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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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3 Things You Never Knew About Portland’s Groundwater

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Groundwater Awareness Week may be coming to a close, but there's still much to learn about Portland's secondary water source in the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

Here's a handy infographic with three facts you may not have known about Portland's groundwater. Click here for a downloadable version.

Continue learning about Portland's groundwater at

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Water Bureau Returns to 100 Percent Bull Run Water

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On March 15, the Portland Water Bureau will return to the Bull Run Watershed as its drinking water source. The decision to re-activate Bull Run was made after conferring with the bureau’s regulators at the Oregon Health Authority and in consultation with our public health partners at Multnomah County.

On Feb. 13, the Portland Water Bureau activated water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field in response to recent low detections of Cryptosporidium in the Bull Run. Using the high-quality secondary source allowed for the bureau to conduct further monitoring and investigation, and work with health officials to monitor community health data. Based on data collected and investigations conducted, the bureau continues to believe the health risk to the public from Bull Run water is low.

“Our top priority is to protect public health,” said Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. “The evidence and data collected, along with input from our partners with the Multnomah County Health Department and regulators at the Oregon Health Authority, indicates the risk remains low.”

The Multnomah County Health Department routinely monitors for illness caused by Cryptosporidium. To assure adequate reporting Multnomah County health officials issued a provider alert to local clinicians on Feb. 1, 2017, to inform them of the Water Bureau’s findings so that suspected cases would be tested. Even with this additional awareness, public health officials report there have actually been fewer than expected cases of Cryptosporidium illness reported so far in 2017.

“Our ongoing surveillance for Cryptosporidium illness has not detected any unexpected increase,” said Multnomah County and Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis. “At this time the general public does not need to take any additional precautions. As always, we recommend that people with severely compromised immune systems discuss their individual health needs with their physicians.”

The most recent detection for Cryptosporidium was from a sample collected March 8, 2017, that had one oocyst. While it is likely that low-level detections of Cryptosporidium from the Bull Run will continue, current evidence from public health data, monitoring results, and watershed investigations, as well as extensive consultation with public health officials, have provided confidence in the Portland Water Bureau’s decision to resume delivering Bull Run water.

The bureau will continue to sample the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium and gather information about these detections. The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at The media will also be notified of any further low-level detections on a weekly basis, if they occur. The bureau will also notify the media and public immediately should further testing results indicate a risk to public health.

The Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive users when there is a change in water source or significant operational changes. It may take up to two weeks, depending on location, for Bull Run water to make its way through the distribution system to homes and businesses.

Customers with questions are encouraged to call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Hannah Mason Pump Station to Deliver Ongoing Savings to Customers and Reduce Carbon Emissions

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Oversized check presented to Portland Water Bureau

Earlier today, the Energy Trust of Oregon (Energy Trust) presented the Portland Water Bureau with a check for nearly half a million dollars in front of City Council – an incentive that will benefit Portland Water Bureau customers.

This incentive was awarded to the Water Bureau’s new energy-efficient Hannah Mason Pump Station, which replaced the old 1912 Fulton Pump Station.

Photo of Hannah Mason Pump Station constructionUp to 14 million gallons of water move through this pump station every day as it pushes water uphill through Portland’s Southwest hills. Pumping water uphill is the Water Bureau’s largest single use of electricity, system-wide. Making pumping more efficient saves energy and money and reduces carbon emissions.

By combining energy-efficient pumps, an innovative pump station design, and the properties of gravity, the Portland Water Bureau is cutting annual energy costs by nearly $163,000 and also contributing to achieving goals outlined in the City of Portland’s award-winning Climate Action Plan.

“The new Hannah Mason Pump Station supports a citywide goal of reducing energy use by 2 percent,” said Portland Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. “Energy Trust’s assistance allowed the City to make a major contribution to meeting these goals with an investment that will pay for itself in only 3.3 years.”

Energy Trust Partnership

Energy Trust provided technical assistance on the project which enabled the Water Bureau to identify an estimated annual savings of 2.37 million kilowatt hours. The carbon equivalent for these savings is 610 metric tons, or approximately 1.345 million pounds, of CO2 reduction.

“We commend the Portland Water Bureau for seizing the opportunity to rethink how to efficiently deliver water to the residents of the city’s west side,” said Energy Trust Executive Director Michael Colgrove. “We’re excited to be part of this project that not only saves energy, but improves the overall quality of the pumping system while providing benefits to both water and electricity ratepayers.”

How Energy Is Saved

Map of location of new Hannah Mason Pump StationHannah Mason Pump Station receives electricity from Portland General Electric and draws water primarily from the city’s Washington County Supply Line. The old Fulton Pump Station drew water from the Southeast Supply Line. With an average hydraulic elevation approximately 125 feet higher than the old Fulton Pump Station, the Washington County Supply Line requires less pumping, enabling the Water Bureau to use three energy-efficient, 150-horsepower pumps to meet most of its pumping needs. This cuts pumping energy by approximately 45 percent, annually.

In addition, Portland Water Bureau opted to use hydraulically-operated butterfly valves for pump control which reduces the head pressure the pumps must provide, reducing energy use another 14 percent compared to more traditional diaphragm control valves.

Hannah Mason Pump Station

Hannah Mason Pump Station is the first Water Bureau infrastructure project named after a woman. A philanthropist, landowner, and widow of Portland Mayor William S. Mason, Mrs. Mason owned most of the land on which Willamette Park sits today.

Join Our Team: Water Service Inspector I

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 
Water Service Inspector I  Full Time  $23.52 - $27.58 Hourly

Mon. 3/29/17 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


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

3 Ways to Make Every Drop Count

Did you gnome that the average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water each year in fixable leaks? That equals 270 loads of laundry! We are all familiar with the nuisance of a kitchen faucet dripping late at night, but other leaks may not be as obvious. Some take investigation to find, but are well worth your sleuthing efforts. By fixing a leak yourself, you can save money by reducing your household water and sewer costs!

Here are a few places to check for water leaks:

  • Toilets: Lift the lid off the toilet tank and squeeze in a drop of food coloring. Wait 15 minutes. Don’t flush. If any color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
  • Faucets: A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year! Replace old and worn out faucet pieces like washers and o-rings to stop a leaky faucet. To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a water-efficient kitchen or bathroom faucet aerator.
  • Fixtures: If it’s time to replace a toilet, faucet, or showerhead, look for models labeled with the WaterSense logo. WaterSense fixtures are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as (or better than) standard models.

Toilet leak detection tablets, bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators, and high-efficiency showerheads are available to Portland Water Bureau customers for free. The Portland Water Bureau also offers rebates for WaterSense-labeled toilets and irrigation controllers.