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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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Herbicide Treatment to Control Invasive Weeds at Powell Butte Nature Park Underway

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Powell Butte Nature Park

The Portland Water Bureau, in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation and SSC Construction, Inc., is conducting contact spraying for weed control at Powell Butte Nature Park.

Spraying has begun and will continue during the summer months. 

The current spraying is focused around trees (maple, fir, oak, ash) and plants (yarrow, roses, willow) newly planted as part of the Water Bureau’s Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project’s re-vegetation plan. The spraying targets non-native, highly invasive, state-listed noxious weeds or City of Portland Nuisance Plants which, left untreated, would rapidly increase and interfere with the natural ecology of the park, including the newly established trees and plants. The treatment is carefully targeted and won’t be applied near water storage facilities.

The spraying is part of the City of Portland’s invasive management program and is required for compliance of permits conditions as required by our permit for Powell Butte phase II. The Water Bureau is using state certified pest control applicators for all weed control requiring herbicide and following strict guidelines of the Portland Parks Integrated Pesticide Management (IPM) Program

No portion of the park will be closed during the spraying operations. However, park users are encouraged to watch for signage and avoid areas which are actively being sprayed.

Members of the public who have questions about the contact spraying are encouraged to contact the Water Bureau Public Information team at 503-823-3028 or by e-mail.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 04/17/15: Short Section of SW Terwilliger Boulevard Reduced to One Lane for Sawcutting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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A short stretch of SW Terwilliger Boulevard northbound lane at the traffic island on the corner of SW Terwilliger Boulevard and SW Capitol Highway will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21.

Both traffic lanes will reopen when the work is completed. Work will be done outside of commute hours.

Flaggers will be stationed to pass traffic through safely. Motorists are reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly stop. Alternate routes are encouraged for motorist to avoid traffic delays.

The contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be working in the road in preparation for the restoration of the traffic island as part of the SW Carolina Pump Mains-Phase 2 project. More information about the project can be found on the project webpage

Terry Black
Public Information

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 04/16/15: SW Burlingame Terrace Closed to All but Local Traffic

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Road restoration work on SW Burlingame Terrace will begin the week of April 20, 2015 and will continue for six to eight weeks. The road will be closed to all but local traffic during this time.

A Portland Water Bureau water main installation project was completed last fall and the restoration work was postponed until warmer weather. 

Motorists are urged to use alternate routes, remember to drive slowly, and exercise caution when traveling in the construction area.

Project information can be found online at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/swcarolina.

Bull Run Treatment Variance: Watershed & Supply Protection, Inspection & Monitoring

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Reservoir 2 holds about seven billion gallons.

This past March marks the third anniversary of the Bull Run Treatment Variance (BRTV).

Granted by the Oregon Health Authority in 2012, the Variance allows the Portland Water Bureau to operate the Bull Run supply without treatment for Cryptosporidium, due to the protected nature of the watershed.

Maintaining the BRTV requires intensive monitoring for Cryptosporidium.  In 2014, the Water Bureau collected and tested the following for Cryptosporidium: 

  • 5,200 liters (L) of raw intake water from Headworks
  • 710 L of Bull Run tributary water from the 4 Key Stations
  • 294 wildlife scats from the watershed 

Bull Run Treatment Variance Watershed Report - Water Year 2014The Water Bureau is also required to demonstrate protection of the watershed and water supply. To that end, the bureau:

  • Completed 1,155 checks of 16 watershed entry gates
  • Conducted 363 inspections of the Diversion Pool
  • Verified containment at 16 sanitary facilities
  • Carried out 27 wildlife inspections
  • Inspected 13 miles of public trails
  • Flew 2 aerial inspections for landslides
  • Prepared a 97 page compliance report for OHA, accessible online on the LT2 webpage.

In addition to meeting these ongoing requirements, the Water Bureau met several milestones in 2014 including: 

  • Major Key Station upgrades
  • Two wildlife studies
  • A Bull Run Neighbor Outreach campaign
  • A standard operating procedure for livestock incursions

And finally, the most important statistics for 2014:

  • Complete compliance with Variance conditions
  • Zero detections of Cryptosporidium in the water

Proposed Washington Park Reservoir Project Initial Land Use Review Application: City Council Hearing Scheduled for April 23, Public Comments Accepted

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In order to comply with federal and state mandates, and ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system, the Portland Water Bureau is moving forward with a project to update the Washington Park reservoir site.

In December 2014, the Water Bureau submitted the first of two Land Use Review (LUR) applications (Type IV) to the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services (BDS) for the proposed Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project. 

The initial Type IV LUR application proposes the removal of the Weir Building (screen house), portions of lower Reservoir 4’s basin, and upper Reservoir 3’s basin in Washington Park. The gatehouses, dams, and other historic features will be protected and restored.

On February 9, BDS deemed the Type IV LUR application complete and issued a Request for Response, officially opening the public comment period and setting the dates for the Historic Landmarks Commission meeting (March 30) and the City Council Hearing (April 23).

Historic Landmarks Commission Meeting
On March 30, a public meeting was held before the Historic Landmarks Commission to review the Water Bureau’s proposed Washington Park Reservoir Project Type IV Land Use Review (LUR) application.

During the public meeting, BDS presented the Staff Report and Recommendation, the Water Bureau discussed the project, and members of the public offered testimony. The Commission voted 3 to 1 in support of the initial LUR application and will forward their recommendation to the City Council.

City Council Hearing
A City Council hearing will be held on Thursday, April 23 at 2 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers at 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon. During the hearing, members of the public will be invited to offer testimony.

Public Comments
Public comments on the initial LUR application can be e-mailed to Hillary.Adam@portlandoregon.gov and Karla.Moore-Love@portlandoregon.gov, faxed to 503-823-5630, or mailed to:

Hillary Adam
Land Use Services, Bureau of Development Services
RE: LU 14-249689
1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500
Portland, OR 97201

Please reference Land Use Review number LU 14-249689 in any communications. Access a courtesy copy of the initial LUR application on the Water Bureau’s project webpage at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/wpreservoirs/LUR1

Project Details
The Water Bureau’s Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project proposes to build a new below-ground reservoir in the same general footprint as the existing upper Reservoir 3, with a reflecting pool on top.

The lower Reservoir 4 basin and the slope to the west are needed to provide landslide abatement; the slope will be restored to its pre-reservoir condition. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland habitat area/bioswale and a reflecting pool are also proposed in the Reservoir 4 basin. Work will primarily be within the Historic District.

The project addresses major reservoir issues, including recurrent landslide damage, compliance with federal law, seismic vulnerability, and deterioration of the 120-year-old structures.

Next Steps
In spring 2015, the Water Bureau will submit a second LUR application package that includes two Type III applications. The LUR package will propose the construction of a new covered reservoir, reflecting pools, lowland habitat area/bioswale, walkways, and historic preservation and rehabilitation actions.

The second LUR application process will also include a comment period, public meeting, and hearing to ensure public notification and the opportunity to comment before a final land use decision is rendered. Before work permits are issued or construction begins, all LUR applications must be approved. This includes the initial Type IV LUR application and the Type III LUR application package.

The LUR applications are a result of a robust public involvement process that included multiple public open houses and nine Community Sounding Board (CSB) meetings that guided design for the required visible features of the Washington Park project.

Additional Information & Contacts

  • For detailed project information, visit the project webpage or contact Water Bureau Public Information staff by e-mail or at 503-823-3028.
  • Visit the Bureau of Development Services’ website or call 503-823-7300 for more information on the land use review application process.