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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.


1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Water Bureau Offices Closed July 4 in Observance of Independence Day

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In observance of Independence Day, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2016.

This includes both the Customer Service Call Center and the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the first floor at 1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 8 a.m.

During the holiday, Water Bureau customers are invited to pay their bill in the following ways:

  • Online
  • Drop off: Leave a payment in the Water Bureau's night box located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue to the left of the building's front doors

To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project: June Update

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In order to comply with federal and state mandates and ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system, the Portland Water Bureau and Oregon general contractor Hoffman Construction Company are moving forward with an eight-year capital improvement project to update the Washington Park reservoir site at 2403 SW Jefferson Street. 

The project includes building a new, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir.

The new reservoir will preserve the historic drinking water function provided by the original reservoirs at the site and be engineered to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake. A reflecting pool/water feature will be constructed on top in the same general footprint as the historical Reservoir 3. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland wildlife habitat area, bioswale, and reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.

When complete and online, the new underground reservoir will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, 20 Portland public schools, three hospital complexes, more than 60 parks, and the Oregon Zoo.


  • Proposed Schedule
  • July 1, 2016: Begin construction
  • December 31, 2019: Complete construction on new Reservoir 3
  • December 31, 2020: Disconnect Reservoir 4 from the public water system
  • 2023-2024: Complete project completed

The project will span eight years. The first two years (2016-2018) will trigger the most significant impacts to traffic, transportation, and parking in the park. Washington Park users are encouraged to travel to and move safely around the park and its attractions by using the bus and light rail, walking, biking and skating, and taking the free park shuttle. Visit and for transit options. 

Upcoming Work: Current – September 2016  

Construction Fence Installation Within project site  X      
Placement of Mobile Field Offices Project site, below Reservoir 4  X      
Tree Pruning / Inspection Within project site, around the reservoirs, along SW Sacajawea Boulevard, SW Lewis Clark Way, & SW Madison Court  X    
Vegetation / Tree Removal Around the reservoirs, by SW Sacajawea and Sherwood Boulevards  X    
Erosion Control Within project site X    
Disconnect Reservoir 3 Inlet and Outlet Piping Within project site    X  X    
Remove Weir Building Within project site, east of Reservoir 3      X  X  
Disconnect Reservoir 4 Inlet and Outlet Piping Within project site, by Reservoir 4      X  X  
Cut and Cap Piping Within project site, by Reservoir 4      X  X  
Removal of Stilling Tank inside Gatehouse 4 Within project site, by Gatehouse 4      
Construct Shoring Wall (begins mid-Sept) Within project site, by Reservoir 3      

IMap showing traffic delay locationsmpacts: May – September 2016

  • Traffic Delays: Travelers may experience intermittent traffic flow delays up to 20 minutes on SW Sacajawea and SW Sherwood Boulevards due to pre-construction maintenance and removal of vegetation and trees in the project site.

  • Parking: All parking will remain open on SW Lewis Clark Way and SW Sacajawea and SW Sherwood Boulevards.

  • Park Facilities: All park facilities will remain open.

  • TriMet Bus Service: TriMet Bus Line 63 may have minor delays. Stop ID 6177 at SW Sacajawea/ Sherwood may be intermittently affected depending on pre-construction activity. Check for real time updates.

The project is part of the Water Bureau’s Capital Improvement Program. It is funded by revenue bond proceeds backed by the utility ratepayers’ fund. Currently, 100 percent of the project’s design is complete. With high confidence, the Water Bureau now appraises the total project budget for the life of the project at $190 million (+/- 10 percent). 

In June 2016, the Water Bureau held events for local media outlets and members of the community to honor the past, present, and future of the Washington Park reservoirs. Five media outlets and close to 100 community members attended the events, taking the opportunity to photograph the reservoirs and participate in guided walking tours and a “toss a penny into the reservoir, make a wish” tribute. View KOIN Channel 6’s coverage and additional photos of the events on the Water Blog.

The Water Bureau will be presenting project updates at upcoming neighborhood association meetings. Please join us to learn more about the project: 

To contact us with questions or concerns or to change your preferences on how to receive project updates:

Wildlife of Bull Run: Bobcat

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Bobcat "selfie" in the Bull Run WatershedBobcats live throughout the Bull Run Watershed. A Portland Water Bureau wildlife monitoring camera helped this bobcat snap an inadvertent selfie near one of the Bull Run reservoirs.

Bobcats are about twice the size of the average housecat and eat mainly birds and small mammals. Bobcats live throughout the state of Oregon, except at high elevations.

Want to try to spot some Bull Run wildlife yourself?
Sign up for one of this summer’s guided tours.

Water Bureau Employee Newsletter Wins Communication Award

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In April 2016, the Portland Water Bureau’s Bull Run Dispatch Newsletter was honored with an Excellence in Communications Award from the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association (PNWS-AWWA).

The Dispatch newsletter is published monthly for Water Bureau employees. Developed over 15 years ago, the goal of the newsletter has remained the same - to keep employees informed about relevant internal and external news and information. 

The newsletter is notable as it provides information from groups and teams across the bureau, including customer service, engineering, operations, maintenance and construction, finance, resource planning and protection. On average, close to 50 Water Bureau employees are actively involved each month in the newsletter process; this includes contributing, researching, writing, and reviewing articles.

Other 2016 awards winners included the City of Hillsboro, Rainbow Water District, SUEZ, Rockwood Water PUD, Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District, City of the Dalles, Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership, and Clark Regional Wastewater District.

Lock It Up: You Can Protect Yourself from Water Theft

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

It may seem like an obscure crime, but every year the Portland Water Bureau receives calls from customers who report people stealing water from unsuspecting homeowners. Thieves simply help themselves to unlocked hose bibs.

The Water Bureau encourages our water consumers to take a moment to share this information with your neighbors, family, and friends.

Did you know that you can protect yourself from water theft by securing your outdoor hose bibs? 

Hose bib locks are designed to secure a faucet from unauthorized tampering and water theft. Many locks fit three-quarter inch (¾”) garden hose thread faucets and are perfect for securing vacant homes, winterizing, or any time you want to have full control of water use from your hose bib.

Hose bib locks are small, inexpensive, easy to install and can be found at most local home improvement stores, as well as for purchase online. Here are a few examples:


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