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Portland Water Bureau

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


1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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The Water Bureau Recycles!

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The City of Portland has set a 2015 goal to recycle 85% of the waste that would otherwise go to the landfill.

The City of Portland has set a 2015 goal to recycle 85% of the waste that would otherwise go to the landfill.

To help the City meet this goal, the Water Bureau is already recycling a wide variety of materials, including:

  • Traditional 'curbside' recyclables- plastic, paper, aluminum, tin, glass
  • Food waste
  • Yard debris
  • PVC pipe and broken hard hats
  • Scrap metal
  • Plastic tarps, barricades, bags and pallet wrap
  • Batteries
  • Electronics
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Toner cartridges
  • Soil, concrete and other horizontal construction materials

During 2009, the bureau's recycling program earned more than $90 thousand dollars in revenue from scrap metal alone. Thank you to all of the diligent recyclers at the Water Bureau for keeping materials out of the landfill.

Kim Dinan

Operation Switch: Mission #6 - Get a Head

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Conserve Water and Save Energy and Money

The energy efficiency folks over at PGE recently contacted me about Operation Switch, an online experiment which uses social media to encourage customers to undertake energy saving missions in their own lives. The mission entails making small changes that can make a big impact. From July 26th - August 16th the Operation Switch mission is to change out your old showerhead for a new water and energy efficient model. Since showers use both energy and water I thought you might enjoy hearing about Operation Switch and perhaps joining in the fun.

If you feel like joining Operation Switch and making the switch, remember that Portland Water Bureau customers are eligible to get a free showerhead (and other water saving devices) directly from us. Visit our conservation page to order your kit today!

Sarah Murphy Santner
Residential Water Conservation Coordinator 

Straightway Services

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Straightway Services youth spread mulch at Sabin HydroPark

Water Bureau Staff Help Mentor Local Kids

Summer is a very busy time for the bureau's grounds crew, which maintains over 150 properties scattered from Portland to the watershed. When help is offered, we take it.

This summer Straightway Services is providing 10-12 youth and 3-4 "mentors". They volunteer one day a week through the summer, and have already helped spread mulch at Pittman Addition and Sabin HydroParks. The volunteer crew will also be improving Powell Butte trails.

The volunteer program is about more than teaching youth how to use a shovel and small hand tools. Youth volunteers are matched with a yearlong mentor and have classroom training on accountability. Straightway Services also runs a youth academy year round that provides mentors for youth and their families. They provide critical counseling for the parents on a weekly basis helping them deal with traumatic life experiences such as addiction, divorce, incarceration and homelessness. If you'd like to support their programs, Straightway Services is having an annual fundraiser August 27th.

This the second summer the Portland Water Bureau has partnered with Straightway Services to offer an opportunity for hands on service learning in community accountability. We certainly appreciate their help!

Rich Rice
Grounds Crew Supervisor

Sabin "I DO"

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Couple Ties Knot at Water Bureau HydroPark in NE Portland

Wedding vows are rightly saved for special places.Couple says vows in Sabin HydroPark Occasionally I'll get calls from brides interested in a small ceremony at Dodge Park, at the confluence of the Bull Run and Sandy Rivers. Yet, it was a bureau-first to field a request for vows to be exchanged in the shadow of water towers at Sabin HydroPark.

The bride grew up in Portland, and now lives in L.A. She wanted a place that would be very "Portland," and she had watched the transformation of the water facility into a public open space on family visits. On the morning of the ceremony, the new mother-in-law led the bride and others in yoga in the park. The reception dinner was held at Lucca's and an "after party" was held at Kennedy School. Very Portland.

As I coordinated with the bride, they only needed to follow park rules: first-come first-served, use trash/recycling cans, no alcohol, dogs on leash...etc. It was a DIY wedding, and with some rented chairs and floral arrangements, a romantic stage was set.

Congratulations newlyweds!

Darcy Cronin

Facilities Services Specialist

People Behind the Water

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 Water Bureau Electricians at Work

Jason Freadman (Electrician/Instrument Technician) and David Ward (Electrician & Electrician/Instrument Technician Apprentice) working together on a new pole-mounted electrical service @ SE 20th & Harrison Street.


PGE installed a new pole to replace the old existing pole that the old service was mounted on. Jason and David also installed the new stainless steel above-ground enclosure in the photos for Power and Control/Instrumentation to a flow meter vault at that location.


Maintenance & Construction crew assisted with the excavation and directional boring of the new conduits feeding the vault.