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Portland Water Bureau

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1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Water Quality Inspectors Protect Water System

By Lindsay Wochnick

Oregon Health Authority rules and City of Portland codes require backflow assemblies to be installed on a variety of different types of water services. Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of a liquid, gas or solid into the potable water supply. 

This requirement is an effort to protect our water system from potential contamination and/or pollution that a user might otherwise be able to introduce back into our system via backflow through their water service. 

Activating & testing a backflow assembly installation 
A water quality inspector II activates and tests a new parallel Reduced Pressure Backflow Assembly installation on the Oregon Zoo main water supply.

Supporting this effort, Portland Water Bureau's water quality inspection staff review all commercial building plans submitted for building permit application.  During this review, each project’s water use and needs are assessed and an appropriate approved backflow assembly is required to be installed on each water service where warranted.  Additionally, on each new water service sold where backflow protection is required, water quality inspectors will inspect the new installation for compliance with State and City codes.

Activating a new fire sprinkler water service  
A new fire sprinkler water service to the Multnomah County Sherriff boat and ramp facility on NE Marine Drive was activated.

Currently, water quality inspection staff and those from other groups maintain a database of nearly 35,000 individual backflow prevention assemblies installed throughout the city.


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