GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
Assuming that the weather forecast is not a big liar (and at this point, I'm not convinced that it isn't) Portland has some warm, dry days ahead. (this is a good thing because I'm pretty sure I'm molding)
To you, warm, dry days mark the beginning of wonderful summer: picnics, hikes, wine country... all the outdoor activities your little heart desires.
To the Water Bureau, warm, dry days mark the beginning of Uni-Directional Flushing (UDF) season on Portland's eastside. UDF is done in order to combat dirty water that may or may not build up over time in the city's water infrastructure which, in turn, helps to ensure that we're continuing to serve Portland the best drinking water in the world.
The process is fairly simple and you may notice it happening in your eastside neighborhood one day soon. Crews open up fire hydrants and water rushes out thus eliminating itself from the system. The sudden rush of water also provides an internal cleaning of sorts to the water mains, grabbing accumulated sediment on its way out. As it exits the hydrant, water filters through de-chlorination tabs (look a bit like a hockey puck) to eliminate chlorine from it before it goes into the sewer system.
We're often asked if we reuse the UDF water in any way. We don't. However, we have looked into it and found that doing so is not only cost prohibitive but so labor intensive that it doesn't make sense from a sustainability standpoint.