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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 LEGO Robotics Team Gets An Up-Close Look at the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

6th graders standing at construction site

Somewhere in Southwest Portland, a LEGO robotics team is getting ready for their second-ever LEGO competition.

Using state-of-the-art Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robotics, team Redstone Robotics Incorporated brings together a group of 6th graders to work on robotics challenges and participate in competitions. This year's challenge is hydro dynamics, where the goal is to learn about all-things water – how water is found, transported, used, and disposed of. So when Scott, the team coach, saw the Water Bureau's announcement for a tour of the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement project, he knew his team had to join in.

Read about the Redstone Robitics tour to find out what they learned, including a few fun facts about the construction project.

Click to read the article.

Maintenance and Construction Crews in Your Neighborhood

Water Bureau maintenance crewWhile walking, rolling, or driving around Portland you may notice the Portland Water Bureau’s Maintenance and Construction crews.

So what exactly are they doing?

On any given day, the Water Bureau’s Maintenance and Construction teams are working around the city to maintain the city’s water system – from underground pipes to above-ground fire hydrants.

In the last fiscal year alone, crews completed more than 4,000 maintenance tasks.

Fixing leaks and main breaks. Portlanders who notice issues with pipes or hydrants can report them to the Emergency Line by calling 503-823-4874, 24 hours, seven days a week. Maintenance and Construction crews are on standby 24 hours a day to repair main breaks, which are more likely to occur during the winter season – or, as the Water Bureau calls, “main break season.”

Replacing aging and obsolete fire hydrants. The City of Portland has more than 14,000 fire hydrants that are not only important fire suppression tools, they are also important portals for flushing, which helps us maintain and ensure water quality. Many hydrants throughout the city are more than 100 years old, and parts to repair them no longer exist.  Last year crews replaced more than 500 hydrants in the system!

Replacing water mains. Portland Water Bureau proactively replaces old pipes and other infrastructure, including replacing water mains which are prone to breaks and leaks. The oldest pipe replaced in 2016 was 114 years old.

Maintenance crews repair water main

Be Our Eyes and Ears

Notice a leaking hydrant or broken water main in your neighborhood? Call the Emergency Line at 503-823-4874.

If you experience discolored water or have questions about water pressure, contact the Water Line at 503-823-7525 or from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Are You Ready to Shake Out?

2017 Great Shake Out graphicOn October 19, millions of people like you across the globe are signed up to drop, duck, and hang on in the world’s largest earthquake drill.

The Big One” will happen one day, there’s no question. Are you prepared for when the ground starts shaking?

Prepare to Shake Out

The Great Shakeout begins at 10:19 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. The Great Shakeout began in California in 2008 to practice how to be safer during earthquakes. Now, it’s a global event with over 55 million participants in 2016.

In a disaster, everyone has a role to play.

Every day, the Water Bureau prepares as part of its daily work—hardening the backbone of our water system and building storage that will last for generations.

Storing water and other supplies will help ensure that your household is ready to weather many events—including a serious earthquake. September was National Preparedness Month, but preparedness efforts are year-round.

How to Shake Out

This year, 528,000 Oregonians plan to take part in the event. Join thousands of your friends and neighbors and get ready to drop, cover, and hold on for the Great Oregon Shakeout!

At 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, we are practicing for an earthquake by getting under our desks or another sturdy piece of furniture, covering our heads, and holding on for a full minute.

Once you’re in place, take a photo and share it through your own personal social media networks with the hashtag #GreatShakeOut.

More Planning and Prep Information

As we’re fond of saying, everyone has a role to play in preparing for natural disasters and other emergencies.

For more information on how to prepare for a variety of emergencies, check out these sites:

November 1: Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest Bull Run Working Group Meeting

US Forest Service logoThe public is invited to attend the Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest Bull Run working group meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 1 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters at 16400 Champion Way in Sandy, Oregon.

An agenda is available here.

The Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest meets semi-annually each year to coordinate the management of the Bull Run watershed, Portland’s primary drinking water source.

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, visit our  Protection and Stewardship page or visit

What: Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest Bull Run working group meeting
When: Wednesday, November 1 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters (16400 Champion Way, Sandy, Oregon)

Water Bureau Construction Crews Make Way for Neighborhood Kid Bike Festival

Portland has quickly grown into a dense city, but thanks to John, Public Works Supervisor, and his Water Bureau Maintenance & Construction crews, a little piece of Portland maintained their small-town feel.

When Ladds Addition neighbors received notification of an upcoming Water Bureau construction project, several people reached out to our maintenance and construction team to let us know that our work was slated to occur early October—smack in the middle of a beloved neighborhood parade, Tour de Ladd.

Excavators, gravel fill, and tricycles don’t always share the road nicely, so John and his crews rearranged their timing to complete the scheduled work in advance of the event.

Portland Commissioner Nick Fish and young cyclistTour de Ladd: A (New) Neighborhood Tradition

Tour de Ladd, is the first event of its kind put on by Abernathy Elementary School. Beginning in 2008, and true to Portland’s style, school kids chose to hold a bike-a-thon fundraiser instead of a walk-a-thon. The event receives support of local neighbors, community businesses, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and even Commissioner Nick Fish!

Good Neighbors Make This City Great

But John didn’t know the background story of the kids’ event. He just knew how to deliver the same superb customer service and accommodation the whole city receives.

John and his crews even stopped by during their breaks on other nearby jobs to expedite prep work and tasks. True to how we do things at the Water Bureau, crews completed the job a week early, even amidst challenges and shorthandedness.

Thank you, John and your crew, for being such good neighbors and helping to ensure the 2017 Tour de Ladd happened without a hitch.

Check out this video the school made to get a peek at why Tour de Ladd is so important to the neighborhood.