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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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A Spotlight on One of the World's Most Important Resources - Groundwater

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This week, the Portland Water Bureau joins the National Groundwater Association and other partners to give special recognition to one of our nation’s most valuable resources - GROUNDWATER.

Readers are encouraged to follow the Water Bureau on Twitter and Facebook for posts that will discuss why groundwater is important to our drinking water supply, and what you can do to be a groundwater steward and help protect this resource.

Groundwater – It’s Right Underneath Your Feet
Groundwater is the water that soaks into the soil from rain or other precipitation and moves deep underground to fill cracks and other openings in beds of rock and sand called aquifers. It is a renewable natural resource when used wisely. Of all the fresh water in the world (excluding polar ice caps), 95 percent is groundwater. Surface water (lakes and rivers) make up only three percent of the world’s fresh water.

Groundwater Affects Everyone
Groundwater provides drinking water for nearly half our nation’s population (including Portland and surrounding communities) and provides about 40 percent of America’s irrigation water. It sustains streamflow between rain events and during long dry periods, and it helps maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems in streams, lakes, and wetlands.

Groundwater Serves as the Secondary Source of Portland’s Drinking Water
To access the water beneath our feet, Portland has 27 wells in three regional aquifers in the Columbia South Shore Well Field. The Well Field can provide 10 to 102 million gallons of drinking water a day in emergency situations or to augment Bull Run supply in the summer. This reliable water source is also a big reason that Portland is able to maintain the region’s primary drinking water supply in the Bull Run watershed as an unfiltered drinking water source. Learn more here. 

Groundwater Protection: Do Your Part
We all play a role in preserving our vital drinking water resources. Whether you’re a resident, business owner, employee or farmer, you can make a difference. Even small amounts of chemicals spilled, leaked or dumped on the ground can find their way into our aquifers.

You are invited to join the Water Bureau in efforts to protect groundwater. Start by taking one or more of the following actions:

  • Carefully follow all instructions for the use, storage and disposal of household chemicals, and never pour them down a storm drain.
  • Check underground storage tanks for leaks. Many older homes have underground heating oil tanks. Information on checking for leaks and decommissioning can be found here.
  • Report chemical spills and illegal dumping. Call Oregon Emergency Response System at 1-800-452-0311 and Bureau of Environmental Services at 503-823-7180.

To increase your groundwater awareness, visit Help promote and protect this valuable resource.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 03/09/16: Water Main Repair Work Extends SE Hawthorne Street Traffic Controls

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Due to a water main leak under SE Hawthorne Street and SE 46th Avenue, the Portland Water Bureau has extended the traffic controls on SE Hawthorne Street from SE 45th and SE 47th avenues.  These controls were previously put in place by the Bureau of Environmental Services during the course of sewer construction.

One lane going each direction of SE Hawthorne Street from SE 45th and SE 47th avenues will be closed into the evening as Water Bureau crews complete repairs.

No water services will be affected by the repair work. Normal traffic will be back in place once the repairs are made.

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the project worksite.

Crews will return to the site on a future date to complete paving, which is dependent on weather.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 3/10/2016:Paving to be performed on SE 82nd Avenue between SE Morrison and SE Yamhill streets— expect delays

The Portland Water Bureau will be paving in SE 82nd Avenue between SE Morrison and SE Yamhill streets on Friday, March 11 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Traffic controls and flaggers will be in place directing vehicles through the construction site.  

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the project worksite.

Portland Water Helps Local Children "Make Waves" at Clean Water Festival

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This past Tuesday, March 8, the Portland Water Bureau proudly participated in an extraordinary event called the Children’s Clean Water Festival

The festival is a one-day environmental education event for 4th and 5th grade students from around the Portland Metro area.

The Festival reinforces STEM, Common Core and Next Generation Science concepts through water-focused classroom presentations, exhibits, and stage shows. 

This year more than 1,500 children from more than 20 different schools attended the event. Staff from the Water Bureau are part of the planning committee, serve as class guides, and teach classes on topics such as groundwater, how to build a water main, and water tasting. 

To learn more about this annual event, visit

Join our Team: Water Treatment Operator II, Environmental Specialist, Senior Public Works Inspector

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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 not just a place where people work, but a place where people come to stay. We have a strong commitment to customer service, equity, diversity, responsiveness, community involvement, and environmental stewardship.

We're a recognized leader in the utility industry, achieving this success by investing in the very best people and empowering them to find new and better ways to meet our customer's needs.

We 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 Opportunities at the Water Bureau

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Water Treatment Operator II Full Time $26.05 - $33.67 Hourly Mon. 03/14/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!
Environmental Specialist Full Time $32.36 - $41.32 Hourly Mon. 03/21/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!
Senior Public Works Inspector Full Time $32.42 - $38.19 Hourly Mon. 03/21/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!

Learn More about the Water Bureau 

For more information on jobs at the Water Bureau, contact the Water Administrative Manager at 503-823-1956 or by e-mail