Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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


More Contact Info

Five Summer Travel Tips for Water-Savvy Wayfarers

Add a Comment

Vacationers doing yoga on the beach

Traveling this summer?

Don’t let a leaky faucet or malfunctioning irrigation system run amok when you’re bathing at the beach or hiking the hillside.

Use these five, easy-to-follow summer vacation tips to save money, travel sustainably, and keep your summer travels worry-free.

1. Stop the Leaks

Did you know that a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than eight gallons of water a day?

Before you leave for your vacation, check your home for leaks. Dripping faucets, running toilets, and loose hoses are all common water-wasting culprits.

2. Water by Number

And if you’re planning to irrigate with an automated system while you’re away, check the Weekly Watering Number and adjust your irrigation controller accordingly.

3. Cover the Pool

If you have a pool, cover it while you’re gone.

A cover can minimize water evaporation, which means you won’t need to top it off when you get back home. As an added bonus, those neighbor kids probably won’t sneak into your pool if they have to go to the effort of pulling the cover off, right?

WaterSense Hotel Challenge4. Find Conservation-Conscious Lodging

Hotels and other lodging businesses account for 15 percent of the water used by all commercial and institutional facilities across the country. Just like seeking out socially-responsible travel tours and free-trade travel bags, you can find hotels at your destination that have committed to using water wisely.

Over 860 hotels in 41 states are a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense H2Otel Challenge program.

Can’t find an H2Otel Challenge participating hotel at your destination? No matter where you stay, you can save water by reusing your towels and bedding which saves water and energy.

Graphic illustrating amount of water to make one water bottle5. Don’t Forget a Reusable Water Bottle

It’s estimated that it takes 3 liters of water to make one liter of bottled water: two liters to market the bottle and one liter to fill it. And that doesn’t even count the amount of oil it takes to produce the bottle itself.

What. A. Waste.

Save on water and money by bringing your own bottle and refilling it with tap water.

Learn more about bottled versus tap water and what you can do to reduce your lifestyle footprint.

Share Your Water-Savvy Vacation Tips

What do you do to conserve water while on vacation?

Any go-to home preparation tips for summer travelers?

Please share your suggestions below. Happy travels!

Widmer Brothers Brewing: A Recipe for Water Efficiency

Add a Comment

Commercial Water Efficiency: Widmer Brewing

Widmer Brewing employeeFounded in 1984, Widmer Brothers Brewery helped pioneer the Pacific Northwest beer movement and today is Oregon’s largest brewery. So, it makes sense that Widmer’s pioneering spirit goes beyond making great tasting beer and includes being a responsible steward of Portland’s natural resources.

Over three years ago, Widmer Brothers Brewery in North Portland partnered with our  Water Efficiency Program to look for ways to save water.

Our water efficiency experts, Jeff Sandberg and Kevin Murray, help local businesses investigate increases in water usage, find inefficient or malfunctioning equipment, and help improve existing water use methods and processes.

To learn how our water efficiency program was able to help Widmer find sustainable and water-smart ways to brew their beer, we sat down with Julia Person, Corporate Sustainability Manager at Widmer Brothers Brewery.

Water Bureau (WB): Hi, Julia. Thanks so much for meeting with us today to talk about Widmer’s experience with our water efficiency program. I guess the first question is how did you find out about the bureau’s water efficiency support services?

Julia Person (JP): We first reached out directly to the Water Bureau to inquire about getting real time usage data on our water meters. We were then introduced to the water efficiency program and were able to undertake a comprehensive water audit of our bottling facility and restaurant in North Portland with their help.

WB: Can you tell us about your experience with the water efficiency program. How did the process work?

JP: Brewing is a water intense process, so I was interested in working with the Water Bureau to help us find savings with some of our bigger water-using equipment. The first step was to dig into data analysis with usage data on all our meters. Internally, as we are considering a capital improvement project, we can include the BIG rebate savings and improve the viability of potential projects.

WB: What were the results of the implemented efficiency improvements?

JP: We’re already well below the benchmark for water usage compared to other breweries of our size, using 3.77 gallons of water per gallon of beer with a goal to use 3.50, while the typical usage is five to six gallons. Investments in water efficiency projects help us do even more. We are currently working on installing a new piece of water efficient bottling equipment that will pay for itself in less than two years, with around $35,000 savings in water annually as well as $3,500 savings in energy.

WB: Are there any other efficiencies that resulted from working with the water efficiency program?

JP: One of the biggest benefits was getting access to monitoring tools that helps us pinpoint areas for improvement. For example, we wanted to understand the impact of our external bottle washer, and Jeff and Kevin were able to come out and do real-time logging of our water usage. This allowed us to determine our actual flow rate and dial back our gallons per minute being used.

WB: I’m curious, what would you say to another business that is thinking about working with the water efficiency program?

JP: It’s an excellent program with very knowledgeable efficiency experts that enjoy helping businesses improve.

WB: Thank you so much for meeting with me today, Julia! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

JP: It’s my pleasure! I’d add that Widmer Brothers appreciates being able to partner with the Water Bureau to improve our operations, helping us to make beer in a more sustainable manner!

Learn More About the Water Efficiency Program

Interested in learning how the Water Efficiency Program can help your business save water and money? Visit our Commercial Water Efficiency page for more information, commercial water savings tips, and contact details.

Consejos Rapidos Para Visitar el Parque de Washington Este Verano

Add a Comment

¿Sabías que estamos construyendo un reservorio preparado para terremotos en el Parque de Washington? El nuevo reservorio mantendrá el agua corriendo a los clientes en caso de un terremoto.

Algunos estacionamientos en el parque han sido temporalmente removidos para darnos más espacio mientras nuestros trabajadores trabajan. ¡Pero no te preocupes! Es tan fácil como siempre para moverse a todas las atracciones con el transporte gratuito del parque de Washington!

Ven y explora estos consejos rapidos para visitar el Parque de Washington este verano.

11 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Manually Paying Your Utility Bill

What else could you be doing besides sending in a check to pay your utility bill? Ugh. Literally anything.

We know your time is valuable. There’s only so many minutes in the day to do what you want to do…and paying utility bills probably doesn’t make it to the top of your list.

That’s why we offer Autopay, an automated way for you to pay your sewer, stormwater, and water bill.

But how do you know if autopay is right for you?

To help you decide, we put together a list of 11 things you could be doing instead of manually paying your water bill. If any of these sound like more fun than sending in checks or driving downtown, you know what to do. Sign up for Autopay today.

1. See a Movie in the Park. Summer sun + a beautiful park + free music and movie = perfect summer vibes.

Eating popcorn and watching movie

2. Read a book. Because you’re smart and smart people read.

Reading Rainbow GIF

3. Or catch up on reality TV. Who doesn’t love a guilty pleasure? ✋

I'm back GIF

4. Get out and get lost. Take a hike!

5. Float the river. The Willamette, Clackamas, Sandy. Just pick one and start floating!

6. Make a new friend. A friend with a pool.

7. Work on your summer tan (sunscreen optional but encouraged).

8. Add a few new jams to your summer playlist.

9. Start driving west until you see the ocean. Visit the coast!

9. Cheer for the Timbers or the Portland Thorns!

10. NOTHING. Because you’re a responsible adult and you deserve a break.

If you’d rather spend your summer doing literally anything else than remembering to pay your sewer, stormwater, and water bill, then get started with autopay today and stop wasting your precious time.

3 Washington Park Summer Safety Tips for Cyclists

Do you cycle through Washington Park this summer? If so, there’s something you need to know.

Peak season at the park is here. With over one million Portlanders, tourists, and their family and friends visiting the Hoyt Arboretum, Oregon Zoo, and the Rose Garden, things are bound to get a little crowded. Mix peak season with peak construction season, and the need to stay alert and obey signs is even more important. Your life—and the lives of others—depends on it.

Detour sign for cyclistsTip 1: Mind the signs

There’s a lot going on at Washington Park. Paying attention to signs—and following their instructions—can help you avoid accidents and keep you, and park visitors, safe.

See a stop sign? Come to a complete stop and look around. Shuttles and large trucks can be quieter than you think, and may need extra time to stop.

Safety tips for cycling around trucksFor your safety, avoid lingering next to a truck on any side, in any lane. If you are riding near the same speed, slow until you are behind the truck.

Tip 2: Give the Shuttle a Safety Bubble

The Washington Park shuttle takes visitors to and from the various attractions, transporting about a quarter of visitors who ditched their cars and opted for public transit.

Shuttle drivers already have their hands full navigating sharp turns, helping folks get on and off at their stops, and ensure their passengers are staying safe. Give them some room to get around.

Tip 3: Don’t Go the Wrong Way on a One-Way

What’s more dangerous than traveling the wrong way on a one-way street? For a cyclist, probably nothing.

Map of Washington Park routes

Park construction means that some streets that were once two-way are now only one-way.

One such street is Southwest Rose Garden Way, which twists and winds around some of the busiest areas of the park, including the Rose Garden, tennis courts, and other high-traffic attractions.

Keep your eyes out for signs indicating changes in traffic flow, and always be on alert.

Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Washington Park Improvement Projects map and website to help you plan your trip ahead of time and avoid making a wrong turn.

When it comes to bicycle safety, Mr. Franklin got it right: An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.