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Around the Well Field by Bike

By Lindsay Wochnick

2013 Cycle Well Field event participants

More than 50 people joined members of the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council on June 1st for the biggest-ever bicycle tour of Columbia South Shore Well Field.  

Briggy Thomas, Education Program Manager, explains how the well field allows Portland to maintain Bull Run as an unfiltered drinking water source.

Portland Water Bureau staff led the 16-mile trip on easy terrain, teaching participants along the way about the safety, functionality and history of Portland's underground drinking water source and the infrastructure that brings it to our customers. 

Randy Albright, Hydrogeologist, explains the aquifers that supply some of our drinking water and how the groundwater system works. 

Feedback from the event was encouraging as Portland Water Bureau employees Randy Albright, Jeff Leighton, Briggy Thomas and Doug Wise were praised for their knowledge, professionalism, safety considerations and patience in answering all questions from such a large group.

“All presenters were well-prepared, knew their content and engaged participants
by providing lots of opportunity for questions to be answered.” 

“I really liked the protection of the bikers by the staff at intersections -
this was well thought out and considerate.”

“I was interested to see all the measures to prevent contamination of the groundwater supply.
I also learned when groundwater is used as a source of drinking water, and how to pronounce "slough" correctly!”

“We have skilled, knowledgeable folks in charge
of the best water in the world!”

To learn more about the Columbia South Shore Well Field and how to protect our groundwater, please visit

Lindsay Wochnick
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