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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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

Customer Service: 503-823-7770

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

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SPUR Small Business Spotlight: Bison Coffeehouse


A woman making coffee A bison that came to Loretta Guzman in a dream changed the path of her career and her life. At the time she was being treated for cancer, she was visited by ancestors in the form of bison, which provided for the Shoshone-Bannock tribes of Fort Hall, Idaho. 

I knew I had to represent our people from the past into the present,” said Guzman, who is in full remission. If it weren’t for the decisions of people of the past, and for my grandparents that helped me when I was sick, we wouldn’t be here today.” 

Bison Coffeehouse has been serving the Cully neighborhood since 2014. Guzman has called Northeast Portland her home her entire life. Guzman noticed her shop drew in members of the local business community so she brought in bigger tables to accommodate meetings. That adaptive approach has helped her business survive during these challenging times.  

“I’ve been open this whole time. When businesses started closing down, I stayed up all night and read all of the regulations to see how we could stay open,” said Guzman. After a brainstorming session with her sister, she and a friend in the construction field built a walk-up window, improved the ground and added more outdoor tables.  

She said the SPUR bill credits for her sewer/stormwater/water bill will offset the upcoming costs of additional lights and awnings to make her space inviting through the fall and winter.  Guzman is confident that Bison Coffeehouse will weather this storm. “We’re resilient and we’ll figure it out. I might lose sleep but there will be another day to rest.” 

Bison Coffeehouse is one of more than 500 small businesses that received one-time credits through the Small Business Program for Utility Relief (SPUR). 

SPUR Small Business Spotlight: Escuela Viva

A woman and three kids

Angie Garcia opened Escuela Viva when she was in need of child care for her two-year-old daughter. Sixteen years later, the dual-language pre-school in North and Southeast Portland is serving 70 families through the pandemic. It is operating as an emergency child care for essential workers.

“There are many amazing things about our childhood education program. Some people might think it’s the dual language but that’s just the icing on the cake. Our community is the cake,” said Garcia.

Despite strong community support, Garcia says Escuela Viva has been struggling to stay afloat because of the stringent and costly protocols that the school must adhere to and the changes in enrollment since the pandemic began.

“We’re an essential part of the infrastructure. If we fail,” Garcia said, “where will the workforce take their children when the economy opens back up?”

Garcia estimates that the SPUR bill credits will cover her sewer/stormwater/water bill for the rest of the year. “To find out we were selected was wonderful,” she said. “We’re struggling but very blessed to have the community’s support.”

Escuela Viva is one of more than 500 small businesses that received one-time credits through the Small Business Program for Utility Relief (SPUR).

Customer Alert: Temporary disruption to online payment system

Please note that on the morning of Sunday September 20th, between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., customers will be unable to access our view/pay bill website or our 24-hour automated payment line due to system maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

2020 Wildfires: Your Tap Water is Safe to Drink

During these difficult times, we want to reassure you that your tap water is safe to drink. The wildfires, smoke, and ash are not impacting Portland’s water quality.

What we’re doing

The Portland Water Bureau is working closely with the U.S. Forest Service Oregon Department of Forestry, local fire departments, and other agencies to monitor fires near the Bull Run Watershed Management Area and to prepare for any fire-related threats to our drinking water.  

Our treatment operators in the Bull Run Watershed are closely monitoring potential impacts from the regional wildfires. So far there has been no noticeable ash fall in the Bull Run. Any ash that may fall in the Bull Run is unlikely to pose a water quality concern. Our drinking water is stored in two large reservoirs in the Bull Run Watershed. Any ash that falls on water surfaces would be diluted by the volume of water in the reservoirs. 

Additionally, our water system pulls water from the middle to lower parts of the reservoirs, rather than the surface, for drinking water use, further minimizing any potential impacts. One way to monitor for impacts of ash on the water is to look at the turbidity or the number of particles in the water. The Portland Water Bureau has been carefully monitoring the turbidity of the water and has not found any measurable impacts from the fires.  

What you can do

Es seguro beber agua del grifo de Portland. Preguntas sobre la calidad del agua: WBWaterLine@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-7525. Tenemos disponibilidad de traducción e interpretación.

Водопроводная вода в Портленде не представляет опасности для вашего здоровья. Вопросы по качеству воды: WBWaterLine@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-7525. Возможны услуги письменного и устного перевода.

Nước máy của Portland an toàn để uống. Câu hỏi về chất lượng nước: WBWaterLine@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-7525. Có dịch vụ phiên dịch.

Portland(波特兰)自来水可以安全饮用。有关水质问题:WBWaterLine@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-7525. 提供翻译和口译服务。

 

PRESS RELEASE: More than 500 small businesses to receive sewer/stormwater/water support from the City of Portland utilities

More than 500 small businesses received credits through the Small Business Program for Utility Relief (SPUR), from the City of Portland’s utility bureaus, Water and Environmental Services. The City of Portland utility bureaus partnered with Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development agency, to develop the program.

In June, Portland City Council approved $1 million for the first-of-its-kind program and the utilities anticipated funding up to 300 applications. The program received more than 2,000 applicants. In response to the overwhelming need in the business community, and at the recommendation of the SPUR selection committee, Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Mayor Ted Wheeler worked to allocate an additional $600,000 to the program. With a total of $1.6 million available, more than 500 businesses received credits, approximately one-quarter of the businesses that applied.

“Thank you to all of the businesses that participated in our SPUR program. I commend the crucial role you play in our community, and the resilience you have shown through these challenges,” said Commissioner Fritz.  “We knew the need would outweigh the available credits. We know all small businesses are still struggling.  We hope the bill credits will alleviate some stress and burden to the small businesses that receive them.”

Created to support small businesses impacted by the public health and economic crisis, SPUR prioritized businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color (BIPOC) and women, childcare providers, and businesses open as part of Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan. The selection process was driven by a clear recognition that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities are disproportionately affected by this crisis.

SPUR Awards Report

  • 519 SPUR credits awarded (an additional 20 businesses are still in process)
  • 87 percent of credits (88 percent of the dollars) were awarded to BIPOC identified businesses
  • 60 percent of credits (52 percent of the dollars) were awarded to women and non-binary owned businesses
  • 84 percent of credits ((74 percent of the dollars)) were awarded to businesses with nine employees or less

A selection committee made up of community small business leaders determined which businesses received SPUR credits. This SPUR Selection Committee used the eligibility criteria and equity and vulnerability priorities set by City Council in the authorizing ordinance from June 3, 2020 and developed additional criteria to prioritize the applications. The committee included representatives from:

“Being a part of this selection committee was an impactful experience. The level of dedication everyone brought to the table was inspiring and ensured equity and access reached those it was meant to, said Jesse Hyatt, executive director of the Black American Chamber of Commerce. “When people with diverse backgrounds come together for real community impact, it creates hope for the future of true collaboration in Portland.”

Recipients received notification of their application funding status on Wednesday, Aug. 5 and received bill credits by Wednesday, Aug. 19. Several recipients have agreed to be interviewed by the media. Contact information is available by request.

Mayor Wheeler said, “Being there for the most vulnerable people in our community, when they need us, is the highest purpose we can serve in local government. I want to acknowledge the selection committee for ensuring an efficient and equitable process for the consideration and selection of all participating businesses. We will continue finding resourceful ways to support the small businesses that define our city.”

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said she and her colleagues were pleased to partner with the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services to develop the SPUR program. “We are gratified to know that BIPOC-owned businesses will receive the majority of available fund. “As we prepare to distribute federal CARES Act funds, we’ll work closely with the team to ensure that SPUR applicants receive personalized notice of the opportunity for this new funding.”

Water and Environmental Services offer financial assistance programs that serve thousands of Portlanders and a menu of options for reducing portions of utility bills.

Services for all customers

  • Payment arrangements provide additional time for paying past due charges without incurring new fees on the past due balance.
  • Monthly statements offer the option of paying each month to avoid a quarterly bill that includes three months of sewer/stormwater/water charges.
  • Clean River Rewards provide savings for those who manage stormwater on their property.
  • Water Efficiency offers free water-saving devices and rebates for toilet and irrigation upgrades.

Services for residential customers:

To learn more about how the city can help, or to view detailed information about these programs, visit portlandoregon.gov/water/cs. If you still have questions, email PWBCustomerService@portlandoregon.gov or call 503-823-7770.

ABOUT THE PORTLAND WATER BUREAU 

The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,200 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day. Find us on Twitter @PortlandWater and visit us at portlandoregon.gov/water.

About the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services 

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services—your sewer and stormwater utility—provides Portland residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. Follow on Twitter @BESPortland. On the web: portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.

About PROSPER PORTLAND 

Prosper Portland creates economic growth and opportunity for Portland. Our vision is to make Portland one of the most globally competitive, healthy, and equitable cities in the world by investing in job creation, encouraging broad economic prosperity, and fostering great places throughout the city. We aspire to be a workplace of choice with passionate staff excelling in an open and empowering environment and sharing a commitment to our collective success. Follow us on Twitter @prosperportland or visit us at prosperportland.us.