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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Water main repair closes Hawthorne Bridge in both directions, and some downtown streets

The Hawthorne Bridge is closed in both directions due to a water main break at Southwest 1st Avenue and Southwest Madison Street. Southwest 1st Avenue is closed between SW Jefferson and Southwest Salmon streets, and SW Madison, Main and Salmon streets are closed between Southwest 1st and 2nd avenues. 

A 16-inch water main on Southwest Madison at Southwest 1st Avenue, just at the eastbound entrance to the Hawthorne Bridge, broke mid-morning on Sunday April 9. The cast iron main was installed in 1958. Water filled Southwest 1st Avenue down to Southwest Salmon Street until water valves and gates were closed. Crews are on site initiating repairs. Repairs are expected to go through the night; the goal is to have the Hawthorne Bridge and all downtown streets open for the morning commute.

Water service is impacted to five commercial buildings in the area. Building managers have been notified to assess any water damage to basements.

Some services in the area may experience dirty water, due to agitation of sediment in the water mains.  In most cases the water will clear on its own within two hours or less. If your water is discolored:

  • Use the water to flush toilets, but  avoid running the water through filters, hot water heaters, and washing machines.
  • Wait an hour for the system to  settle, then run water at one tap for up to five minutes to see if it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes.

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 work site. 

The Portland Water Bureau’s Maintenance & Construction crews are ready to respond to emergencies, including water main breaks, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. On average, crews respond to 200 main breaks a year.

April 9 Water Main Break: Some services in the area may experience dirty water, due to agitation of sediment in the water mains

Water Main Break Update: Some services in the area may experience discolored water, due to agitation of sediment in the water main. In most cases the water will clear on its own within two hours or less. If your water is discolored:

  • Use the water to flush toilets, but avoid running the water through filters, hot water heaters, and washing machines.
  • Wait an hour for the system to settle, then run water at one tap for up to five minutes to see if  it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes. 

Most downtown streets open, Hawthorne Bridge open both directions, east bound access limited to SW Naito Parkway onramp after Sunday water main break

Portland Water Bureau crews have isolated the broken water pipe that caused traffic and discolored water impacts to the downtown core today. They are conducting repairs at the main break site on Southwest 1st Avenue and Southwest Madison Street. Southwest 1st Avenue between Southwest Jefferson and Southwest Salmon streets will continue to be closed until the water main is repaired and the street is temporarily restored. 

Most impacted streets are now open: 

  • Hawthorne Bridge is open in both directions. Southwest access to the eastbound lanes of the Hawthorne Bridge is available only by the Southwest Naito Parkway onramp.
  • Southwest Main Street is fully open.  
  • Southwest Salmon Street is fully open. 

Many downtown businesses, including hotels and restaurants, are experiencing discolored water due to sediment stirred up by the water main break. Water Bureau crews will be flushing through the evening to clear pipes. The water is safe to drink, but may cause clogging of filters in washing and dishwashing machines. Until water runs clear: 

  • Use the water to flush toilets, but avoid running the water through filters, hot water heaters, and washing machines.
  • Wait an hour for the system to settle, then run water at one tap for up to five minutes to  see if it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes. 

Join Our Team: Community Outreach and Information Representative - Equity, Senior Community Outreach & Information Representative, Operating Engineer II

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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 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 
Community Outreach and Information Representative - Equity  Full Time  $5,033.00 - $6,709.00 Monthly Fri. 4/28/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!
Senior Community Outreach and Information Representative Full Time $5,551.00 - $7,403.00 Monthly Fri. 4/21/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!
Operating Engineer II Full Time $25.05 - $32.37 Hourly Mon. 5/8/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on the closing date and hour of this recruitment. E-mailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted.

Learn More About the Water Bureau

Questions 

For more information regarding career opportunities at the Water Bureau, contact (503) 823-3515 or e-mail.

Save Water and Time This Summer with Water-Wise Plants

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Trillium

Don’t let the long, wet winters fool you: Summer is on its way. And with it comes long, hot days with little to no rain.

April is the perfect time to start planting new plants and removing old plants that didn’t fare so well in last summer’s heat. Want to save water and time this summer? Look no further than water-wise plants.

Water-wise plants.

Many native plants and adapted plants are well-suited to our wet winter and dry summer Willamette Valley climate.  Native plants – think vine maple, yarrow, and goldenrod – can handle the long dry summers and eight to nine months of “liquid sunshine.” By choosing plants that are right for the conditions in your yard, you can cut down on watering and maintenance costs. Plus, native plants are a gorgeous compliment to the beautiful natural areas surrounding us.

Check out these great guides to Water-Efficient Plants for the Willamette Valley and Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards.

Native landscape planMake a planting plan.

Does your yard have full sun, shade or a combination? Is your soil type similar throughout your space or do you have a mix?  By grouping plants with similar drainage, sunlight and water needs you’ll have happier plants and save water.

If you want some inspiration or help making a native landscape plan, check out these upcoming free naturescaping workshops through East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. (Live on the west side? Check out the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District native plant workshops.)

Schedule a weekend to mulch.

Mulching your garden is one of the best ways to retain soil moisture and reduce the amount of water you use to keep plants perky in the summer. Mulching is often easier to do in the spring before perennials have come up.

Look at your calendar now and make a plan to mulch. Learn more about the benefits of mulch in this OSU Extension article.

More Information

Get more information about the benefits of using native plants in your landscape here.