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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

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

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2015 Updates

June 5, 2012

On the morning of Tuesday, June 9, the Powell Butte Reservoir 2 contractor will conduct a test of two ultrasonic flow meters located in piping associated with the underground Reservoirs at Powell Butte Nature Park in Southeast Portland. The four hour test will consist of Water Bureau operating engineers slowly draining approximately 72,000 gallons of de-chlorinated water at 300-gallons per minute from a 54-inch discharge pipe through the meters and then into Johnson Creek.

The test will confirm the meters are accurately measuring water flowing through the pipe and are able to monitor future discharges.

Water Bureau representatives will be on site at Powell Butte throughout the entire duration of the test to supervise and monitor the operation.The flowrate, temperature, and PH of all water discharged to Johnson Creek will be closely monitored to ensure compliance with all applicable environmental and regulatory requirements. 

May 15, 2012

The contractor will be working on the trails at Powell Butte Nature Park over the next few days. Please stay alert and use caution around construction equipment. There may be a brief closure of Fernwood Trail (1-2 days) when the permanent boardwalks are installed.   

May 7, 2015

As part of the project, many of the park’s nearly 10 miles of trails have been improved, realigned, or reconnected in order to limit environmental impacts, reduce user conflicts, improve accessibility, and reduce fall-line impacts and steep grades. Some work is still required and a few trails have been renamed to eliminate confusion.

See the newly updated temporary trail map. Park visitors are reminded – for their safety – to keep out of fenced construction areas, stay on open, designated trails and be courteous to others, whether on foot, bike, or horse.

March 2, 2015

Fernwood Trail will be closed for bridge construction from March 11 - 13, 2015. Trail closure map can be accessed here.

February 27, 2015

On the afternoon of February 26, Portland Water Bureau operating engineers completed the draining of Powell Butte Reservoir 1 into Johnson Creek. Reservoir 1 is now completely emptied and will undergo a routine cleaning and inspection to ensure sanitary and structural integrity. The draining process began on February 9 and lasted just under three weeks.Throughout the entire operation, the flowrate of water into Johnson Creek was monitored 24-hours a day by the Water Bureau’s Water Control Center. Water Bureau operating engineers routinely tested the water for temperature, pH, and chlorine residual, ensuring that acceptable discharge parameters and environmental regulatory requirements were met. No chlorine residual was detected at any time during the discharge. The reservoir will now receive a thorough cleaning and inspection.

February 26, 2015

Avian Wildlife Survey at Powell Butte Nature Park, Park Users Reminded to be Cautious of Survey Markers - Maintaining and continuously improving habitat for birds and other wildlife within the Powell Butte Nature Park while making trails easily accessible to park users is of key importance for the Portland Parks & Recreation and the Water Bureau. Pre-placed markersOne way park wildlife, specifically the bird population, is researched and monitored in the nature park is through avian or bird surveys. During field visits, volunteers trained by Portland Parks & Recreation collect information used to study:

  • Relationships between birds and habitat
  • Seasonal migration
  • Breeding
  • Siting of a particular species
  • Effects of reducing non-native invasive plant species
  • Re-vegetation of native shrubs, trees, and grasses
  • Any changes in avian communities before and after reservoir construction and restoration efforts

Pre-placed wooden markers, such as the one to the right, help direct volunteers where to stand, observe, and count birds for the survey. The markers are located throughout the park, in the meadows, forested areas, and close to trail edges. The markers near the trail edge are in the process of being leveled with the ground for safety. Reminder to Be Safe Parks users are asked to leave the markers in their locations as they are integral to consistency for the Bird Study and other data collection throughout the year. Users are also asked to stay on the designated trail system for their safety and equine trail riders and mountain bikers encouraged to ride single file. The Portland Water Bureau and Parks & Recreation appreciate the public’s help in preserving and protecting the nature parks and all its inhabitants.

February 19, 2015

Portland Water Bureau operating engineers are in the process of slowly draining water currently in Powell Butte Reservoir 1 into Johnson Creek. Since the draining process began on Monday, February 9, operating engineers have been routinely testing the water for temperature, pH, and chlorine residual. No chlorine residual has been detected. On Thursday, February 19, draining into the creek from the reservoir will begin occurring 24-hours a day, instead of just during normal work hours. This decision culminated from a reduction in stream flow and a low chance for precipitation. The flowrate of water into Johnson Creek will continue to be monitored 24-hours a day by the Water Bureau’s Control Center. Routine testing of the water will carry on throughout the operation to ensure acceptable discharge parameters and environmental regulatory requirements are met. In an estimated 15 days, Powell Butte Reservoir 1 will be completely emptied and will undergo a routine cleaning and inspection to ensure sanitary and structural integrity.

February 6, 2015

On Monday, February 9, the Portland Water Bureau will begin conducting a routine maintenance draining and cleaning of Reservoir 1 at Powell Butte Nature Park in Southeast Portland. Water Bureau operating engineers will slowly drain the approximately eight-million gallons of water currently in Reservoir 1 into Johnson Creek. The engineers will be on site during work week hours to supervise the operation. The flowrate of water into Johnson Creek will be monitored 24-hours a day by the Water Bureau’s Control Center. Frequent testing of the water for turbidity, temperature, pH, and chlorine residual will occur throughout the operation, ensuring acceptable discharge parameters and environmental regulatory requirements are met.  Once the draining is complete, the reservoir will undergo a thorough cleaning and inspection. Reservoir 1’s draining is estimated to be complete by Wednesday, February 25.

Powell Butte Reservoir 1 was built in 1979-1980 and became operational in 1981.Powell Butte Reservoir 1, along with the newly operational Reservoir 2, are valuable assets to the water infrastructure. The two 50-million gallon underground tanks will help provide sufficient drinking water storage capacity to meet anticipated future growth in demand for water. The Water Bureau follows strict guidelines and maintenance schedules to ensure the reservoirs are kept at optimal levels of operation. The underground reservoirs receive a thorough cleaning and inspection every five years to ensure structural and sanitary integrity.

January 28, 2015

The new 50-million gallon underground reservoir at Powell Butte became operational in July 2014. The contractor and the Water Bureau are working on the final stages of completing the project by summer 2015. The monitoring of new plantings will continue over several more years.