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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


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FACT OR FICTION: All bubblers are Benson Bubblers

Have you heard the tragic story of the missing Benson Bubbler? Last week, Portland Water Bureau security learned that the bubbler at SE 65th Ave. and Foster went missing, presumably stolen. The bubbler is a single-bowl style modeled after the “true” four-bowl Benson Bubblers found downtown.

Wait a Minute… Not All Bubblers Are “Real” Benson Bubblers?

True Benson Bubblers have four bowls on the fountain. While one-bowl style fountains are not “true” Benson Bubblers, their inspired style evoke the aesthetic of iconic Benson Bubblers designed by A.E. Doyle. In fact, in the 1970s the Benson family asked that the installation of the four-bowl fountains be limited so as not to diminish their uniqueness.

Four bowl vs one bowl drinking water fountain

Left: A “true” four-bowl style Benson Bubbler. Right: A single-bowl fountain, not technically a Benson Bubbler, but often mistaken for the real deal.


Despite the non-Benson Bubbler status of the one-bowl drinking fountains, they are still a beloved fixture of many Portland neighborhoods. And the community members along SE Foster Road want their bubbler back!

Do you have any information that may help solve the case of the missing bubbler? Get in touch with Water Bureau security at 503-823-6084.

Find Your Favorite Bubbler

Use the map below to find your favorite bubbler—whether it's four-bowl or one bowl.

Join Our Team: Electrical Engineer

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   Employment Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Electrical Engineer Full Time $45.49–$55.28 Hourly Fri.1/11/2019 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.

Help Solve the Mystery of a Missing Benson Bubbler

The single-bowl Benson Bubbler at SE 65th and Foster has had a rough year. This spring the drinking water fountain was the victim of a car accident and taken out of commission for several weeks for repairs until it was restored in June.

And now it appears that the beloved Bubbler has been stolen. Water Bureau security believes that it was stolen between Thursday, Dec. 6th after 8 p.m. and before 6:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7.

Missing Bubbler site“Sidewalk renovation work sidewalk renovation on this corner and the fountain had been obscured by construction fencing,” explains Rich, a Water Bureau maintenance supervisor. “That work was completed recently but we received a call today from a neighbor asking why the fountain had been removed again.” A crew was dispatched to investigate and found that Bubbler missing.

The Water Bureau is working with nearby businesses to view exterior security footage to see if the culprit was captured on camera.

In the meantime, your help is needed to find and return the Bubbler.

Submit Your Tips

See something? Say something! Submit your tips to 503-823-6084.

About Benson Bubblers

In 1912, local philanthropist Simon Benson donated $10,000 to the City of Portland to install 20 bronze drinking fountains, now known as Benson Bubblers. Local lore suggests that Benson, who ran a lumber company, donated the downtown fountains to keep loggers out of the saloons at lunchtime. Others say that Benson was inspired after seeing a little girl crying at a Fourth of July parade because she could not find a drink of water. Either way, the Benson Bubblers have become an historical and enduring legacy in Portland.

There are now 126 bubblers, 74 single bowl bubblers and 52 multi-bowl/fountain bubblers. An online map of Benson Bubbler locations can be found at

Dec. 13, 2018: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. Two Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in a 50-liter sample collected on Monday, Dec. 10. Prior to this detection, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Monday, Nov. 19, when one oocyst was detected in a 50-liter sample.

The bureau continues to use the Bull Run as its primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under the drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by Sept. 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

About Cryptosporidium

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

More Information

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

City Council Approves Capacity, Location, and Technology of Bull Run Filtration Plant

Portland City Commissioners today approved the Water Bureau’s recommendation for capacity, location, and technology for the Bull Run filtration plant.

The new filtration plant is a long-term investment that will remove the microorganism Cryptosporidium from Portland’s drinking water. The filtration plant will also bring additional benefits to Portland water users by making Bull Run supply more reliable, allows Bull Run to be used sooner after an emergency, such as a fire, and possibly reducing the amount of chlorine needed for disinfection.

Portland is working to complete the filtration plant by 2027 under a compliance schedule with the Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, the Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures to protect public health prior to the completion of the filtration plant.

Community Input Guides Filtration Decisions

The Water Bureau began the filtration project by reaching out to you, our customers. Over 1,653 Portland water users participated in an online survey and thousands more access information about the filtration plant through the bureau’s blog and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Community members attended a community water forum on Nov. 8 to meet with Water Bureau staff and Commissioner Amanda Fritz and join a conversation about the filtration plant and upcoming changes to reduce lead in water.

More Information

Learn more about upcoming changes to Bull Run treatment, including filtration, at