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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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Water Bureau Lends Equipment, Expertise to Warm Springs During Water Crisis

We're on the road, helping a neighbor in need. The Bureau brought a 1,000 potable water tank to Warm Springs and showed their crews how to operate it while they're in need.

Posted by Portland Water Bureau on Thursday, June 6, 2019

Many people in the bureau are in for the long haul.

Brian and Derrick, Water Bureau Operating Engineers, were on a long haul, literally.

Behind them, on a two-hour drive, was a potable water container capable of holding nearly 1,300 gallons, and an emergency water distribution trailer. Ahead of them was a community in need, The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. In late May, it started as a boil water notice.

A loss of pressure put the Tribe’s water in jeopardy.

Jerome, a System Operation Supervisor, dispatched the duo of Operating Engineers to bring an empty blivit and show crews in Warm Springs how to operate it.

Brian says the entire setup took about an hour. “Any time we can help someone out, it’s a great thing."

The assistance went beyond the initial setup of the emergency water distribution station. Jerome and Chris Wanner, Director of Operations, have continued to provide guidance in helping the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs with any additional questions.

“It feels good. Public servants and water professionals, that’s what we do,” Jerome said. “It feels good to help out a community in need.”

Portland Water Bureau to Augment Supply with Groundwater

On Wednesday, July 10, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using our groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate water supply to our customers. As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system. The Bull Run Watershed, in combination with the Columbia South Shore Well Field, is capable of meeting Portland’s water needs throughout the summer.

Due to the dry spring weather, above average temperatures, and in consideration of available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau will use the Columbia South Shore Well Field to supplement supply until the return of significant fall rains.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards. It is anticipated that groundwater will contribute approximately 35 percent of supply and may be increased if above average demands and dry weather continue. Customers may notice a slight increase in hardness as a result of blending groundwater.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is the second largest water source in the State of Oregon

“We deliver safe and reliable drinking water to almost one million customers,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr. “At the end of a dry spring, it’s tremendously comforting to know that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field and supply all our customers’ needs with high-quality drinking water.”

As part of our ongoing seasonal supply planning, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to ensure adequate, clean water for all of our customers. The Portland Water Bureau will be managing our water supply carefully until the return of fall rains, so that we continue to meet our obligations.

Depending on location, it may take up to two weeks for groundwater to move through the distribution system and reach customers. Supply updates will be posted to The media and customers will again be notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water. For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Get Weekly Watering Tips Customized For Your Lawn and Garden

How much water does your garden need? Get week-by-week watering information for your ZIP code. Sign up for a weekly text or email:

It can be tough to know how much to water your lawn and garden. That’s why we work with our partners at the Regional Water Providers Consortium to give you the amount of water your lawn will need each week from April through September.

No lawn? No problem!

You can still use the Weekly Watering Number. Since lawns need the most water, the Weekly Watering Number is designed with grass in mind. But it’s easy to adjust for other plants:

  • Shrubs and perennials: Water 50% of the recommendation
  • Vegetables: Water 75% of the recommendation. New starts may require more water.
  • Trees: Newly planted trees need regular watering for up to the first couple of years. Established trees may need a deep soak or two in summer.

How do I know how much I’m watering in inches?

The Weekly Watering Number is calculated in inches, but you probably want to know how long (in minutes) to water. To figure this out, all you need are a couple of tuna cans, a ruler, and a timer.

Learn how to measure your sprinkler system, soaker hose, or drip system output.

How is my Weekly Watering Number calculated?

The number you get is based on rain fall, evapotranspiration, and solar radiation data for your ZIP code. This weather data is used to estimate the amount of water your plants will need to replace what they have lost over the week.

For more outdoor water efficiency tips visit

Save Water and Keep Your Lawn Green with This Simple Change to Your Home Irrigation System

Fact: July is Smart Irrigation Month, a time to check your home irrigation system and see how it’s working for you.

To help you celebrate this special time of the year (Hello, sunshine!), let’s get nerdy about spray heads.

When you have an automatic irrigation system, you have spray heads that distribute the water on your landscape.

A Smarter Way to Water

Fixed spray heads spray water droplets in a fan shape.

Multi-stream rotating nozzles can use less water than traditional fixed spray heads.

Have you ever looked at a traditional spray head and noticed water misting near the nozzle head? That’s because most traditional spray heads don’t work efficiently at higher pressures, which can lead to water-wasting evaporation that appears as a fine mist.

Multi-stream rotating nozzles are a great water-saving solution to keep your plants green and happy. They operate at a range of pressures, so they don’t cause the evaporating mist. The nozzles provide more uniform coverage than fixed spray heads by shooting out rotating streams of water, preventing gaps and dry spots.

Why switch to multi-stream rotating nozzles?

  1. Easy installation. Most conventional fixed spray heads can be easily swapped out for multi-stream rotating nozzles.
  2. Easy on the wallet. At about $6 a nozzle, multi-stream rotating nozzles are a relatively inexpensive way to improve your watering system.
  3. Free money! If you purchase multi-stream rotating nozzles, you may qualify for a rebate of $3 per nozzle from the Portland Water Bureau. Check the list for qualifying hardware, then send in a completed rebate application with the receipts or invoices attached.

Celebrate smart irrigation in your yard this summer! Pick up multi-stream rotating nozzles at your local irrigation specialty store, apply for a rebate, and let the water savings begin.


Our Water Efficiency team can help: 503-823-4527 or

Learn more about Portland Water Bureau irrigation rebates: