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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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Protect Your Home's Plumbing this Winter

By Brian Balla

Rain, ice and snow can play havoc with water pipes. Below are tips for protecting your home’s plumbing this winter:

OUTSIDE PLUMBING

  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the home.
  • Close all foundation vents and fill vent openings with wood or Styrofoam blocks.
  • Wrap outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation if you don’t have a separate outside valve to turn them off. Use molded foam-insulating covers which are available at hardware stores. Newspaper or rags (covered with plastic wrap) are another option. 
  • Disconnect garden hoses and drain in-ground irrigation systems.

INSIDE PLUMBING

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, crawl spaces and basements.
  • When below-freezing weather is forecast, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. This allows these pipes to get more heat from inside your home.
  • If you leave home for several days, put your furnace on a low setting. This may not prevent freezing pipes but it can help.
  • Let a slight drip of water run when temperatures dip below freezing. Use cold water to avoid water heating charges.

WHAT IF PIPES FREEZE?

  • Thaw plumbing lines safely with a hair dryer. Once the pipe has thawed, make sure to leave a little water running so the pipe doesn’t freeze again.
  • Do not open the water meter box near the curb. It could increase the chance of freezing water at the meter.

WHAT IF PIPES BREAK?

  • Close your main water shut-off valve to your house. Most shutoff valves are located where the water line enters the house, either at the front of your house where you connect your hose, or basement near the hot water heater, or inside the garage.
  • Turn off the water heater. Locate the dedicated shut-off valve on the cold water inlet.
  • Remember, the repair of broken pipes on the customer’s side of the meter is the customer’s responsibility. Contact a plumber for repair work.

The Water Bureau reminds customers that the best way to handle any sort of water emergency in your home including broken pipes is to be prepared before it happens. Taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the plumbing system in your home and note the location of all shut off valves are important steps in preventing a plumbing emergency from turning into a disaster. 

Customers that experience urgent water problems should call the Portland Water Bureau’s 24/7 emergency hotline at 503-823-4874.

Bubblers Will Be Shut Off for Weather

By Brian Balla

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Portland Water Bureau will begin a shut-off of the city's Benson Bubbler drinking fountains because of predicted cold temperatures, which can cause safety hazards on sidewalks for pedestrians. Bubblers are turned off by hand.

A few bubblers will be will be kept on – including one at Fifth Avenue and West Burnside Street, one on the waterfront near the west end of the Steel Bridge and one under the Burnside Bridge – to provide water to those who rely on them as their primary water source.

Once temperatures warm up, all of the iconic bubblers will be turned back on.

Main breaks, service leaks and frozen water meters can also occur as a result of cold weather. If you observe running water in the street, believe you are not receiving water from your meter, or experience an urgent water problem, please contact the Portland Water Bureau's 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503‐823‐4874.

For more information on the Benson Bubblers, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/bensonbubblers.

Winter 2017 Customer Newsletter

By Brian Balla

Each quarter, the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau offer important information on rebates, payment options, drinking water quality, and water efficiency tips in printed inserts that accompany your sewer-stormwater-water bill. 

In the Winter 2017 statement, customers will find a newsletter highlighting tips for how to prepare your home for winter weather, what to do if you see a water main break and how to enroll in auto bill payment.

Take a look inside your bill or access the Customer Newsletter online.

Join Our Team: Laboratory Analyst I

By Brian Balla

If you're interested in joining an award-winning public utility where employees thrive on the pride of delivering a life-essential product with world class customer service, the Portland Water Bureau might be just the place for you.

The Water Bureau is a recognized leader in the utility industry. We've achieved this success by investing in the very best people and empowering them to find new and better ways to meet our customer's needs.

The Water Bureau currently employs approximately 560 people. All current job postings with the City of Portland are posted online, and updated weekly. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Current Opportunity at the Water Bureau

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Laboratory Analyst I  Full Time $22.61 - $28.56 Hourly

Mon. 12/19/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time

 Apply Here!

Applications for this position will be accepted, on-line, until 100 completed applications have been received, but will close no later than 4:30 pm, on Monday, December 19, 2016, whichever comes first. 


Applications received after the 100 application limit has been reached will not be included in this recruitment process.

Learn More about the Water Bureau 

Questions 
For more information regarding career opportunities at the Water Bureau, contact (503) 823-3515 or e-mail.

Hannah Mason Pump Station Project Update

By Brian Balla Add a Comment

Hannah Mason Pump StationConstruction of the Hannah Mason Pump Station in Southwest Portland is on schedule to be completed in December 2016. The new pump station replaces the aging Fulton Pump Station that was built in 1912. The project area includes Southwest Nevada Street, Southwest Macadam Avenue and several locations within Willamette Park where the new pump station is located. The Water Bureau has been coordinating with Portland Parks & Recreation and other local agencies to integrate this project with ongoing operations and other projects in the area.

In early fall, operations and maintenance training was conducted, and testing began on the pumps. It is anticipated that the pump station will be fully operational in December. 

All restoration work on Southwest Nevada Street, including sidewalks and driveways, was completed in early October. Several sections of the Greenway Trail within Willamette Park received trail improvements as part of a larger project to make improvements to Willamette Park during the pump station construction.

The last few sections of the pump station, including the restrooms, were completed after the final concrete pour of the floor and roof in early November. When construction is complete, the Hannah Mason Pump Station will house five pumps, equipment storage, replace the existing restrooms removed for construction, and will complement the park with a subtle design meant to blend into the surrounding landscape.