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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Women in Water: Ann Levy, Environmental Program Manager

The Portland Water Bureau continues to celebrate Women’s History Month by shining a spotlight on the women of the Water Bureau who have made a mark on their chosen profession through hard work and talent.

Let’s meet Ann Levy, a program manager in our Water Quality division.

Ann Levy
Environmental Program Manager at the Portland Water Bureau

What is your role at the Water Bureau?

I am an Environmental Program Manager in Water Quality. For the last five years I have managed the bureau’s compliance with the Bull Run Treatment Variance.  I have a small team of talented scientists that focus on environmental monitoring and watershed protection activities related to the Oregon Health Authority’s requirements.

Describe your typical day for us. What does that look like?

A typical day will start with checking in with my team regarding the status of our compliance samples, which are the bread and butter of our program. So far in 2017, my days mostly entail following up on the recent Cryptosporidium detections. We are investigating the Bull Run watershed for Crypto sources and planning next steps. I work closely with a variety of stakeholders in the Water Bureau including staff in our Resource Protection, Engineering, Treatment Operations, and Public Information departments to provide the latest technical information and data.

How has your experience been at the Water Bureau?

It’s been a great experience, ever since I was hired as an Environmental Technician I back in 2005.  I’ve had a chance to work on a variety of programs within Water Quality over the years which has kept me challenged and engaged.  I’m grateful to have had so many people at the bureau help me grow professionally.

What does it mean to be a woman in a field where women have been historically underrepresented?

It makes me feel proud. I am reminded that my grandmother actually got her B.S. in chemistry back in the day but never had a chance to use her degree. She might have been the only woman in her degree program. She ended up working in a factory to support the war instead.  I’m sure she’d be proud of me for having a career in science.

Which women have served as your professional role models or mentors?

At the Water Bureau I must give a shout out to Yone Akagi and Briggy Thomas who have always been there for me. It’s important to surround yourself with supportive people who challenge you to step outside your comfort zone but who will also have your back.

Outside of the Water Bureau, the role models I always think of include “the Janes” – Jane Goodall and Jane Lubchenco.  I had the honor of hearing both of them speak while I was a student at the University of Portland. Most people know about Jane Goodall and her trailblazing career and accomplishments.  Jane Lubchenco is a distinguished environmental scientist at Oregon State University and served as the Administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  She inspired me with her practical advice about being a woman in the sciences.

What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in your field?

I would really encourage her to join the environmental science field. It’s always interesting, challenging, and rewarding. Find an area to specialize that you enjoy and connect with a good advising professor. You don’t have to pay to go to graduate school; they should be paying you to be there!  Spend lots of time in the field and the lab. Be open to opportunities as they present themselves. Be patient and put in your time at “the bottom.”  That’s where you build your discipline and work ethic.

Describe something about your life outside of work.

To balance out all my time in the technical realm, I love to spend time enjoying the arts: going to musicals, plays, live music, art museums, and reading novels.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 03/30/2017: NW Saltzman Road Water Main Replacement Project

Map of NW Saltzman Trailhead closureA contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will begin installing 1,570 feet of new water main along Northwest Saltzman Road on April 3. The project will take approximately 90 days.

This project will replace the leaking two-inch galvanized water main with a two-inch high-density polyethylene pipe to strengthen the water supply system for the area.

As the road is very narrow, NW Saltzman Road – including the Forest Park Lower Saltzman Trailhead – will be closed to all motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists except resident traffic during construction hours, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Alternative trailheads include Maple Trail, Leif Erickson Drive, and Wildwood Trail.

For more information on the project, visit

Step Back in Time with These 3 Vintage Water Bureau Videos

 Take a look inside the Water Bureau video archives with three mini-documentaries from the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s. Recently discovered in our video vault, each video takes you on a journey through the history of Portland’s water supply with a behind-the-scenes look how the Water Bureau has adapted to meet the needs of a growing population.


This mini-documentary about Portland’s drinking water giving you a first-hand look at how the Water Bureau viewed protecting and managing the Bull Run Watershed and how preparations for the region’s future water demands were evolving over 30 years ago.


The 1974 “The Bull Run Story” traces the unique history of Portland’s drinking water – from wells, creeks, and the Willamette River to today’s protected Bull Run Watershed in the Mount Hood National Forest.


Get a mid-century era look into the city’s most prized possession: the clean, crisp waters of the Bull Run Watershed. See how, in 1959, water starting in Bull Run made its way to faucets all across the Portland region and beyond.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 03/30/2017: Large Equipment Removal at Washington Park Reservoir Project Site Scheduled for Friday, March 31st; Traffic Delays Expected

PORTLAND, OR – On Friday, March 31, between noon and 2 p.m., one large drill rig will be removed from the reservoir project site at Washington Park.

The crane will be loaded onto a large flatbed truck and will exit the site by traveling along Southwest Sherwood Boulevard, to Southwest Kingston Avenue, to Southwest Tichner Drive, and out on West Burnside Road.

What Travelers Can Expect                            

  • 20- to 25-minute temporary delay as the truck trailer maneuvers through the park
  • Delays and slow moving traffic on Southwest Kingston Avenue, Southwest Tichner Drive, and West Burnside Street
  • Staged flaggers to direct traffic at the following intersections: Southwest Kingston Drive and Southwest Sherwood Boulevard; Southwest Kingston Avenue and Southwest Fairview Boulevard

Avoid Delays

To avoid delays, plan ahead and detour around the crane’s route. Enter the park using:

  • West Burnside Road to Southwest Skyline Boulevard to Southwest Fairview Boulevard
  • Southwest Canyon Road to Southwest Knights Boulevard
  • Southwest Fairview Boulevard to Southwest Knights Boulevard
  • Southwest Canyon Road to Southwest Knights Boulevard

Exit the park using:

  • Southwest Fairview Boulevard to Southwest Skyline Boulevard to West Burnside Road
  • Southwest Knights Boulevard to Southwest Fairview Boulevard
  • Southwest Knights Boulevard to Southwest Canyon Road

Safety is Priority

Safety is our number one priority when moving any type of heavy equipment into or out of the project worksite.

Park users and travelers are encouraged to move safely around the park. Please watch for detours and signage and follow direction from flaggers. The public is encouraged not follow construction vehicles or buses as they may enter restricted zones. All construction-related traffic impacts are subject to change.

Project Details

The Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project entails constructing a new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced, below-ground reservoir in the same footprint of existing Reservoir 3 (upper) with a reflecting pool/water feature on top. The existing Reservoir 4 (lower) will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland wildlife habitat area, bioswale, and reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.

For additional project information and updates, contact the project hotline at 503-823-7030, e-mail or visit