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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Most downtown streets open, Hawthorne Bridge open both directions, east bound access limited to SW Naito Parkway onramp after Sunday water main break

Portland Water Bureau crews have isolated the broken water pipe that caused traffic and discolored water impacts to the downtown core today. They are conducting repairs at the main break site on Southwest 1st Avenue and Southwest Madison Street. Southwest 1st Avenue between Southwest Jefferson and Southwest Salmon streets will continue to be closed until the water main is repaired and the street is temporarily restored. 

Most impacted streets are now open: 

  • Hawthorne Bridge is open in both directions. Southwest access to the eastbound lanes of the Hawthorne Bridge is available only by the Southwest Naito Parkway onramp.
  • Southwest Main Street is fully open.  
  • Southwest Salmon Street is fully open. 

Many downtown businesses, including hotels and restaurants, are experiencing discolored water due to sediment stirred up by the water main break. Water Bureau crews will be flushing through the evening to clear pipes. The water is safe to drink, but may cause clogging of filters in washing and dishwashing machines. Until water runs clear: 

  • Use the water to flush toilets, but avoid running the water through filters, hot water heaters, and washing machines.
  • Wait an hour for the system to settle, then run water at one tap for up to five minutes to  see if it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes. 

Join Our Team: Community Outreach and Information Representative - Equity, Senior Community Outreach & Information Representative, Operating Engineer II

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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 
Community Outreach and Information Representative - Equity  Full Time  $5,033.00 - $6,709.00 Monthly Fri. 4/28/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!
Senior Community Outreach and Information Representative Full Time $5,551.00 - $7,403.00 Monthly Fri. 4/21/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!
Operating Engineer II Full Time $25.05 - $32.37 Hourly Mon. 5/8/17 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.

Save Water and Time This Summer with Water-Wise Plants

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Don’t let the long, wet winters fool you: Summer is on its way. And with it comes long, hot days with little to no rain.

April is the perfect time to start planting new plants and removing old plants that didn’t fare so well in last summer’s heat. Want to save water and time this summer? Look no further than water-wise plants.

Water-wise plants.

Many native plants and adapted plants are well-suited to our wet winter and dry summer Willamette Valley climate.  Native plants – think vine maple, yarrow, and goldenrod – can handle the long dry summers and eight to nine months of “liquid sunshine.” By choosing plants that are right for the conditions in your yard, you can cut down on watering and maintenance costs. Plus, native plants are a gorgeous compliment to the beautiful natural areas surrounding us.

Check out these great guides to Water-Efficient Plants for the Willamette Valley and Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards.

Native landscape planMake a planting plan.

Does your yard have full sun, shade or a combination? Is your soil type similar throughout your space or do you have a mix?  By grouping plants with similar drainage, sunlight and water needs you’ll have happier plants and save water.

If you want some inspiration or help making a native landscape plan, check out these upcoming free naturescaping workshops through East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. (Live on the west side? Check out the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District native plant workshops.)

Schedule a weekend to mulch.

Mulching your garden is one of the best ways to retain soil moisture and reduce the amount of water you use to keep plants perky in the summer. Mulching is often easier to do in the spring before perennials have come up.

Look at your calendar now and make a plan to mulch. Learn more about the benefits of mulch in this OSU Extension article.

More Information

Get more information about the benefits of using native plants in your landscape here.

What’s Going On at Washington Park?

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In order to comply with federal and state mandates and ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system, the Portland Water Bureau and Oregon general contractor Hoffman Construction Company are moving forward with an eight-year capital improvement project to update the Washington Park Reservoir site at 2403 SW Jefferson Street.

Engineered for Seismic Resiliency

Beginning drain rock filling of Reservoir 4Washington Park’s open-air reservoirs were built over 120 years ago and the complex gravity-fed drinking water system remains a valuable and innovative resource for the City.

The Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project entails building a new, seismically reinforced below-ground reservoir. The reservoir will not only maintain the historic gravity-fed drinking water function provided by the original reservoirs, but will be engineered to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake.

Historic Preservation

 Shoring wall construction along Sacajawea BlvdAside from protecting our precious resource, this project will allow park visitors to enjoy many of the preserved historic elements as well as some exciting new additions. A reflecting pool will sit atop Reservoir 3 and many of the original structures will be maintained. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the drinking water system, and another reflecting pool along with a wet prairie habitat area will be constructed in the basin.

When complete and online, the new underground reservoir will supply water to Portland’s west side, including all downtown businesses and residents, the Oregon Zoo, more than 60 parks, six hospitals, and 20 Portland public schools.

Currently the construction team is working to fill Reservoir 4 to support the future habitat area and reflecting pool.

Road Closures

Sacajawea Boulevard is temporarily closed while two shoring walls are built along it. These will provide construction access while the new reservoir is constructed. A temporary access ramp into Reservoir 3 was constructed for equipment and material access into the reservoir. Ongoing work includes erosion control at the construction site, installation of a receiving pit and boring 48” diameter casings under the Reservoir 3 dam, and removal of the wetwell in Gatehouse 4.

Learn more about road closures and how to navigate Washington Park during this improvement project.

More Information

Questions or concerns?

Visit the project website, call the hotline (503-823-7030), or email project staff at

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

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The public is invited to attend the Portland Water Bureau and Mt. Hood National Forest Bull Run working group meeting on Wednesday, April 19 from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. at the Portland Building, 1120 Southwest 5th Ave. in Portland. The meeting will take place in the Bull Run conference room on the fifth floor. 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, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Portland Building (1120 Southwest 5th Ave., Portland); fifth floor conference room