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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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Proposed Mt. Tabor Reservoir Project

  • Mt. Tabor Park is a Historic Community Asset and an Important Part of our Parks System The reservoir structures and buildings at Mt. Tabor Park are historically significant because of their role in Portland’s early water system.

  • Public Water Systems & Protection Measures Storing finished drinking water (water that is ready to be directly served to homes and businesses) in facilities that are completely exposed to the air and surrounding environment is no longer allowed by federal and state law.

  • Open Drinking Water Reservoirs The Mount Tabor Reservoirs were built during the period of 1894 and 1911, along with the reservoirs in Washington Park.


In order to satisfy an unfunded federal water quality mandate, the City of Portland is required to disconnect Portland’s open air reservoirs, including three at Mt. Tabor Park. This work is scheduled to begin in early 2015. Reservoir 7, which is enclosed at Mt. Tabor Park, will stay in service.

Video Overview of Proposed Project

Scope of Work
Several types of disconnection work are necessary. Some buried pipe will have to be removed, and some new pipe will be installed below ground. Other work will take place inside vaults, both above and below ground, and other structures. None of this work will damage or make non-reversible alterations to the open reservoirs or other historic structures.

Main Tasks
Three major tasks are proposed:

1. Water pipes entering and leaving the open reservoirs will be disconnected, leaving an “air-gap” between the reservoirs, dead-end lengths of pipe and the active water system. This generally involves a "cut and plug" which entails removing approximately a 10-foot section of pipe and then closing the openings. It is important to note that this disconnection will not prevent water from entering the reservoirs in the future. Existing large-diameter pipes will allow water to flow into the reservoirs, but water will flow to the sewer system rather than the water distribution system when it leaves the reservoirs.

2. New connections will be made between some large diameter transmission pipelines to allow the water to be rerouted around the reservoirs.

3. A new transmission pipeline will be constructed between a supply conduit on the south side of Mt. Tabor and the transmission pipeline located in SE Lincoln, west of the park.



Mt. Tabor Aerial

Viewa an aerial overview of all the work zones in Mt. Tabor Park.

Project Updates

This page was created for this project website to share more information and offer ongoing updates for both the Land Use Review processes and construction schedules. Project updates and schedules will be posted on a regular basis so that the public will know where to expect temporary construction impacts while visiting the park.

Project Details: Maps and Photos of Work Areas

During the proposed construction both inside the park and on the nearby street, the Portland Water Bureau and its contractor will work to protect trees and the reservoir and park facilities not impacted by the work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The FAQs we have developed are designed to provide a better understanding of the proposed project and schedule, construction impacts, preservation, public feedback opportunities, costs, park amenities, and long-term planning.

History of Mount Tabor

Mt. Tabor Park is a historic community asset and an important part of our parks system.