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Portland Water Bureau

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


MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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How the Water Bureau Is Working to Help Customers in Need

For more than twenty years, the Portland Water Bureau has been one of the few utilities in the nation to offer a low-income financial assistance program.

Presentation:Low-Income Services – Proposed Enhancements

Portland Water Bureau:
Low-Income Services – Proposed Enhancements

View a working draft of the presentation.

And, in the next few months, more low-income Portlanders will benefit from improvements the bureau is proposing to that program.

That's because today, the Water Bureau is meeting with the Portland Utility Board’s (PUB) Subcommittee on Low-Income Services to present a draft of proposed enhancements to its financial assistance services. The proposals are designed to strengthen the bureau’s existing menu of utility bill assistance services in response to a changing Portland.

A few of the improvements include:

  • Creating a larger discount for households in poverty
  • Increasing the value of the existing crisis voucher
  • Designing a new financial assistance program to help renters in crisis in multi-family units

These changes are in alignment with the recent City Auditor’s review of the bureau’s financial assistance program and thoughtful recommendations on helping more low-income Portlanders pay their water, sewer, and stormwater bills.

Thank You to Our Community Partners

Age-Friendly Cities • AARP
Elders in Action • Latino Network
Self Enhancement Inc. • Human Solutions
El Programa Hispano
IRCO Asian Family Center • NAYA
Impact Northwest • Neighborhood House
Independent Living Resources

Working Together to Reach More Customers in Need

These financial assistance improvements are the result of close collaboration between the Water Bureau and its community partners.

Thank you to our community partners for working alongside bureau staff to figure out ways to reach more Portlanders.

What’s Next?

Following today’s presentation to the PUB subcommittee, the bureau will present the proposals to the full utility board on Dec. 5 for further review.

Fall To Do: Keep Your Water Meter Accessible and Clear of Debris

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Every day, a Water Bureau meter reader will visit more than 500 meters. Keeping the meter area clean and clear helps them do their job safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, if your meter is obstructed by objects such as cars, trailers, trash and recycling bins, and landscape bark or gravel, a meter reader will have to return to do their job.

So what happens if a meter reader can't properly access your meter?

First, you'll receive a reminder in the mail asking you to check your meter. If your meter continues to be inaccessible, you may be charged a fee if staff needs to return to re-read or if we need to hire someone to remove the obstruction.

By keeping your meter box clear, you can avoid this charge. Additionally, a clear box makes it easy to ensure that the lid fits properly, is safe, and can be quickly turned off in an emergency.

Make some time over the long holiday weekend to check your meter and follow these tips for keeping it free and clear.

Clear Away Trees, Bushes, and Plantings

  • Trim bushes, trees and grass that block the way or cover the meter.
  • Minimize plants in the area which meter readers must travel through to get to your meter.
  • Remove all branches hanging lower than six feet over the meter box.

Watch Your Pets

  • Keep pets away from the path that leads to your meter.
  • If you have a guard dog for security, please let us know so that we can make sure that our meter readers and other utility personnel are aware of this. We may ask that you arrange to confine the dog during the day that your meter will be read.

Please also ensure your house address is clearly displayed on your residence. This also assists emergency personnel who may need to find your home in a hurry.

More Information

Click here for additional information about water meters or contact Customer Service at 503-823-7770.

Water Bureau Offices Closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23 and 24

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23 and 24. Offices will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 at 8 a.m.

This closure includes both the Customer Service Call Center and the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the sixth floor at 111 SW Columbia St., Suite 660, Portland, Oregon.

How to Pay Your Utility Bill

During the holiday, Water Bureau customers can pay their bill in the following ways:

  • Online: Click here
  • Phone: Pay by phone by dialing 503-823-7770 and pressing 1
  • Drop off: Leave a payment in the Water Bureau's drop box located at 111 SW Columbia St. (at the corner of SW 1st Ave. and SW Columbia St).

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Water Emergency Hotline

To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

The Bull Run Does More Than Just Fill Water Glasses, It Creates Energy from a Renewable Source

Hydroelectric powerhouse at dam 2The rain has returned, and the Bull Run reservoirs are once again overflowing.

On an average day, Reservoir 1 and 2 serve up about 80 million gallons of water to residents across the Portland metro area.

But before water flows into town to provide water to homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses, it does double duty, generating enough electricity to service an average of 8,000 homes for a year. That’s almost as many homes as people live in downtown Portland’s Northwest District.

The City’s Bureau of Hydroelectric Power, a separate entity from the Water Bureau, manages the two hydroelectric plants situated at the bases of Reservoir 1 and Reservoir 2 in the Bull Run Watershed.

Get a Dam That Can Do Both

Bull Run reservoir and hydroelectric power plantThe hydroelectric plants have been maintained and operated by Portland General Electric (PGE), which has been a great deal for Portland residents for decades – netting the City’s General Fund a cool $14 million dollars in its 35 years of operation.

Last year, Portland General Electric notified the City that it would not be continuing its current contract with the City. And on Aug. 30, Council decided to stay in the hydroelectric power business, approving new contracts with PGE and new partners EnergyNW and Eugene Water & Electric Board as contractors to run various parts of the power system.

With this new Power Purchase Agreement with PGE, the City will continue to produce hydroelectric power for years to come.

Join Our Team: Engineering/GIS Assistant

Join the Portland Water Bureau teamAre you interested in putting your skills to work at an award-winning public utility?

The Portland Water Bureau is hiring an Engineering/GIS Assistant with experience or interest in geographic information systems (GIS), drinking water distribution systems, and hydraulic modeling.

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   Term   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Engineering/GIS Assistant Full-time for about nine months
- OR -
part-time for 18 months
- OR -
until completion of project.
$19.00 Hourly Mon. 12/4/17 4:00 PM Pacific Time  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.