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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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April 2019 Update: Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

An aerial view of a large in-ground reservoir with construction trucks situated in the basin. The site is surrounded by evergreen trees

Over the last month, the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project has reached two milestones of pouring the first two foundation slabs and completing the last drilled shaft. We’ve also seen the removal of the two large cranes that have been operating on the bottom of Reservoir 3.

What’s next? Over the next few months, crews will continue to form and pour the remaining nine foundation slabs, install seismic foam, and install water and sewer pipes between Reservoirs 3 and 4.

Traffic Alert

Another tower crane will be erected on-site the week of May 19. SW Sherwood and SW Sacajawea will be CLOSED to ALL TRAFFIC. Traffic on SW Lewis Clark Way will be reversed to allow vehicles to exit the park via SW Park Place.

A Reliable Future

The Portland Water Bureau is building a new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced underground reservoir within the footprint of the former Reservoir 3. (upper) A new reflection pool on top of the reservoir will retain the historic look and feel of the original. The new reservoir has been engineered to withstand ongoing landside encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake.
The new reservoir will supply water to Portland’s west side, serving approximately 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, five hospital complexes, and more than 60 parks. This system of water conveyance and storage makes Portland a livable and thriving community, ensuring public health and economic viability.

The first phase of construction focused on reshaping the site. Now in the second phase, the focus will be building the new reservoir structure.

Learn more about the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project at

Water Bureau Gives Back! Celebrating Volunteers During National Volunteer Month

Just like our region is fueled by water—for drinking, cleaning, and for households and businesses alike—Portland, too, is fueled by the countless hours volunteers give of their time an money to helping make this region a great place to live, work, and play.

Your friends and neighbors that work at the Water Bureau are no different. Water Bureau employees pour hundreds of hours into our local communities through a variety of volunteer efforts.

Celebrating Volunteerism for National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month, and we are saying "thank you" to the people of Portland who give back each and every day and make Portland a truly special place to live. From neighborhood cleanups to volunteering at animal shelters, their work touches nearly every corner.

Here are a few of our employees' volunteer stories. To follow more stories, visit our Facebook and Twitter feed.

If you’re looking to take your hikes to the next level, Eric has you covered. An asset management analyst with the bureau, he spends 20 days a year teaching at a mountaineering education and climbing club.

And if something were to go wrong on one of your climbs, Marty, a GIS tech, could be the one saving your life. Anderson volunteers with the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue after being inspired by seeing “a variety of people working together with a common goal of rescuing one person.”

A handful of employees coach and mentor children, in various activities from Cub Scouts and PTA boards to track and wrestling.

"I love working with youth and seeing them connect in positive ways through running,” said Water Bureau engineer Marie, who spends more than 300 hours every year coaching young athletes. Recently Mac, a water quality engineering associate, used his role as a scout leader to teach Cub Scouts about how vital it is to strap on a helmet when riding their bikes. Mac used honeydews to display how big a difference helmets can make.

“It had a big impact,” Mac said. “I am grateful to mentors who have helped me along my path. By contributing to our community, we all help each other reach our potential.”

Busy-bee Angie is an administration assistance in our Maintenance and Construction division. And a "busy bee" is no exaggeration. Angie spends over 600 hours per year volunteering for various programs and organizations nationally and locally. Some of her favorites include being President of Good in the Hood, helping with the United Negro College Fund Portfolio Project, the Leisure Hour Jr. Golf Program, and she's actively involved in her church and faith community. Plus, Angie volunteers for several Water Bureau work committees, including the Equity Committee where Water Bureau employees meet to develop strategies and plans for increasing opportunities within the bureau's work.

John, a water quality inspector acknowledges that his volunteer story is a little "different." "I volunteered to allow the County and City to house a homeless family in a tiny house in my back yard. I signed a five year contract that guarantees stable housing for families at risk so their kids can go to the same school and they can wake up in a safe warm house for up to five years. John is hopeful that, in the future, a program like this could dramatically change people's lives.

Accountant Jennifer and her husband volunteer to at their children’s music events, help organize fundraisers and coach little league. Schneider is a licensed foster parent and says, “we are trying to raise our children to give back to the community, to see the big picture and be willing to help others.”

Thank you to our employee volunteers and to all Portlanders striving to make a positive difference each and every day!

April 26, 2019: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. In the 50-liters sampled daily, between Sunday, April 21 and Wednesday, April 24, one Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in a sample collected on Sunday, April 21. Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on April 15, when one oocyst was detected from the 50-liters sampled.

The Bull Run watershed is Portland’s primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

About Cryptosporidium

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

More Information

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525. 

Join Our Team: Career Opportunities at the Portland Water Bureau

Portland Water Bureau logoIf 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.

You can view all current Water Bureau job opportunities here. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Current Opportunities at the Water Bureau

Position   Employment Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Community Service Aide II - Water (CAD) Casual $14.01–$25.52 Hourly Mon. 5/20/2019 11:59 PM Pacific Engine
Engineer III Full Time $80,205.00–$140,338.00 Annually Mon. 5/13/2019 11:59 PM Pacific Apply here
Utility Worker I Limited Duration $23.02–$25.03 Hourly Fri. 5/3/2019 11:59 PM Pacific Apply here

Learn More About the Water Bureau


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

Save up to $3,000 on a New Ice Machine for your Business

Replace your water-cooled ice machine with a new ENERGY STAR ® certified air-cooled model and save big.

Metal ice scoop resting in ice cubes

Does your business own a water-cooled ice machine? If so, the Portland Water Bureau offers a rebate that pays 50% of the cost (up to $3,000) for replacing a water-cooled ice machine with an approved new ENERGY STAR® certified air-cooled model. 

Reduce Water Use with an Air-Cooled Ice Machine

Air-cooled ice machines can reduce water consumption by as much as 85% when compared to water-cooled models.  By making the switch to an air-cooled model, you can significantly save on water and sewer costs. You may also save energy depending on the age and efficiency of the water-cooled machine being replaced

How much could I save?

This depends on how much ice you use each day, but the savings are noticeable. For example, a water-cooled ice machine that has a maximum harvest rate of 800 pounds of ice per day can use between 500 to 1,200 gallons of water per day— just for the cooling water. You could save $10 to $25 per day by switching to an air-cooled model.  

Can I still make the same kind of ice?

Yes. Round, crushed, big, or small— switching your machine doesn’t mean your ice product has to change. There are a large variety of ENERGY STAR ® certified air-cooled ice machines on the market. Find one that works for you.

Get More Information

Visit our website for application information, to schedule a pre-install inspection, and to learn about other ways to save water in a commercial facility, including best-practices for commercial ice machines.