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Completion of NW Portland Reservoir, Pump Station in the Home Stretch

By Lindsay Wochnick

In October 2012, the Portland Water Bureau’s Engineering Services Group and Contractor Emery & Sons Construction, Inc. began work on the Forest Park Low Reservoir project. The project includes construction of a 1.3-million gallon reinforced-concrete underground drinking water reservoir and an adjacent 1,408 square-foot pump station on City property off NW Skyline Boulevard, near NW Hawkins Boulevard.

Aerial view of construction site in February 2013   Aerial view of construction site in July 2014
Left to right: Aerial views of the construction site in February 2013 and again in July 2014.

Less than two years later, the project is nearing completion.  By the end of July, the reservoir will be connected to the live water system and fully operational.

The reservoir will soon disappear from sight, being covered and compacted with layers of soil and eventually native grasses.  
The reservoir will soon disappear from sight, being covered and compacted with layers of soil and eventually native grasses.

Currently, water is filling the reservoir. Last week, crews applied hydroseed to help establish grass cover on the slopes adjacent to and covering the 73-foot diameter reservoir. Non-native shrubs and brush lining SW Skyline Boulevard are being removed and will later be replaced with native trees to help expand the neighborhood’s tree canopy.

During this week, Water Bureau engineers will work with contract staff to conduct a walk-through of the site and address punch-list items. The final electrical inspection and testing of the reservoir’s backflow preventer will occur during this time as well.

Most noticeable to the traveling public will be the paving of the NW Skyline Boulevard and NW Hawkins Boulevard intersection July 23 through July 24. The paving is the final step in restoring the roadway that crews excavated in May to connect a critical pipeline from the newly constructed reservoir to the water system.

The new reservoir is part of an overall plan to better serve the current and future water needs of residents living at higher elevations in the Northwest Hills district. It will also help to improve water capacity for emergency fire protection.

For additional information on the Forest Park Low Reservoir project, visit

Lindsay Wochnick
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