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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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Single Lane Closure on SW Barbur Boulevard June 22, 23, and 27

By Teresa Black Add a Comment

A Portland Water Bureau water main installation project will close 100 feet of the westside southbound lane of SW Barbur Boulevard between SW Baird Street and SW 35th Avenue  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Monday, June 22, 23 and 27.

Travelers are urged to use alternate routes and are reminded to drive slowly, exercise caution, and follow traffic control signs.

Sales Mailer May Confuse Some Customers

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau shares our community’s concerns about the recent detections of lead in water in area schools and other facilities. Unfortunately, a private home drinking water treatment company is trying to capitalize on these concerns with inaccurate advertising that may confuse some customers.

The Portland Water Bureau wants to remind our customers that such offers are not associated with the City of Portland, nor does the Portland Water Bureau have any connection with such companies, or any other such home treatment manufacturer. 

While some treatment can be an effective method for removing contaminants from water, including lead, it is important for consumers to make informed decisions regarding the water in their homes based upon accurate data and facts

Here are the facts that you need to know:

Our source water meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards. The level of lead in drinking water in the mailing was from 2013, and was the regulatory level found in the most at-risk homes tested under worst case scenario. It is not representative of the potential lead in drinking water found in most homes during normal use.

The main source of lead in water in the Portland area is household plumbing. Lead is rarely found in Portland’s source waters, and there are no known lead service lines in the distribution system. Lead solder was commonly used in homes built or plumbed with copper pipes before 1985. Lead can also be found in brass plumbing fixtures and components.

Because lead exposure is localized to the plumbing in high-risk homes and buildings, your home would not necessarily be at risk solely on the basis that  your neighbors’ home has a high lead detection.

The only way to know if your home plumbing contains lead solder is to test. Free test kits are available by contacting the LeadLine, 503-988-4000 or leadline.org.

The Portland Water Bureau recently released its annual water quality report online. The federally-required report outlines how Portland is continuing to deliver clean and safe drinking water to nearly a million customers.

The Portland Water Bureau mailed a postcard to inform every customer about the availability of the report online. Customers are able to request a paper copy, either online or by phone or by calling the Portland Water Bureau Water Line at 503-823-7525.

From 2013 to 2016, more than 15,000 lead tests were conducted in Multnomah County. Of those, elevated blood lead levels were found in 188 children. No cases were traced to lead in drinking water from any source.

Budget Briefs: Next Year’s Budget Approved

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

The City Council has adopted the budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).

Next year’s budget supports the following Portland Water Bureau priorities:

  • Compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. We keep in good standing with state and federal regulations to ensure that your water is always clean and safe.
  • Maintaining an aging system. More than 2,000 miles of pipe deliver water throughout the Portland area. Many of those pipes are more than 80 years old. We need to invest in our aging system.
  • Our commitment to making our system more resilient. Portland is at risk of a major earthquake. When the “Big One” hits, we need to be prepared. That’s why the budget includes critical investments in work that hardens our conduits, fortifies our facilities, and reinforces our new reservoirs. One of those projects is the Washington Park Improvement Project, which brings 120 year-old reservoirs up to modern seismic standards.

To support these priorities, Council has approved the following rate adjustment:

The typical residential single-family will experience a 4.45 percent or $4.42 increase per month on their utility bill. Approximately 33 percent of the monthly bill charges will be dedicated to water services while 67 percent is devoted to sewer and stormwater services.

Click here to view the adopted City budget and here to view the Portland Water Bureau budget.

Bike More – Water Bureau Accepts Challenge!

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In 2016, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance gave the September Bike Commute Challenge a new name and moved it to May! Now coinciding with National Bike Month, the Bike More Challenge (BMC) encourages everyone across Oregon to get out of their cars and on their bikes to see who can #BikeMore!

  
Left: Water Bureau Engineering Technician II Patrick biked a whopping 245 miles during May!
Right: Water Bureau Engineer Jeremiah and Economist Eric showed their dedication
to the BMC, even in a torrential downpour
!

During May, the Portland Water Bureau joined the month-long friendly competition.

Forty-nine Water Bureau employees participated, logging a total of just under 10,000 miles. For the entire state of Oregon, 832 organizations with 11,761 participants took part during the challenge, clocking over 1.6 million miles!

Great job to all participants! For more information on the challenge, visit the BMC's official webpage.

Council Approves 2016-17 Utility Rate Adjustment

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

The Mayor and City Council have approved the sewer, stormwater, and water bill rate adjustment for fiscal year 2016-17. For the third straight year in a row, the utility rate increase remains under five percent for water consumers.

Beginning July 1, 2016, the typical residential single-family will experience a 4.45 percent or $4.42 increase per month on their utility bill.

Approximately 33 percent of the monthly bill charges will be dedicated to water services while 67 percent devoted to sewer and stormwater costs.

The water portion of the rate adjustment will support: 

  • Continued investment in our water system, including the two water sources, 41 pump stations, 66 tanks and covered reservoirs, 2,330 miles of pipe, 178,500 meters, 14,350 hydrants, and drinking fountains 
  • Maintaining and strengthening aging infrastructure, targeting the more than 100-year old pipes under Portland’s streets    
  • Raising sufficient revenues to ensure financial stability and resiliency
  • Supporting operating expenses to safely deliver water from the Bull Run Watershed to customer’s taps 24/7
  • Addressing debt service related to water bonds that support funding a portion of larger scale construction and capital maintenance projects
  • Funding essential capital projects, such as the Washington Park Reservoir Improvements and the Willamette River Crossing projects

Setting Rates
In Portland, utility rates are set through a yearlong process, beginning with the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Portland Water Bureau developing and submitting  budget requests with direction from the Commissioner-in-Charge. The Portland City Council then reviews and approves the sewer and stormwater rates and the water rates to raise sufficient revenues to fund the budgets for the following fiscal year.