Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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


More Contact Info

You’re Invited to Take a Virtual Tour of the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

Starting today, anyone who has access to a computer with an internet connection can take an online tour of one of the largest public works projects in Portland’s recent history.

Washington Park Virtual Tour

The eight-acre Washington Park Reservoir Improvement construction site is crawling with equipment and crews. Started in 2016, the project is part of an eight-year capital investment program to build an underground seismically-resilient reservoir and other park improvements. When complete, the new serve will serve more than 360,000 people.

The sheer scale of the project is impressive.

3,000 truckloads of concrete will be used to build the new underground reservoir.

7.4 million pounds of rebar will be installed.

35,000 truckloads of soil will be delivered.

Want to get an up-close look at this massive public works project?

You’re invited to take a tour! All you need is a computer with an internet connection.

Take the Washington Park Reservoir Virtual Tour

The new online tour features videos and photos with a birds-eye view of the park and planned improvements. Plus, you can view historical photos and time-lapse footage of the construction in action.

Ready to get started? Follow the button below to start the tour.

Start the Tour

Want an in-person tour?

Want to visit the project in person? This is your opportunity to learn about construction methods, future activities, schedule, and much more. Tours will be led by the project manager and principal engineer. 

Who can attend: Adults and children over 10 years of age are welcome to register. All attendees should be prepared to navigate stairs, elevation changes, rough and uneven surfaces, and walk and stand for more than an hour. 

Tour information: Tours will be conducted Saturday, July 21, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. There is room for 20 people per tour. Each person must register separately to attend a tour. Slots will fill quickly, so register now!

    9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. register at

  10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. register at  

Come prepared for the day. Be sure to wear closed-toed boots or sturdy shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Safety vests and hardhats will be provided.

About this Project

The Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project is building a new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir within the footprint of Reservoir 3. When the reservoir is completed in 2020, it will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, five hospital complexes, and more than 60 parks.

The new reservoir has been engineered to withstand ongoing landside encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake. This will help ensure that the City’s drinking water infrastructure will be better prepared to meet the needs of Portlanders for generations to come.

Learn more about this project on the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project website.


Registration Open: Take a Guided Tour of Portland’s Water Sources

Registration is now open for tours of Portland’s two water sources: The Bull Run Watershed and the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

Are you in love with Portland’s tap water?

Wonder where that delicious stuff comes from?

Find out by registering for a tour of the Bull Run Watershed and the Columbia South Shore Well Field, two vital water sources managed by the Portland Water Bureau.

What’s in a Tour

Traveling from forest to faucet, a professional water resources educator will guide you on this eight-hour adventure.

Walk through protected old-growth forest; hear stories of early Portland water woes and forward-thinking solutions; visit dams that store billions of gallons of drinking water; and learn how more than 500 Water Bureau employees work together to serve excellent water every minute of every day.

Register for a Tour

There are a few things you need to know.

  • Advance registration is required
  • Tours operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Cost is $21.69 ($20 transportation fee plus $1.69 online service fee) per person.

Find tour dates and register online. Follow the button below.

Register Online

Can’t make available dates? Sign up to receive notifications about future tours.

Portland Water Bureau to Augment Supply with Groundwater

On Wednesday, June 20, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using its groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate water supply to its customers.

Columbia South Shore Well Field

On Wednesday, June 20, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using its groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate water supply to its customers. As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system. The Bull Run Watershed, in combination with the Columbia South Shore Well Field, is capable of meeting Portland’s water needs throughout the summer.

Public notification is not required but the Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater. One change that customers may notice is a slight increase in water hardness. The media and sensitive water users will again be notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water or if there is a significant change in the drinking water blend.

Due to the dry spring weather, above average temperatures, and in consideration of available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau will use the Columbia South Shore Well Field to supplement supply until the return of significant fall rains.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations. It is anticipated that groundwater will contribute between 25 and 35 percent of supply and may be increased if above average demands and dry weather continue.

“We deliver safe and reliable drinking water to almost one million customers,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr. “At the end of a dry spring, it’s tremendously comforting to know that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field and supply all our customers’ needs.”

As part of our ongoing summer supply planning, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to ensure adequate, clean water for all of its customers. The Portland Water Bureau will be managing our water supply carefully throughout the remainder of this summer, so that we continue to meet our obligations.

Depending on location, it may take up to two weeks for groundwater to move through the distribution system and reach customers. Supply updates will be posted to

For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Join Our Team: Management Analyst—GIS/Records

Discover recent job openings at the Portland Water Bureau.

Portland Water Bureau logoIf 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 
Management Analyst—GIS/Records Full Time $5,401.00–$7,200.00 Monthly Mon. 7/2/2018 11:59 PM Pacific Apply here!

Learn More About the Water Bureau


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

Traffic Advisory: Night Work Planned for SW Vermont Regulator Project

Night work traffic advisoryPortland Water Bureau construction crews will be upgrading water system infrastructure at the intersection of Southwest Vermont Street and Southwest 45th Avenue from June 21 to 24. All area businesses will remain open normal hours during construction. To minimize traffic disruptions, work will be conducted from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the following morning.

Traffic will remain open in all directions with some lane reductions. Traffic signals will be off Friday and Saturday nights, with flaggers directing traffic in all four directions. Some turning movements could be restricted. Safety is the Water Bureau’s first priority. Please obey flaggers and all construction signs.