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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

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

More Contact Info


Reflecting on the Work Ahead on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

As we reflect on the assiduous journey of the Civil Rights movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we remind ourselves of the hard work and sacrifice required to ensure equity and equality are infused into every area of our work.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

The Portland Water Bureau reflects on this question often and we ask ourselves what can be done to ensure the best possible service to every customer we serve.

Over the years, the Water Bureau has worked tirelessly to self-assess, ask uncomfortable questions, and re-evaluate ways to create a more equitable institution.

Some of these improvements include:

An Enhanced Financial Assistance Program

For more than twenty years, the Portland Water Bureau has been one of the few utilities in the nation to offer a low-income financial assistance program.

People who receive a bill from the Portland Water Bureau, and meet income guidelines, can apply to receive financial assistance which is designed to help ease the cost of paying your regular sewer, stormwater, and water bills. Enrollment provides customers with access to:

  • A discount on every bill. We’ve expanded eligibility criteria and added extra help for households with lower incomes.
  • A crisis voucher, should you find yourself in an unexpected emergency. We’ve recently increased the maximum crisis voucher amount to $500, available once every 12 months.

The menu of financial assistance options are the result of close collaboration between the Water Bureau and its community partners.

Bureau Equity Committee Works to Implement Racial Equity Plan

Angie is an Administrative Specialist in the bureau’s Maintenance and Construction division. She also serves as the President of the Water Bureau’s Equity Committee and Vice President and founding member of the Diverse and Empowered Employees of Portland (DEEP), an employee-driven organization offering training, education, and peer support.

Under Angie’s leadership, the bureau’s Equity Committee has worked tirelessly towards the implementation of the Citywide Racial Equity Plan. The plan outlines goals for better communication with customers; increasing the tools for external communications; finding more ways for customers to benefit from bureau; and increasing opportunities for the bureau to hire, promote, and retain a diverse workforce. It also includes specific steps and programs to educate bureau staff about equity, provide translation and other services, and develop online tools.

Hiring an Equity Manager

This position will serve as a resource for the bureau's program and project managers to create a workplace where equity becomes part of everyday decisions and is embedded in bureau operations.

The Equity Manager will lead the bureau in proactively implementing equitable policies, practices, and actions, as well as help influence attitudes within the bureau that will produce equitable authority, access, opportunities, treatment impacts, and outcomes for bureau workforce and customers.

“All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn more about the City’s commitment to equity at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oehr/68111.

Customer Guide to Water Quality and Pressure

If you turned on your faucet and the water was discolored, or the flow was less than normal, would you know what to do? It’s OK if you don’t, and you are not alone. This is why we created the Customer Guide to Water Quality and Pressure

Whether you rent or own your home, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate:

  • The basics of water quality and pressure.
  • Water quality concerns, such as discolored water or changes in taste or odor.
  • Changes in water pressure or flow.
  • Basic plumbing and water heater maintenance.
  • Lead in home plumbing and how to reduce your exposure.
  • Ways to prevent backflow contamination.
  • Reasons to use a home water filter and how to choose one.
  • Storing water for emergencies.
  • Leak detection and water efficiency.

While the Portland Water Bureau performs the majority of the work to ensure customers received safe and reliable drinking water, customers also have responsibilities to maintain water quality and pressure in their home. 

Learn more by viewing the guide online at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/guide or by visiting our Water Quality at Home page.

To request a paper copy, or for assistance with water quality or pressure concerns, contact the Water Quality Line at 503-823-7525 or WBWaterLine@portlandoregon.gov, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.

 

Jan. 25, 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 samples collected between Jan. 20 and Jan. 23, two Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected. One oocyst was detected from a sample collected on Jan. 20 and one oocyst was detected from a sample collected on Jan. 23. Cryptosporidium was not detected in samples collected on Jan. 21 or Jan. 22.

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 the 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 portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. 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.

Sign Up for the Portland Water Bureau Email Newsletter

Watch behind-the-scenes videos, discover how to save money and water, and get special event invitations in this free monthly email newsletter.

Stay current with what’s happening at the Portland Water Bureau. Watch behind-the-scenes videos, discover how to save money and water, and get special event invitations in this free monthly newsletter delivered to your email inbox.

Feb. 1, 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 50-liter samples collected between Jan. 27 and Jan. 30, five Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected. Two oocysts were detected from a sample collected on Jan. 29 and three oocysts were detected from a sample collected on Jan. 30. Cryptosporidium was not detected in samples collected on Jan. 27 or Jan. 28.

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 the 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 portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. 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.