Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More


Join us for Cycle the Well Field on May 21

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

What local resource is capable of producing close to 100 million gallons per day of high quality drinking water, is the second largest water source in the State of Oregon, and is used as a secondary water supply for customers served by the Portland Water Bureau?

Answer: The Columbia South Shore Well Field! 

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a series of 26 water supply wells located between the Columbia River and I-84, and stretching from I-205 in Portland all the way to Troutdale. Groundwater from the well field is used to supplement water from the Bull Run watershed during turbidity events or hot summer weather when water demand is greatest.

2015 Cycle the Wellfield group photo

On Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 8:45 am to 1:30 pm, the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council invite you, your friends and family aged 12 and up to take part in a yearly bike tour of this resource during the “Cycle the Well Field” event. 

Learn about the history, safety and functionality of Portland's underground drinking water system while pedaling over relatively flat terrain at a slow/moderate pace. Helmets are required and light refreshments provided. Bring water and a lunch to enjoy at Blue Lake Park.

Advanced registration is required for this free event. Please contact Karen Carrillo, Columbia Slough Watershed Council Outreach Director, at 503-281-1132 or register online

Water Bureau Careers Showcased at Women in Trades Career Fair

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

During the month of May we will feature the stories of some of the talented and dedicated women in trades at the Portland Water Bureau.

Many of these women volunteer for the annual Women in Trades Career Fair, produced by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. on May 14. This interactive fair encourages middle and high school girls and women to explore the possibility of a future career in the trades.

For more than 13 years, women from the Portland Water Bureau have been a key part of this unique event with the goal of promoting and supporting the advancement and employment of women in the trades.

“The Portland Water Bureau is a great place to work and build a career. I am proud that we have steady participation in the Women in Trades Career Fair, which strengthens our future workforce,” said Michael Stuhr, Water Bureau Administrator.

Thank you to the professional and talented women in the Water Bureau who have dedicated their career to the trades.

Get to Know the Portland Water Bureau Tradeswomen

Wanda Hall

Wanda was a Seasonal Worker for Portland Parks before becoming an Apprentice Utility Worker for the Water Bureau in 2001. She is now a Utility Worker II. Wanda has a commercial driver’s license and operates six- and 12-yard dump trucks. She is learning to locate water mains and operate a backhoe. Wanda was on the Water Bureau’s tapping team for American Water Works Association (AWWA).

Joy Crays

Joy previously worked at Ready Made Barricades Inc. She became a Utility Worker Apprentice II for the Water Bureau in 2003 and before she finished her apprenticeship, she applied to become a Water Operations Mechanic. She is a crew leader and runs her own crew. She is also a trainer for new employees. Joy was on the Water Bureau tapping team for American Water Works Association (AWWA).

Colette Hubert

Colette was a Water Bureau intern in 1992 in the landscaping department and went to work at Portland Parks in 1993 as a Maintenance Worker and then a gardener. In 1997, she became a Utility Worker II at the Maintenance Bureau and was in the Labor Pool. She worked in street cleaning, structures, night ops. and traffic. Colette has a commercial driver’s license and has operated six- and 12-yard dump trucks, sweepers and flushers. She has also filled in as a Public Works Supervisor I. In September 2006, she came back as an Engineering Tech 1 which is called a Utility Locator at the Water Bureau. Colette locates all of our water mains and water services in the field.

Spring Yard Care

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

  

Spring is here, and it’s time to get your outdoor spaces ready for summer!

Here are a few tips that will help you save water and enjoy your yard to the fullest.

The Lawn

We’ve had the perfect mix of sun and rain this spring to grow grass. But how often and how low should we mow? While the ideal mowing height depends on what kind of grass you have, a good rule of thumb is to always maintain 2/3 of the original height of the grass. Mowing frequently, (about once a week) and just cutting a little each time can encourage robust root development.  Better roots = less water and maintenance.  Another benefit from consistent mowing is that you don’t need to pick up the clippings!  In fact, these clippings serve as a great source of nutrients for the plants. 

The Garden

Good gardens start with great soil. Make sure you have a good mix of organic matter in your soil. In a raised bed, plan to incorporate 2-3 inches of organic material.  Supplementing your soil with compost or other organic material increases the amount of water your soil can hold and then release to your plants.  What do we mean by “organic matter?”  Some examples of organic matter include:  bark mulch, cured manure, grass or wheat straw, and compost. You can make your own compost or purchase compost mixtures at local garden stores.  Once your soil is ready, you can start planting!  Check out Portland Nursery’s Veggie Calendar to see what can be planted in April.

The Watering

Grass, shrubs, and vegetable gardens have different watering needs. Spring is a great time to research your watering options. Consider drip systems or soaker hoses for perennial and vegetable plantings.  If you have an automatic irrigation system check out our rebates for WaterSense® labeled controllers and multistream rotating nozzles.  Take the guesswork out of predicting the needs of your plants by signing up for the Weekly Watering Number, a service provided by our partners at the Regional Water Providers Consortium which gives you the amount of water (in inches) your lawn will need each week.  It takes into account local weather according to your zip code. Visit http://www.conserveh2o.org to see how much water your lawn needs today!   

Water Bureau Careers Showcased at Women in Trades Fair

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

During the month of May we will feature the stories of some of the talented and dedicated women in trades at the Portland Water Bureau. 

Many of these women volunteer for the annual Women in Trades Career Fair, produced by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. on May 14. This interactive fair encourages middle and high school girls and women to explore the possibility of a future career in the trades.

For more than 13 years, women from the Portland Water Bureau have been a key part of this unique event with the goal of promoting and supporting the advancement and employment of women in the trades.

“The Portland Water Bureau is a great place to work and build a career. I am proud that we have steady participation in the Women in Trades Career Fair, which strengthens our future workforce,” said Michael Stuhr, Water Bureau Administrator.

Thank you to the professional and talented women in the Water Bureau who have dedicated their career to the trades.

Get to Know the Portland Water Bureau Tradeswomen

Shawna Gawthorne

Shawna worked as a seasonal employee in 1997 for the Bureau of Maintenance. She has a commercial driver’s license and worked for Portland Parks as a seasonal worker in 1998. Then she became a Maintenance Worker on Mt. Tabor. She applied for the Utility Worker II position at the Water Bureau and was hired in 1999. She was a Utility Worker II for six years, working in the field and on a service truck. She was also upgraded to driving six- and 12-yard dump trucks, and operating backhoes. In 2003, Shawna applied to become a Construction Equipment Operator and currently holds that position. She joined the Water Bureau tapping team in 2007 and became an American Water Works Association (AWWA) National Champion in 2008 for the Portland Water Bureau.

Catherine Willison

Catherine applied to become a Utility Worker Apprentice in 2005 and is now a Utility Worker II. She has a commercial driver’s license with upgrades to drive six- and 12-yard dump trucks.

Syngen Coe

Syngen was hired at the Water Bureau in 2007 as an Apprentice Utility Worker. She was a Utility Worker II and is now an Automotive Equipment Operator, operating six- and 12-yard dump trucks. Syngen has a commercial driver’s license. She also volunteers for summer programs and activities at the Water Bureau.

Water Bureau Electricians at Work

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

 

During the Groundwater Pump Station run last fall, Portland Water Bureau Electricians Dan, Amy, and Kirk worked together to successfully repair one of the motor winding leads in Main Unit Pump-Motor #4. They got the pump-motor back into operation by replacing the 5kV motor winding lead inside the motor.

During the Mt. Tabor Adjustments project, Water Bureau electricians and operating engineers worked together to remove and relocate the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) previously used for actuator backup power inside the 44” Meter House to its new home in the Electrical Room inside the new Interstate Maintenance Building. The UPS will now provide uninterruptible power for the Water Bureau’s Dispatch Center. Electrician Amy was key in completing this repurposing effort, installing the UPS, new distribution panel, and conduit and wire.

  

As part of the Lusted Treatment Facility Improvements project, Water Bureau Electrician Kirk installed underground conduit and wire to a generator and reconfigured the existing electrical system to accept the new relocated ATS. Water Treatment Operator II Kyle, Watershed Specialist II Fred, Construction Equipment Operator Marty, Watershed Specialist I Keith, and Carpenter Bruce provided the excavation and concrete pad for the new generator.