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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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Join Our Team: Utility Worker II, Apprentice

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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 Opportunity at the Water Bureau

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Utility Worker II, Apprentice  Full Time $17.51 - $23.13 Hourly

Fri. 1/27/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

 Apply Here!

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 4:30 pm, 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


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

White Cloudy Water

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Throughout the year, the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line receives calls from customers who say their tap water appears milky white or cloudy. 

In the majority of cases the cloudy water is caused by harmless air bubbles, but sometimes it can indicate a water heater issue.  Fortunately, determining the cause is as simple as filling up a clear glass with water and setting it on the counter.  

  • If the water clears from the bottom of the glass to the top, the water has air bubbles. This reaction sometimes occurs when cold water from underground mains enters warmer pipes inside your home. Since cold water holds more dissolved air than warm water, as water warms air may be released as tiny bubbles when a tap is turned on. The water is safe to drink, the discoloring is just the result of a harmless reaction.
  • If the water in the glass clears from the top-down, and white or grey particles settle to the bottom, this may indicate a water heater issue. To determine the type of issue, remove some of the particles from the water and add them to a small amount of vinegar. If the particles dissolve, this indicates mineral content and your hot water heater may require maintenance. If the particles don’t dissolve, it is likely the water heater dip tube is breaking down and repair is needed. 

Home Water Quality

To learn about water quality at home, visit the Water Bureau's Drinking Water Quality webpage or contact the Water Quality Line at 503-823-7525 or (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday).

Main Break at Southeast 69th and Duke

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Portland Water Bureau crews are responding to a large main break at the intersection of Southeast 69th Avenue and Duke Street. The broken main is a 16-inch cast iron main from 1930.

At the Portland Water Bureau, we call this time of the year "Main Break Season". The Portland Water Bureau has responded to approximately 75 main breaks since Jan. 1. We typically have approximately 200 main breaks per year. This is caused by very cold water running through pipes, which makes them brittle. As the ground expands as it freezes and contracts as it thaws, this puts stress on the already brittle and aging pipes.

What Affected Customers Can Expect During and After Main Break

During a main break, customers in the immediate vicinity may notice a reduction in water pressure or have their water temporarily shut off while repairs are being made. Customers may also experience discolored water. This color is from sediment that is always in our pipes and can get stirred up during a main break. The discoloration does not pose a health risk. However, customers should avoid using hot water or running the washing machine or dishwasher until flushing is complete. If you have experienced discoloration in your water, run the water at one tap for five minutes to see if it clears. If it does not clear, wait an hour and try again. When the water runs clear, flush any taps where discolored water was present.

Please see the "Discolored Water Fact Sheet" for more information.

If customers have questions, they can contact the Emergency Line 24-hours a day at 503-823-4874.

Hannah Mason Pump Station Project Update

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Hannah Mason Pump StationConstruction of the Hannah Mason Pump Station in Southwest Portland is in the final stage of construction. The new pump station will replace the aging Fulton Pump Station that was built in 1912. The Hannah Mason Pump Station houses five pumps, public restrooms, park equipment storage and complements the park with a subtle design meant to blend into the surrounding landscape. This project minimized impacts to local residents and business as a result of focused and responsive community outreach.

Who was Hannah Mason?

Hannah Mason Plat Map

Hannah Mason was a philanthropist, landowner and widow of an early Portland mayor, William S. Mason. At the time of her passing in 1908 she owned the majority of the land on which Willamette Park sits today.

Project Background

Late last year, the pumps in the pump station were tested and operations and maintenance training for the new facility was completed. Additionally, all restoration work on Southwest Nevada Street, including sidewalks and driveways, was completed except for landscaping which will be completed pending better weather conditions. Several sections of the Greenway Trail within Willamette Park will be improved as part of a larger Park and Recreation project concurrent with the pump station construction including the installation and restoration of curbs throughout the entire park.

The existing Fulton Pump Station will remain in operation for a minimum of two years after the Hannah Mason Pump Station is complete and operational.

More Information

For general project information, you can access the project website at

Happy Anniversary to Suzhou, China’s Benson Bubbler

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Portland is a special place to live. From Forest Park to the Bull Run Watershed – where Portland gets its clean, fresh water – we are fortunate to live in a place that values its uniqueness and recognizes the importance of preserving its history.

Unveiling of the Benson Bubbler at the Jiangsu Horticultural FestivalOne of the most charming Portland legacies is the Benson Bubbler, the four-bowl bronze drinking fountains dotting downtown’s busy sidewalks, and their one-bowl cousins spread throughout the city. These iconic fountains serve up Bull Run drinking water to Portland’s visitors and residents from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily. The Benson Bubbler water fountain is an enduring legacy reflecting over 100 years of Portland history.

And while most Benson Bubblers are indeed located in Portland’s thriving downtown area, three Benson Bubblers can be found outside of Portland city limits, including one in Pendleton, Oregon; Sapporo, Japan; and Suzhou, China.

This week on Jan. 27 marks the one-year anniversary of Portland City Council voting to allow the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) to transfer a Benson Bubbler to Suzhou, China, honoring the 15-year anniversary of Lan Su Chinese Garden. Lan Su Chinese Garden is a product of collaboration between the cities of Portland and Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, a province famous for its Ming Dynasty Gardens. The City of Suzhou is located about 60 miles (100 km) Northwest of Shanghai. The Benson Bubbler arrived safely in Suzhou in February 2016 and was unveiled in April of that same year at the 9th Jiangsu Horticultural Exposition, an event that drew millions of visitors to the shores of Taihu Lake.


In May 2015, the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) requested that the City provide a Benson Bubbler in honor of the 15-year anniversary of the Lan Su Chinese Garden, a friendship project between Portland and Suzhou. The Lan Su Chinese Garden is today one of the great cultural treasures of Portland. According to the Lan Su Chinese Garden, it is the most authentic Ming Dynasty Garden outside of China.

Happy anniversary to Suzhou, China’s very own Benson Bubbler!

Learn More

Learn more about the iconic Benson Bubblers, including their history and the bureau’s conservation efforts, by visiting the Water Bureau’s Benson Bubbler page. Then find out more about the Portland-Suzhou Sister Association at No ratepayer funds were spent on the Suzhou Benson Bubbler and none were removed from service or otherwise uninstalled as part of this sister city project.