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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.

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3 Washington Park Summer Safety Tips for Cyclists

Do you cycle through Washington Park this summer? If so, there’s something you need to know.

Peak season at the park is here. With over one million Portlanders, tourists, and their family and friends visiting the Hoyt Arboretum, Oregon Zoo, and the Rose Garden, things are bound to get a little crowded. Mix peak season with peak construction season, and the need to stay alert and obey signs is even more important. Your life—and the lives of others—depends on it.

Detour sign for cyclistsTip 1: Mind the signs

There’s a lot going on at Washington Park. Paying attention to signs—and following their instructions—can help you avoid accidents and keep you, and park visitors, safe.

See a stop sign? Come to a complete stop and look around. Shuttles and large trucks can be quieter than you think, and may need extra time to stop.

Safety tips for cycling around trucksFor your safety, avoid lingering next to a truck on any side, in any lane. If you are riding near the same speed, slow until you are behind the truck.

Tip 2: Give the Shuttle a Safety Bubble

The Washington Park shuttle takes visitors to and from the various attractions, transporting about a quarter of visitors who ditched their cars and opted for public transit.

Shuttle drivers already have their hands full navigating sharp turns, helping folks get on and off at their stops, and ensure their passengers are staying safe. Give them some room to get around.

Tip 3: Don’t Go the Wrong Way on a One-Way

What’s more dangerous than traveling the wrong way on a one-way street? For a cyclist, probably nothing.

Map of Washington Park routes

Park construction means that some streets that were once two-way are now only one-way.

One such street is Southwest Rose Garden Way, which twists and winds around some of the busiest areas of the park, including the Rose Garden, tennis courts, and other high-traffic attractions.

Keep your eyes out for signs indicating changes in traffic flow, and always be on alert.

Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Washington Park Improvement Projects map and website to help you plan your trip ahead of time and avoid making a wrong turn.

When it comes to bicycle safety, Mr. Franklin got it right: An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

Free Water Conservation Give-Aways Coming to an Event Near You!

Free water conservation give-aways

We like things that save water and we think you will, too.

That’s why we’re heading out to events around the city this summer to get our water-saving give-a-ways in to your hands and home. 

Free water efficiency devicesFree Water Efficiency Devices

Devices you might see at events include faucet aerators—these increase water savings while still producing good pressure—and fill cycle diverters to help save water in older toilets, shower timers, and more!

Visit us at these summer events:

Jade District Night Market: Saturday, August 19 and 26.

Sunday Parkways - Outer NE PDX: Sunday, August 20    

Look for the Portland Water Bureau booth where you can check out our devices, order a free lead-in-water test kit, get your water questions answered, and fill up your water bottle as you discover all the ways you can be water smart.

"Is There Enough Water to Get Us Through Summer?" Answers to Your Summertime Water Questions

Bull Run Lake

While Portland is fortunate to have an abundant supply of drinking water, once the hot days settle into the Willamette Valley, people begin to ask whether we have enough water in the Bull Run Watershed to get us through the summer.

And for this year, like most, the answer is yes.

How We Plan for Summer Water Supply

Each year, our summer supply planning experts develop a Seasonal Water Supply Augmentation and Contingency Plan also known as the Summer Supply Plan. This plan evaluates the amount of water that is available from the Bull Run reservoirs and groundwater sources, projected weather forecasts, and the amount of water the region typically uses. Between careful management and the region’s strong conservation efforts, we are prepared to meet Portlanders’ summer water supply needs.

Graph outlining usable storage in the Bull Run Reservoirs
Did you know that the Bull Run reservoirs can fill up quickly after a long summer drawdown? A significant fall rain event can abruptly refill Bull Run Reservoirs in as little as two to three days. That’s about 150 million gallons each hour filling up the reservoirs.

How Your Water System Works

The Bull Run water system is designed to capture and store rainfall from the rainy season to provide enough water during the dry summer months.

Along with stream inflows into the watershed and the approximately 9.9 billion gallons stored in the two Bull Run reservoirs, there is enough supply to meet water demand during most years.

During drier years, the Columbia South Shore Well Field groundwater source can be used to make up any supply deficits.

As we do every year, we are carefully watching our water supply throughout the summer.

Drawdown 101

Drawdown occurs when Portlanders use more water from our reservoirs than streams carry into them. This happens every year until the fall rains return and refill the reservoirs. This year, drawdown began on June 22.

Columbia South Shore Well FieldTwo Sources, More Choices

Did you know that the Bull Run Watershed gets its water primarily from rain, not snow?

The watershed gets approximately 135 inches of rain each year, about three to four times more rain than we get here in town.

Portland’s secondary water supply is the Columbia South Shore Well Field. The well field has 26 wells in three aquifers that can initially produce nearly 95 million gallons per day. Each year during drawdown, our Operations folks perform a groundwater maintenance operation to ensure that the well field is operational in the event it is needed for emergency supply.

With an average daily summer water demand of 114 million gallons, the bureau carefully plans to meet the needs of our customers.

Saving Water Starts at Home

The Water Bureau’s best partner in ensuring that we have more than enough water for years to come is you!

The bureau has a Water Efficiency Program where you can learn more about using water wisely all year round with information about native plants in your garden and low-flow devices for your showers, faucet and toilets.

Water Planning Information

For updates and more information about how we plan for future water use, visit

Lock It Up: Protect Yourself from Water Theft

You wake up one morning to find your outdoor faucet turned on full-blast, but you didn’t turn it on. How did this happen?

It may seem like an obscure crime, but every year the Portland Water Bureau receives calls from customers who report people stealing water from unsuspecting households. Thieves simply help themselves to unlocked hose bibs, or prank players turn on your outdoor spigot for whatever reason prank players play pranks. In fact, KGW reported yesterday that customers in Southeast Portland are having their outdoor hose bibs – another name for an outdoor spigot – turned on.

The Water Bureau encourages our water consumers to take a moment to share this information with your neighbors, family, and friends.

Locked hose spigotDid you know that you can protect yourself from water theft by securing your outdoor hose? 

Hose bib locks are designed to secure a faucet from unauthorized tampering and water theft. Many locks fit three-quarter inch (¾”) garden hose thread faucets and are perfect for securing vacant homes, winterizing, or any time you want to have full control of water use from your hose bib. 

Hose bib locks are small, inexpensive, easy to install, and can be found at most local home improvement stores and online. 

And if you wake up one morning to find your spigot spewing water and you suspect foul play, call the police and make a report.


Contact the Portland Water Bureau. We're here to help!