GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
Nearly half of these fires are caused by fireworks.
The Portland Water Bureau encourages you to take extra precaution to ensure your fourth of July holiday will be a blast but hazard free:
For additional information on using fireworks safely and the associated laws and regulations in Oregon, visit the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website.
This past weekend saw temperatures in Portland reach over 90 degrees with forecasts predicting the heat wave to continue throughout the week.
As Portlanders sip on their glasses of ice water to deal with the heat, you might have questions about our water supply and whether we have enough.
Portland’s primary water source, the Bull Run watershed, gets most of its water from rain, not snow.
The Bull Run gets approximately 135 inches of rain each year, about three to four times more rain than we get here in town. Thanks to good planning, the Portland area has another high-quality water source in the Columbia South Shore Well Filed. Both the Bull Run and Columbia South Shore Well Field meet or surpass federal standards for safe drinking water. Portland’s groundwater source can be used in addition to the Bull Run supply during dry periods.
The Portland Water Bureau will continue to carefully monitor water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to ensure clean water for our customers. We will continue to update our customers throughout the summer about water supply.
The Water Bureau began blending groundwater with Bull Run water on June 11 so scheduled work could be completed to strengthen interties on its largest conduit. This work was completed ahead of schedule, allowing the Water Bureau to return to 100 percent Bull Run sooner than anticipated. While this work occurred, the bureau also took the opportunity to perform its annual maintenance operation of the groundwater system. By routinely doing this operation, the bureau ensures the reliability of the system when needed, either in an emergency or to meet seasonal supply demands.
Due to careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow the City to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that could occur this summer. Both the Bull Run and Columbia South Shore Well Field are high-quality water sources that meet or surpass all federal and state drinking water regulations.
It will take one to eight days, depending on location, for 100 percent Bull Run water to move through the distribution system and reach customers.
While public notification is not required, the Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive users, as a practice, when it activates and discontinues use of groundwater.
To learn more about the Columbia South Shore Well Field, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/groundwater. Customers with water quality questions are encouraged to contact the Water Line at 503-823-7525.
Did you know?
Portland’s primary drinking water supply, the Bull Run Watershed, depends mostly on rain rather than snow, making it more resilient to warming temperatures.
He knew immediately that this was a special find, so he hopped out of his rig, measured its shell, and snapped a quick photo of the animal before it continued on its way through the forest.
It turned out that the watershed specialist had found a Western pond turtle (Emys marmorata, sometimes Actinemys marmorata), one of only two native freshwater turtle species in the state. Moreover, the Western pond turtle is a critically sensitive species in Oregon, and is a priority at-risk species for the Oregon Conservation Strategy created by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
According to ODFW, Western pond turtles “are a priority species of conservation concern because they have experienced significant population declines in many parts of their ranges and continue to be highly vulnerable to habitat loss and other anthropogenic (human) impacts.”
The turtle was crossing a road at a point where either side is lined with dense forest, nearly a mile from any pond or reservoir. However, although pond turtles seek warm waters and sunlit logs for basking in late spring and summer, in winter they use upland terrestrial habitats where they may hibernate in underground burrows or the forest duff.
Interestingly, Western pond turtles are long lived. They don’t breed until they are seven to 12 years old and may live 50 years or more in the wild.
When watering, it can be hard to know how much to use. Plants lose water through a process called evapotranspiration (ET) which is the combination of water lost through evaporation and from plant transpiration. Generally, the amount of water lost through ET is equal to the amount of water that must be replaced to maintain healthy growing conditions.
The rate of ET is affected by the amount of sun, wind, air temperature, and other variables. In Portland, it generally takes one-inch of watering each week during the summer to offset normal ET for lawns.
Take the guesswork out of predicting the needs of your plants by looking at the Weekly Watering Number, a service provided by our partners at the Regional Water Providers Consortium which gives you the amount of water (in inches) your plants will need each week.
The weekly watering number is updated every Thursday from April-September. It takes into account ET rates according to your zip code. Visit http://www.conserveh2o.org to see what your plants need today!
Sarah Murphy Santner