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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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Celebrate Portland Neighborhoods this Weekend alongside “Your Sustainable City” at the St. John’s Bizarre & Sunday Parkways

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Springtime in Portland means getting outside and immersing yourself in some of the many outdoor neighborhood events across town.

Be sure to mark your calendars and stop by these fun weekend events:

St. Johns Bizarre

Saturday, May 9 
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Great music and festivities celebrating the St. John’s neighborhood.

Sunday Parkways

Sunday, May 10
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Join thousands of bikers, walkers, runners, kids, and adults as they take over city streets in East Portland.

Visit us at the "Your Sustainable City" BoothWhen attending these events, don’t forget to stop and visit the "Your Sustainable City" booth, staffed by City of Portland employees hailing from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Portland Water Bureau. Other bureaus in the partnership include Bureau of Development Services, Auditor’s Office, OMF/Purchasing, Portland Bureau of Transportation, and Emergency Management.

At the booth, you will find information on multiple sustainability-focused programs the city offers to citizens, including transportation alternatives, water efficiency, recycling, green building, community engagement, and more!

These fun events present a great way to connect with the community and share water knowledge with the public. We hope to see you there!

Judi Ranton
Water Conservation

Slow Down for Work Zone Safety

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With dry summer weather just ahead, motorists in Portland will likely see more construction work that impacts city streets. A lot of this work is to upgrade water mains and sewer pipes and repair road pavement. With this necessary work comes an increase in traffic delays. 

National studies indicate that driver distraction is the biggest factor in work zone collisions along with excessive vehicle speed.  And 40 percent of work zone collisions occur in the transition area just prior to the work zone.


The Portland Water Bureau asks motorists and bicyclists to keep in mind the following safety tips when observing bright orange signs, cones, barricades, utility workers, and traffic flaggers: 

  • Use an alternate route. When you can, avoid streets with posted work zones.
  • Expect delays.  Plan to leave early so you can drive safely through the work zone and avoid having to rush.
  • Be alert. Pay attention to the driving task and watch the cars ahead of you.
  • Obey all speed and warning signs. They are there for your safety and will help prevent a collision.  
  • Do not tailgate.  Double the following distance.
  • Carefully move over.  When possible give workers more room between them and your vehicle, but do not veer into on-coming traffic lane.
  • Watch for vehicle access. Be aware that temporary construction may impact either side of the road, or adjacent streets.
  • Stay clear of construction vehicles.  Heavy vehicles travel in and out of the work areas and can make sudden moves. 

Please help keep you, other drivers, and utility workers protected by slowing down for work zone safety.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Snow, Portland’s Drinking Water, and Climate Variability

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North Fork Bull RunIf you’re a skier or snowboarder you probably noticed how warmer-than-average temperatures caused a record low snowpack across Oregon this past winter. These conditions led to drought declarations for several Oregon counties whose water supplies depend on snow-fed river basins. Fortunately the City of Portland is not dependent on snowpack, but instead gets its water supply from mostly rain-fed reservoirs in the Bull Run Watershed and a backup groundwater system. While it is extremely unlikely that Portlanders will have to worry about water use restrictions this summer, the Water Bureau is planning for summer supply needs, as it does every year.

But what do the lack of snow and unusually warm winter temperatures indicate about the region’s climate future? Climate models project hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters, with more rain and less snow falling at higher elevations. Climate change is basically “shifting the odds” in favor of these types of conditions so that warm winters with low snow accumulation in the mountains will become increasingly likely in any given year over the next few decades. Winters like 2014/2015 may therefore occur more frequently in our region’s future.

And while climate change refers to the long-term change in average and extreme weather conditions, the Northwest also experiences climatic variability. For example, short-term yearly or seasonal fluctuations in temperature, rain, and snow are significantly affected by the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. These types of events will continue to influence regional climate, especially in the near term. Because of this, Portlanders can expect to see both high and low snowfall winters in the coming years, even as long-term climate shifts make what the region experienced this past winter a more regular occurrence.

To learn how the Portland Water Bureau is actively working to understand climate change impacts to Portland’s drinking water system, visit these resources.

Kavita Heyn
Climate Science & Sustainability

Mt. Tabor Reservoir Disconnection Project Land Use Hearing Scheduled

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In order to comply with federal and state mandates, and ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system, the Portland Water Bureau is moving forward with a project to disconnect the Mt. Tabor reservoirs from the distribution system.

City Council Hearing
The City Council hearing for Land Use Application LU 14-218444 HR EN Mt. Tabor Reservoirs Disconnection will be held on May 28, 2015 at 2 pm in City Council Chambers. See the Bureau of Development Services calendar on the Auditor’s Office website.  At this time, City Council members will hear public testimony and possibly vote to tentatively approve or deny the application.

Hearing Process
The City Council will serve as a quasi-judicial review body, in accordance with Zoning Code under Chapter 33.730 - Quasi-Judicial Procedures. At the hearing, the City Council may adopt the review body's decision report, modify it, or reject it based on information presented at the hearing and in the record; or the Council may make a tentative action and direct that proposed findings and a decision be prepared.

Public Comments
The public is invited to comment. Comments for consideration by City Council at the upcoming appeal hearing can be e-mailed to and, faxed to 503-823-5630, or mailed to:

Hillary Adam
Land Use Services, Bureau of Development Services
RE: LU 14-249689
1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500
Portland, OR 97201

Comments will also be taken as testimony at the hearing on May 28, 2015.

Brief History of this Land Use Review
The City of Portland's Land Use Review process, administered by the Bureau of Development Service (BDS), is designed to provide the public with appropriate notification, information, and opportunities to comment before final land use decisions are rendered. 

The Portland Water Bureau applied for this land use review last fall, and completed the application on October 24, 2014. BDS then reviewed and determined the Land Use Review application was complete and scheduled the first of several hearings.

Historic Landmarks Commission Meeting
On December 1, 2014, the first of four Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) hearings took place. The HLC approved the Portland Water Bureau’s Land Use Review III Application with conditions on Monday, February 9, 2015.

The Portland Water Bureau appealed the decision on February 26, 2015. The Mt. Tabor Neighborhood appealed the decision on February 27, 2015.

Project Details
In order to satisfy an unfunded federal water quality mandate, the City of Portland is required to disconnect Portland’s open air reservoirs, including three at Mt. Tabor Park. This work is scheduled to begin in early 2015. Reservoir 7, which is enclosed at Mt. Tabor Park, will stay in service.

Several types of disconnection work are necessary. Some short lengths of buried pipe will be removed, and some new pipe will be installed below ground. Other work will take place inside vaults, both above and below ground, and other structures. None of this work will damage or make non-reversible alterations to the open reservoirs or other historic structures.

Next Steps
If the City Council makes a tentative decision on May 28, they will adopt the final decision and findings two to four weeks later.

Additional Information & Contacts
Visit the Bureau of Development Services’ website or call 503-823-7300 for more information on the land use review application process, or visit the Portland Water Bureau project website for more information about the project.

Terry Black
Public Information

Join Our Team

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If 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 a diverse workforce of more than 500 full-time equivalent employees. The bureau has over $8 billion in system assets, a proposed annual budget of $212 million and a projected five-year Capital Improvement Program budget of approximately $392 million.

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. Join our team!

Engineering Associate - Mechanical  
Closing Date/Time: Wed. 05/27/15 4:30 PM Pacific Time 
Salary: $29.61 - $39.67 Hourly
Location: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave, Oregon 
Apply online 

Water Bureau Administrator  
Closing Date/Time: Mon. 06/01/15 4:30 PM Pacific Time 
Salary: $138,984.00 - $199,160.00 Annually
Location: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave, Oregon 
Apply online 

Communications Director (Public Information Manager) 
Closing Date/Time: Mon. 06/01/15 4:30 PM Pacific Time 
Salary: $6,227.00 - $8,370.00 Monthly
Location: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave, Oregon
Apply online 

Customer Accounts Specialist I   
Closing Date/Time: Mon. 06/08/15 4:30 PM Pacific Time 
Salary: $17.40 - $25.09 Hourly
Location: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave, Oregon
Apply online 

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information