is a slight increase in hardness. The media and sensitive water users will again be notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water or if there is a need to increase the use of groundwater above 40 percent.

Due to the dry spring weather, above average summer temperatures, and in consideration of available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau will utilize the Columbia South Shore Well Field to supplement supply for the immediate future. 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. During the hottest days of July this year, the Water Bureau saw relatively high demand, around 150 million gallons per day. When the temperature dropped, customers went back to using closer to 130 million gallons per day, which is similar to average usage in early July last year. It is anticipated that groundwater will contribute approximately 25 percent of supply and may be increased up to 40 percent if above average demands continue.

“In Portland, we’re fortunate to have two high quality sources of water,” said Portland Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff. "As other parts of the nation are struggling to meet their water supply needs, it's comforting that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field to meet all our customers’ needs."

As part of our ongoing summer supply planning, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to ensure adequate, clean water for all of our customers.  The Portland Water Bureau will be managing our water supply carefully throughout the remainder of this summer, so that we continue to meet our obligations.

Depending on location, it may take up to a week for groundwater to move through the distribution system and reach customers. Weekly supply updates will be posted to www.portlandoregon.gov/water/summersupply. For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Jaymee Cuti
Public Information