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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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Women in Trades: Meet Su Farley, Water Operations Mechanic

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The Portland Water Bureau’s Women in Trades Planning Committee received an award from Oregon Trades Women for the main break simulation workshop at the 2016 Women in Trades Career Fair.

The Women in Trades Career Fair is an annual event produced by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. This interactive fair encourages middle and high school girls and women to explore the possibility of a future career in the trades.

This year’s Women in Trades Career Fair will be held on May 19 and 20.

For more than 13 years, women from the Portland Water Bureau have been a key part of this unique event with the goal of promoting and supporting the advancement and employment of women in the trades.

Thank you to the professional and talented women in the Water Bureau who have dedicated their career to the trades.

Get to Know Su Farley, Water Bureau Tradeswoman

What is your role at the Water Bureau?

I’m a Water Operations Mechanic. I respond to emergencies from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Some of the emergencies I help with are main breaks, property side leaks, city-side leaks, emergency locates, shut offs for repairs and many more.

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

First, I transfer calls to my phone. Then I get my work request paperwork from the radio room and triage what needs to be done first in order of priority. Then I head out to my first call and continue until I get additional emergency calls from the Water Control Center. I have to think on my feet a lot. For instance, I prioritize new calls with previous calls and divert to any main break or other water emergency that comes up.

What happens if you get a call for a water emergency while you’re in the field?

If there’s a main break or service leak that is causing damage, I call the on-call supervisor to bring in a crew. After I make that call, I locate the gates and throttle it down until it is under control. In addition, I mark for locates and, if time allows, I locate the main and services and try to pinpoint where the leak is.

What happens when you get back in the office at the end of the day?

At the end of the day, I record my findings in the night log. If there’s work that needs to be done, I email the supervisor and the scheduling folks to generate a work order to get the work done and attach pictures.

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

One more step for womankind!

Either at the Water Bureau or beyond, which women have served as your professional role models or mentors?

My mom.

How do you see fellow tradeswomen supporting each other?

I see great leaps and bounds with women supporting and encouraging one another in the trades!

What else do you want to share about yourself and your work?

Honestly, it’s a tough row to hoe, but now impossible and very rewarding.

Share with us something about your life outside of work.

I own my own business and raised four children by myself. My family is my hobby. I am blessed.

Learn More About Women in Trades Career Fair

To learn more about the Women in Trades Career Fair, visit the Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. website at

Headed to Sunday Parkways? We’ll Be There!

Water Bureau booth at Sunday ParkwaysIt’s almost time to grab your bike and explore Portland’s parks and neighborhoods at Sunday Parkways. Join the fun on May 21 in Southeast Portland and stop by the Water Bureau booth.  We’ll have free water efficiency devices available and friendly staff there answer questions and share water saving tips.

Keep an eye out for our Water Education Station (WES) – this is a great place to fill up your water bottle along the route.

Portland Water Bureau bannerFree Water Conservation Kits

If we miss you at the event, don’t forget, customers can always pick up a FREE water conservation kit at the Water Bureau’s first floor customer service center at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.

Learn more about free water efficiency devices available to you.  

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 05/5/17: Water Main Project On NW Cornell Road to Impact Traffic

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PORTLAND, OR — A water main installation project on Northwest Cornell Road between Northwest Skyline Boulevard and the Audubon Society will begin May 22, 2017, and end in early September. Construction work hours are limited to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays to accommodate commuter traffic.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, portions of the westbound lane of Northwest Cornell Road will be closed and flaggers will direct traffic through the work zone. Work zones will be limited to 1000 feet at a time.

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution while driving through the construction zone. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the work site.

Portland Water Bureau Customer Service Phones Inactive Due to Power Outage

UPDATE 05/24/2017 at 12:00 p.m.: Phone service has been fully restored.

A power outage in downtown Portland has inactivated City of Portland phone lines including Portland Water Bureau Customer Service.  Customers who call the 503-823-7770 or any other Water Bureau number will hear a busy signal. 

Customers who need immediate assistance from Portland Water Bureau Customer Service can email questions to Customer Service representatives are unable to take phone payments at this time. 

Email the Water Line at  with  questions or concerns on water quality issues. 

In case of a water related emergency, you can email the Water Bureau Dispatch team at

The Water Bureau website will be updated as soon as more information is available. 

The Portland Utility Board Needs You

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Do you want to have a part in overseeing the important work we do?

The Portland Utility Board (PUB) is made up of citizen volunteers that help guide City Council in the management of the Portland Water Bureau and our “sister” agency, the Bureau of Environmental Services.

And City Council is looking for volunteers to join the Board.

What’s involved in PUB service? So glad you asked!

Meetings & Members

The PUB meets monthly to craft advice for City Council on each bureaus’ financial plans, capital improvement projects, public policies, rates, and more.

The board has 11 voting members and 3 ex-officio members. Members are appointed by the mayor, in consultation with the Commissioner-in-Charge.

Recruitment Details

The PUB is currently recruiting members with the expectation of having appointments made before the beginning of July.

A subcommittee will meet near the end of May to review submissions, interview candidates, and make recommendations to the full board at their June meeting.

How to Apply

You can access an application online here.

Your applications, resume, and any additional information to should be sent to:

Melissa Merrell
Principal Financial Analyst
City Budget Office
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1300
Portland, OR 97204

You can also email your completed application to


For more information about the Portland Utility Board and what it does, visit the Membership Information and Application page. You may also call (503) 823-1310.