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Portland Water Bureau

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Earthquake Proofing Portland’s Water

By Jaymee Cuti

On Feb. 18, Portland Water Bureau’s Chief Engineer Teresa Elliott was interviewed on Oregon Public Broadcasting's daily radio show, Think Out Loud.

Hosted by Dave Miller, the conversation focused on how the Water Bureau is strengthening the water system’s seismic resilience, and ensuring we can continue to deliver high-quality, safe, and reliable drinking water at all times – even after The Big One.

Teresa discussed several critical construction projects the Water Bureau has in the pipeline, including burying a large water conduit deep under the Willamette River to ensure an uninterrupted water supply to the west side of the city. She also described how we’re replacing 100-year-old pipes throughout the city and working to strengthen in-town reservoirs, which provide vital storage for drinking water — as well as the water firefighters depend on.

While the Water Bureau can’t predict when a disaster will strike, we want the public to know that when it does, we are working hard to be ready and able to provide high-quality, safe and reliable drinking water to nearly a million people — just like we do every day.

“We’ve been working on projects to get ready for the earthquake for about 20 years. We’re working on a series of projects to replace aging infrastructure to make them so that they’re more able to deal with a seismic event right now,” Teresa said.

Take a listen to the Talk Out Load conversation here:

Portland Water Bureau Senior Engineer Tim Collins was interviewed for an Oregon Field Guide segment that will air at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 18.

Producer and host Ed Jahn filmed inside the Bull Run Watershed for a story about the Water Bureau’s work on earthquake resiliency. The segment will highlight several of the Water Bureau’s projects that prepare our city for The Big One.

Click here to watch:


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