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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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Uni-Directional Flushing: Part of the Water Bureau’s System Maintenance & Water Quality Work

Uni-Directional Flushing maintains the water system.


July 22, 2014

Beginning the week of July 28, the Portland Water Bureau will begin uni-directional flushing of water mains in the Northwest Heights, Forest Park, and Sylvan-Highlands neighborhoods.

Flushing will occur between NW Willalatin Road and NW Hampson Avenue on the north, Highway 26 on the south, NW Mill Pond Road and NW Morgan Lane on the west and NW Skyline/NW Ramsey/SW 48th Avenue on the east.

Flushing will be conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. CLICK HERE to view a map of the current flushing area.

The flushing of water mains is part of the Water Bureau’s on-going water quality and system maintenance work.  Performed methodically through neighborhoods, flushing removes most sediments and biofilm from water mains, reduces the water age in the pipe and restores chlorine residuals.

Flushing is accomplished by sequentially closing valves creating high water velocity that scours the biofilm and sediments from the mains. Strategically opened hydrants then facilitate the removal of this debris from the system.

Most flushing occurs Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

Most residents will not be out of water during flushing.  However, some residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration does not pose a health risk; however residents should check their water before washing any clothing.

Advice to Residents: If a flushing crew is in your neighborhood, please do not run water in your home unless it’s necessary. If you experience some discoloration in your water, turn on each cold water faucet and allow to run for several minutes. If you experience ongoing water quality problems, please call 503-823-7525. 

If flushing is actively occurring in your neighborhood, please read this important flyer with tips and information about flushing.

Operating system valves is the first step in flushing water mains.  Water Bureau crews operating valves in your neighborhood may mean the water mains will be flushed soon. Please check back for updates.