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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

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

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Water Bureau Finds Additional Cryptosporidium in Bull Run Water

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Groundwater activated on Feb. 13.

Today, the Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring of the Bull Run watershed, including one 50L (13 gallon) sample that was positive for Cryptosporidium, a potentially pathogenic microorganism. The positive sample was collected Monday, Feb. 13 and is the seventh positive sample out of 29 samples this year. The levels detected continue to be low, with one Cryptosporidium oocyst detected in this sample.

 With the possibility of further Cryptosporidium detections from the Bull Run, the Portland Water Bureau activated the groundwater wells from the Columbia South Shore Well Field on Monday Feb. 13.

“The health and safety of our customers is our top priority” said Portland Water Bureau Administrator Michael Stuhr “We will continue to work with our partners at Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority while monitoring our drinking water source.”

At this time, there is no evidence of an increased public health risk as a result of this most recent detection. The bureau continues to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care providers. However, there is no need for the general public to take additional precautions.

“All identified cases of cryptosporidiosis, the disease caused by Cryptosporidium, are reported to state and county health officials” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Deputy Health Officer, Multnomah County. “So far, the county’s ongoing disease surveillance has shown no unexplained increase in Cryptosporidium cases.”

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. Cryptosporidiosis is not the only illness or condition that can cause these symptoms. These symptoms are common in the general population this time of year – up to 2 percent of the public can have similar symptoms on any given day (11,000 people in Portland). Health professionals recommend seeking medical advice if these symptoms persist for more than a few days.

The Portland Water Bureau currently does not treat for the parasite Cryptosporidium under a variance issued by the State of Oregon Health Authority in 2012. As required by the conditions of the variance, the bureau had been testing for Cryptosporidium at the source water intake twice a week. Since Jan. 8, after the initial detections, the bureau began monitoring at the source water intake at least four times per week. The bureau will continue to test the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium even while serving groundwater as the drinking water source. The results of this continued monitoring will be used to decide when to return to the Bull Run as our drinking water source.  

The Portland Water Bureau is continuing its investigation into the recent detections. While no specific source has been identified, scat from wildlife in the Bull Run that has been washed into the reservoirs are the most likely source of the Cryptosporidium detections. The bureau will continue to notify the public if any additional precautions are necessary. In the meantime, the bureau will continue operating our secondary groundwater source.

Additional information regarding the Portland Water Bureau’s treatment variance and answers to frequently asked questions are available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/treatmentvariance. Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

Portland Water Bureau Offices Closed Feb. 20 in Observance of the President’s Day Holiday

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In observance of the Presidents' Day holiday, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017.

This includes both the Customer Service Call Center and the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the first floor at 1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 at 8 a.m.

During the holiday, Water Bureau customers are invited to pay their bill in the following ways:

  • Online
  • Pay by phone by dialing 503-823-7770 and press 1
  • Drop off: Leave a payment in the Water Bureau's night box located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue to the left of the building's front doors
  • To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

Water Work Closes One Lane of SE 68th Avenue North of SE Division to Mt. Tabor Park

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PORTLAND,  OR- A contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be disconnecting an old water pipe in SE 68th Avenue the week of Feb. 20, 2017.

The work will begin on Monday (Presidents’ Day) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. One lane of traffic will remain open. Flaggers will direct traffic.

No water services will be disrupted.

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.

Additional Cryptosporidium Detected in Bull Run Water

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The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring of the Bull Run watershed. While the bureau is no longer serving drinking water from the Bull Run watershed, monitoring for Cryptosporidium has continued. The bureau remains in compliance with the terms of the Cryptosporidium treatment variance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.

On Monday, Feb. 13, anticipating that further Cryptosporidium detections from the Bull Run were possible, the Portland Water Bureau proactively activated the groundwater wells from the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

The most recent results from water that was not served to the public was from two 50-liter (13 gallon) samples that were positive for one Cryptosporidium oocyst each. The positive samples were collected Tuesday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 15. These are the eighth and ninth positive samples out of 32 samples this year.

The bureau is committed to keeping the public informed of the ongoing monitoring for Cryptosporidium from the Bull Run. The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will continue to notify the Oregon Health Authority of all detections.

The bureau will also coordinate with state and county health officials to determine when to return to the Bull Run as our drinking water source. The bureau will notify the public and the media when it returns to Bull Run water.

Additional information regarding the Portland Water Bureau’s treatment variance and answers to frequently asked questions are available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/treatmentvariance. Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

Join Our Team: Customer Accounts Specialist I, Environmental Program Specialist, Program Specialist, Senior Engineer

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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 
Customer Accounts Specialist I  Full Time  $17.95 - $25.88 Hourly

Mon. 2/27/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

 Apply Here!
Environmental Program Specialist Full Time $5,033.00 - $6,709.00 Monthly

Thurs. 3/9/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

Apply Here!
Program Specialist Full Time  $5,033.00 - $6,709.00 Monthly

Fri. 3/3/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

Apply Here!
Senior Engineer Full Time  $7,468.00 - $9,956.00 Monthly

Fri. 3/10/17 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.