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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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Kelly Butte Reservoir Goes Online, Now Serving Customers

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Photo slideshow courtesy of the Portland Water Bureau's Flickr Photostream

In March 2015, the two cells composing the new 25-million gallon underground reservoir at Kelly Butte in southeast Portland were successfully placed online. The reservoir now serves Bull Run water to customers across the City of Portland and beyond.

By the NumbersThe Portland Water Bureau and Hoffman Construction Company crews began work on the project in late 2012 with demolition of the 43-year-old, 10-million gallon above ground steel tank.

Close to a year of excavation on the butte followed with the removal of about 180,000 cubic yards of rock and soil to make way for the new underground tank two-and-a-half times the old tank's size. 

Beginning in the fall of 2013, more than 2,000 truckloads of concrete were brought onsite, pouring the reservoir’s floor.

By summer 2014, the reservoir’s wall, roof, and support columns were completed.

The underground reservoir has now disappeared from view completely, being covered with onsite earthwork.

Also constructed onsite is a stormwater detention basin, an overflow detention basin, multiple vaults, and valve structures.

Work at the site will continue through 2015 with construction of access roads, fencing, landscaping and the strategic planting of more than 1,660 trees and 7,250 shrubs across the entire site. The total project cost was estimated at $90 million and is currently projected to finish under this budget.

The Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve Portland's east side and be a stopover to supply water to the Washington Park reservoir and southwest Portland area water storage tanks.

For additional information, visit the project webpage

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information


Water Quality Trivia

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B. The Portland Water Bureau maintains water pressure in the system to ensure that water leaks out of breaks in the system, preventing outside material from entering.

Water pressure not only keeps water moving in our system, it also protects water quality. As long as our system is under pressure, water is forced out of cracks or holes in pipes, which prevents soil and other contaminants from entering. If there is a total loss of pressure somewhere in our system, which can sometimes occur with a large main break, a temporary boil water notice may be issued to affected customers. 

Questions or concerns about water quality? Contact the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Happy Earth Day from the Portland Water Bureau!

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The Portland Water Bureau is committed to being a responsible steward of the public’s fiscal and natural resources. Through sustainable operations, the bureau saves energy, reduces costs, eliminates waste and becomes more efficient. 

In recognition of Earth Day, the Water Bureau has highlighted a few of its sustainability efforts below:

Energy Use:
The bureau’s Energy Committee works to improve energy efficiency at bureau facilities and pump stations and educate employees about energy savings.

Renewable Energy:
The bureau has helped install 400 kW of renewable energy through solar arrays and micro-hydro to comply with City and State-wide renewable energy goals. This includes the installation of a new 78 kW array at the new LEED-certified Water Bureau Shops and Stores Warehouse as part of the Interstate Renovation Project.

Installation of solar array on the new Interstate Shops and Stores Warehouse
Installation of solar array on the new Interstate Shops and Stores Warehouse

Carbon Emissions: The bureau’s carbon emissions for calendar year 2013 were 35 percent lower than its 2007 baseline carbon emissions due to in part to energy efficiency measures and lower vehicle fuel use.

Recycling Rate
: The City of Portland has a 90 percent recovery rate for city bureaus. The Water Bureau’s recovery rate was 75 percent in Fiscal Year 2013-14, a two percent increase from the previous year, and total garbage generation was one-third lower.

To learn more about how the Water Bureau works to create a healthier environment and use ratepayer resources wisely, visit our Sustainable Operations webpage.

Kavita Heyn
Climate Science & Sustainability Coordinator

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