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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 03/29/16: SW Nevada Street Closed to All but Local Traffic Wednesday - Friday, March 30 - April 1

By Teresa Black Add a Comment

A Portland Water Bureau water main installation project will close NW Nevada Street from SW Macadam Boulevard to SW Virginia Street to all but local traffic 24 hours a day from Wednesday, March 30 through Friday, April 1. Residents on NW Nevada Street will be able to access their homes from SW Virginia. Work hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

During construction, northbound SW Macadam Avenue traffic will not be allowed to turn left onto SW Nevada Street. The north driveway access to Macadam Village is also closed. Shoppers can enter Macadam Village by the driveway on the south side of Zupan’s Market. All businesses in Macadam Village will remain open.

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

Portland Water Bureau's FY 2016-17 Budget Work Session Tomorrow

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

As the steward of the city’s 120-year old water system, the Portland Water Bureau developed and recommended to the Portland City Council and our customers a budget that allows it to continue to meet its mission of providing clean and safe drinking water to all of its users.

The Portland Water Bureau will present its FY 2016-17 Requested Budget to Council in a work session from 1 to 2 p.m. on March 29 at Portland City Hall Council Chambers, 1220 S.W. Fourth Ave. The public is invited to observe the work session. The requested budget was submitted in February.

The FY 2016-17 Requested Budget was submitted with the Bureau of Environmental Services for a combined utility bill increase of under 5 percent. This amounts to a $4.55 increase for a typical household per month.

Our budget reflects our priorities and we want you to know that you are getting a good value when you pay your utility bill.  

We provide clean, safe, and reliable water to nearly a million people in the region.

So why increase rates? Topping the list is 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. Next is the cost of maintaining an aging system. More than 2,000 miles of pipe deliver water throughout the Portland area. While our gravity-fed system is an engineering marvel, many of our pipes are more than 80 years old. We need to invest in our aging system.

Finally, we are committed 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 projects that harden our conduits, fortify our facilities, and reinforce our new reservoirs. One of those projects is the Washington Park Improvement Project, which brings 120 year-old reservoirs up to modern seismic standards. In our climate of heightened concern about the risks of a major earthquake, now is the time for a wise resilience project of this magnitude.

No one likes to pay more for a vital service – we get it! The key issue for many is whether we are getting a good value in return.

As Portlanders, we enjoy the highest quality water in the nation. The Bull Run Watershed and Columbia South Shore Well Field meet or surpass all safe drinking water standards. The city delivers two gallons of water to every doorstep for about a penny—that’s a good deal.

Another way of looking at value is to ask what would happen if we cut corners? Flint, Michigan, is a stark reminder that investing in our water system isn’t just good policy, it’s a matter of public health and safety.

The Portland Utility Board (PUB) served as the bureau’s Budget Advisory Committee (BAC). This group is comprised of representatives of key stakeholders that included members of the community and labor representatives. The BAC and representatives of the Citizens‘ Utility Board (CUB) reviewed and provided comments on our requested budget.

Your voice matters, too. There are still opportunities to hear from the families and businesses we serve. The Portland Water Bureau’s requested budget and a calendar of public events are posted online here, www.portlandoregon.gov/water/budget16-17

Please support us in our goal of continuing to deliver the highest quality water and customer services at a fair price, invest ratepayer dollars wisely, and protect our precious natural resources for generations to come.

 

It's A Woman's World

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau is celebrating Women’s History Month by recognizing the women on our staff who have made a mark on their chosen profession through hard work and talent. We share with you a series of stories about women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field who embody that achievement. We tip our hat to your achievements, and to all of the dedicated women who work to provide Portland with clean, safe and high-quality drinking water.

Holly Walla
Senior Engineer, Portland Water Bureau

What is your role at the Water Bureau?
I manage the Engineering Transmission Mains Program. I oversee six engineers and an engineering technician that designs distribution and transmission mains.  We have a variety of projects from contract packages, crew work and service and hydrant installs. We also work with Development Services and have many interagency projects. My group designs approximately 30,000 feet of main every year and works on approximately 200 services.

How long have you worked in this field?
I have worked at the Water Bureau for 8 years. Before that I worked at Bureau of Environmental Services for 17 years and designed storm water facilities and stream restoration projects.

Who has been your greatest professional inspiration?
I admire all the women that came before and paved the way. The Water Bureau has many amazing women engineers. It is a hard profession for women to be in and I know the women before me have made it easier for me. I hope I can do the same for the women after me. 

What advice would you offer to someone starting out in your field?
I was told in college that women shouldn’t be in engineering. In my first job, I was asked to answer the phones when the receptionist called in sick. I’ve made coffee, bought cards, gifts and was asked to decorate. The advice I’d give to someone starting out is to politely decline to answer the phones. I’d also tell them to get a variety of experiences early on.  Try out different fields. Work for a consultant. Work for government. It will all help you later in your career and give you more flexibility.

What does it mean to be a women in engineering?
Women in the engineering field are smart but they are also a tough and tenacious bunch. I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing men and women at the City of Portland. 

Powell Butte Reservoir Piping Flow Meter Testing Scheduled for the Week of March 28

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

During the week of March 28, 2016, the Portland Water Bureau will conduct a test of flow meters located in the underground reservoir piping at Powell Butte Nature Park in Southeast Portland. 

The half-day test will consist of Water Bureau operating engineers slowly draining approximately two-thousand gallons of de-chlorinated water from the reservoirs, to a discharge pipe, through the flow meters, and then into Johnson Creek.

The test will confirm the meters are accurately measuring water flowing through the pipe and can monitor future discharges.

Water Bureau representatives will be onsite at Powell Butte throughout the entire duration of the test to supervise the operation.

The flowrate, temperature, turbidity, and PH of all water discharged to Johnson Creek will be closely monitored to ensure compliance with all applicable environmental and regulatory requirements.

For questions about the operation, please contact Lindsay Wochnick, Public Information, at 503-823-3028 or by e-mail

It's a Woman's World

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

The Portland Water Bureau is celebrating Women’s History Month by recognizing the women on our staff who have made a mark on their chosen profession through hard work and talent. We share with you a series of stories about women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field who embody that achievement. We tip our hat to your achievements, and to all of the dedicated women who work to provide Portland with clean, safe and high-quality drinking water.

Kavita Heyn
Climate Science & Sustainability Coordinator for the Portland Water Bureau

What is your role at the Water Bureau?
I’m the Water Bureau’s Climate Science & Sustainability Coordinator. In this role I use climate science and modeling to help inform long-term planning and decision making so the bureau is as resilient as possible in the future. I also work to help reduce the bureau’s environmental and carbon footprint, and improve efficiency in the process.

How long have you worked in this field?
I have worked in the environmental field for 16 years, and specifically on climate change for 10 years. Some of my research in the climate change field includes looking at how climate may impact future streamflows, snow and forest vegetation in Yosemite National Park, CA, and also how more frequent extreme storms could mobilize sewage and pathogen transport in Tijuana, Mexico. I also worked for American Rivers to implement climate resilient river restoration and conservation efforts for Northwest and California rivers, and with the Climate Trust to help reduce carbon emissions from agricultural practices.

What has been your greatest professional inspiration?
My personal passion for the outdoors and natural environment inspires me professionally to want to dedicate my career to a field that helps protect and secure that environment for the future.

What advice would you offer to someone starting out in your field?
Working on climate change can be both rewarding and extremely difficult. It’s a long term challenge that really forces people to think about a future in which they will not participate, and it can be hard to encourage people to act that far forward. If you’re starting out the in the field it’s so important to be committed to the issue, and recognize that this is a long game with both achievements and barriers along the way.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in your field?
We need more women in scientific and technical fields, and I greatly appreciate that I have a community of smart, cool women colleagues working on climate change who I can reach out to for advice and support. There’s room for more!

What else do you want to share about yourself and your work?
I’m always happy to talk about how the bureau is investing in preparing for climate change.