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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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Public Encouraged to Sign Up to Receive Urgent Safety Messages

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The City of Portland and Multnomah County are reminding all residents to visit (PublicAlerts) to sign up to receive urgent safety information.

PublicAlerts is able to send messages to landline phones, mobile phones, and email addresses. Alerts are only issued when the public needs to take action to remain safe, such as staying inside, evacuating, or boiling water.

Today (3/30) at 1 p.m., Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Director Carmen Merlo and Multnomah County Department of County Human Services (DCHS) Director Liesl Wendt will be available to demonstrate the system and answer questions.

WHAT: PublicAlerts demonstration and media availability
WHEN: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 1-2 p.m.
WHERE: Portland Emergency Coordination Center (SE 99th Avenue and SE Powell Boulevard); please contact Dan Douthit at (503) 793-1650 for parking instructions

PublicAlerts was first launched in 2011. The system used by Portland and Multnomah County was recently improved and is now able to issue safety information in 10 languages other than English, including Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Laotian, Arabic, Romanian, Somali and Ukrainian. Residents must sign up to receive non-English messages.

When signing up, residents are also able to indicate if they may have additional needs in an emergency -- such as mobility issues or hearing or visual impairment -- or difficulty communicating with public safety responders.

Visit today to sign up to receive future safety messages.

Job Seekers, More than 40 Employers to Attend Urban League of Portland’s Career Fair on April 5

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Join the Water Bureau team!

Job seekers and career changers are invited to the Urban League of Portland’s Annual Career Connections Job Fair on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel  at 1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, 97232.

The Portland Water Bureau is just one of more than 40 employers scheduled to attend the yearly fair to recruit for qualified candidates.

Other employers include: 

  • Bonneville Power Administration
  • Bureau of Labor and Industry
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Cambia Health Solutions
  • Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare
  • Central City Concern
  • Charter Communications
  • City of Beaverton
  • City of Gresham
  • Clark College
  • Clark County
  • Comcast
  • Country Financial
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • iHeartMEDIA
  • Kaiser Permanente NW
  • Lane County Government
  • Legacy Health
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Metro
  • Multnomah County
  • NW Natural
  • Oregon Department of Energy
  • Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Oregon Health Science University
  • Oregon State Lottery
  • Oregon Youth Authority
  • Port of Portland
  • Portland Community College
  • Portland General Electric
  • Portland Public Schools
  • Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Quarter
  • Providence Health & Services
  • Reed College
  • State of Oregon – Department of Consumer and Business Services
  • Travelers Insurance
  • TriMet
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • US Bank
  • US Forest Service
  • Vigor Industrial
  • Warn Industries
  • Washington County
  • Xerox

Job seekers can meet face to face with recruiters who are seeking qualified candidates for positions from entry-level to professional, from management to executive, ranging from construction and retail to government and corporate opportunities.

Join Our Team!
To learn more about career opportunities at the Water Bureau, job seekers are encouraged to visit our Work at Water webpage and stop by our booth at the upcoming career fair.

Reminder: Yearly Testing for Single-Family Home Backflow Assemblies Starts Now!

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Does your home have a lawn and garden irrigation system? How about a radiant heating system or boiler? These systems are required to have a backflow assembly to prevent contamination of the drinking water system. The backflow assembly is located between your house and the drinking water supply. They allow water to enter your irrigation system or home while at the same time preventing water that is in your system from flowing back into the drinking water supply. Once a year homeowners are required to test the backflow assemblies connected to their system. Backflow assemblies are essential in keeping you, your family, and Portland’s drinking water safe.

Why do I have to test my backflow assembly every year?
Testing is required every year by the State of Oregon Health Authority to ensure that your assembly is functioning properly. Every year in April and May, the Portland Water Bureau sends reminder letters to single-family homes to test their backflow assemblies. The perfect time to test is between April and June since this is after freezing weather has passed, which can damage your backflow assembly, and before the heavy watering season begins.

Who can test my backflow assembly?
Homeowners need to hire a private company to test their backflow assembly. The Oregon Health Authority provides a list of state certified backflow assembly testers on their website. Some of these companies specialize in specifically testing backflow assemblies, and some are landscape companies that provide that service. Either type of company can perform the testing you need. The market is fairly competitive, so homeowners can expect to pay between $35 and $45 per test.

What happens during a test?
The tester will test your assemblies and record the assembly serial number and test results. Your tester may or may not use stickers that the Portland Water Bureau provides as a courtesy with your reminder letter. If they don’t use them, your test is still valid, and you may just discard the stickers. When finished, the tester will then give you a copy of the report, keep a copy for themselves, and send a copy to the Portland Water Bureau. When the Portland Water Bureau Backflow Records department receives the test report, your account is updated with the results and is marked as up-to-date.

Annual testing is necessary to let the State and Portland Water Bureau know that your backflow assembly is in compliance every year, and assures you that you are keeping your family’s drinking water safe.

Questions about your backflow assembly or backflow assembly testing?
Contact Portland Water Bureau Backflow Records at 503-823-3256.

Lead Hazard Reduction Grant Opportunity for Community Organizations in Portland

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Community organizations and governmental agencies that conduct lead hazard reduction education and outreach services in the Portland-area are encouraged to apply for a 2016-17 Portland Water Bureau Lead Hazard Reduction Program grant. 

Exposure to lead is a major hazard to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children, and even low levels of lead can cause permanent brain and kidney damage.

The bad news is that lead poisoning can and does happen in the Portland-area. In a study of older homes in North, Northeast and Southeast Portland, 71 percent had composite lead dust levels that exceed federal standards.

The good news is that exposure to lead is entirely preventable.   

In Portland, the most common source of lead exposure is from lead-based paint. The Water Bureau’s unique and award-winning Lead Hazard Reduction Program, developed in coordination with state and local public health agencies to comply with the federal Lead and Copper Rule, focuses on all hazards posed by lead, while targeting those most at-risk. The program currently provides resources for hazard reduction in homes, free blood lead testing, and community education and outreach regarding lead hazards.

Submit an Application
If your organization has identified a need for lead hazard reduction in your community and have ideas for addressing that need, please consider submitting an application. Applications are due to the Lead Hazard Reduction Program by Friday, April 29, 2016, 5:00 p.m.  If you have any questions please contact the Lead Hazard Reduction Program at 503-823-1547.

The application is available online

Questions, Additional Information
For more information about the Lead Hazard Reduction Program, please visit the Water Bureau’s Reducing Lead Exposure page.

Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest Bull Run Working Group Meeting Scheduled

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The public is invited to attend the Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest Bull Run working group meeting on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the in the Bull Run conference room on the 5th floor of the Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in Portland.

Under the terms of a 20-year agreement between the Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest, staff engaged in the management of the Bull Run watershed, Portland’s primary drinking water source, will meet semi-annually each year. The purpose of these meetings is to review work plans, budgets and staff assignments; and communicate accomplishments and issues addressed during the course of management activities. An annual report is presented at the spring meetings.

For more information about the 20-year stewardship agreement between the Portland Water Bureau and the Mt. Hood National Forest, please go to Protection and Stewardship | The City of Portland, Oregon or