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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Keeping up with the Bull Run

January 9, 2014

Every three months, the Portland Water Bureau shares its list of projects and ongoing maintenance activities in the Bull Run Watershed.

Portland is lucky to have some of the very best drinking water in the world. Pipes from the Bull Run Watershed provide Portlanders up to 212 million gallons per day!

The Portland City Council, which is the steward of the Bull Run Watershed and our water system, has long been committed to ensuring our community’s ownership of the system, keeping the watershed protected from logging and other development, and using the Bull Run and our wellfield as our only sources of water.

The watershed projects list shares the many projects and activities that help protect the quality of our watershed – and the outstanding drinking water it provides.

Some activities happen frequently, like testing water quality and bureau equipment, and monitoring and recording wildlife. City workers also improve fish habitat in the watershed by monitoring stream flow and temperature, strategically placing gravel in the habitat, and completing spawning surveys.

Other projects are completed as-needed, such as transmission line, water conduit, and other facilities maintenance.

Over the next several months, some new projects are emerging – including re-paving some roads, repairing historic structures in the watershed, and replacing log booms.

View the entire list online, and learn more about the activities that keep our water the envy of the nation.

Friday Roundup

News from and about Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish

Portland, CUB agree on water oversight
Chris Woodard,

Portland water, sewer ratepayers to get independent advocate
Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon posts job opening for Portland's water and sewer consumer advocate

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

Bob Jenks: Citizens' Utility Board leader says nonprofit would help bring Portland's water and sewer rates down
Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

Portland Commissioner Nick Fish sells infamous 'Water House' for $394,950

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

Nick Fish Sells the Water House for $394,500

Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week

Businesses keep funding water fight
Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week

We Now Have Respected, Free Sewer and Water Rate Consultants. Some Aren't Happy.

Dirk Vanderhart in The Portland Mercury

Council Approves Police Reforms—Tries to Assuage Critics by Promising More Reforms Later

Denis C. Theriault in The Portland Mercury

Portland City Council deflects calls for delay, approves deal with CUB to serve as water, sewer watchdog

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

Lawyer calls Water Bureau property sale illegal


SW Portland neighborhood threatens to sue city if Freeman Tank property sale goes through

Melissa Binder in The Oregonian

Portland Building welcomes Leda and the Swan

January 10, 2014

Artist Paul Clay will present his interpretation of the Greek myth “Leda and the Swan” through an interactive video installation in the lobby of the Portland Building.

Beginning January 13, visitors to the exhibit become part of the piece through body motion sensors. The sensors link to the real-time digital projection which links your movement with the image of a swan.  Feathered wings spread as you move your arms, feet, neck, and more. Move around quickly, and you may even cause the feathers to fall and reveal the figure of Leda.  Slow your movements, and Leda will become a swan again!

Clay’s work provides a sense of wonder and playfulness, but also provokes critical thought about pop culture, gender, and issues of race. The installation, situated in the lobby of the Portland Building, runs Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, through February 7.

The installation is part of an ongoing Art Series managed by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).  Through a juried process, RACC selects challenging and diverse works that encourage interest and public dialogue about the role of artwork in public spaces. Learn more about RACC’s public art programs online.

Tackle the Toilet

January 13, 2014

Story by Sarah Santner, Water Conservation Program

Some of us look forward to the college bowl season to cheer on our favorite football team. Others watch the Super Bowl just to catch the popular commercial lineup. Whether you tune in or not, there’s one bowl we should all keep our eyes on: the toilet bowl.

The most common place to find a leak in a home or business is the toilet. While it might seem like a minor problem, toilets can waste lots of water over time, affecting the environment and your pocketbook.

Checking for toilet leaks is easy. Use these "Three Rs" to tackle your toilet and start saving water and money inside your home:

REMEMBER to check your toilet for leaks twice a year. Tying the schedule to easy-to-remember annual events (like the Super Bowl in the winter and the 4th of July in the summer) is a great way to ensure it gets done. To check for leaks, add 10 drops of food coloring inside your toilet tank and wait 10 minutes. If the dye color shows up in your toilet bowl, you have a leak.

REPAIR leaks that can be fixed by do-it-yourselfers using inexpensive replacement parts. Check out this short video on how to repair a leaky toilet from our partners at the Regional Water Providers Consortium:

REPLACE older toilets with a WaterSense high-efficiency one. Older toilets can use up to four times more water per flush. The Portland Water Bureau currently offers a $50 rebate for replacing an old toilet or urinal with a high-efficiency model. Commercial, residential and multifamily properties are eligible. The old toilet or urinal must be recycled at an approved recycling center. For complete rebate details visit:

Community Watershed Stewardship grants available

January 14, 2014

The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is now accepting grant applications through the Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP).

The program helps Portlanders improve their neighborhoods and communities, while also improving the health of our watersheds. BES will award grants up to $10,000.

Through environmental education and implementing green solutions for stormwater, Portlanders across the city are getting involved in their neighborhoods – and making a lasting difference. Last year, CWSP grants funded 12 projects in our community, including constructing rain gardens, restoring native plants, managing stormwater runoff, and cleaning up natural areas.

Submit your idea by completing a one-page pre-application form by 4pm on Friday, February 14.  BES staff will review the project proposals, and invite selected applicants to submit a full application for funding. 

More information about the program and application forms are available online:

Need help developing project ideas or filling out your application?  Join BES staff at one of three grant workshops:

Saturday, January 18

2 pm to 3:30 pm

Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Boulevard

Thursday, January 23

7 pm to 8:30 pm

East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th

Monday, January 27

6 pm to 7:30 pm

Kenton Library, 8226 N Denver