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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


Building a Filtration Project Based in Community Values

Portland is building a new filtration facility to keep our water safe and abundant for generations to come.

The Bull Run Filtration Project will remove Cryptosporidium and other contaminants from the Bull Run water supply, producing cleaner, safer water for the one million people who use our water now and for future generations. The project is required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and must be completed by September 30, 2027, per a bilateral compliance agreement with the Oregon Health Authority.

Today the Portland Utility Board will hear a presentation from our staff on the project and what we’re doing to address costs and plan for Portland’s future.

A handout will be provided at the meeting that outlines this work.

Building a Filtration Project Based in Community Values

Outreach efforts have made over 180,000 contacts. Customers tell us they most value:

  • Water quality and public health protection
  • Best value for customers
  • Minimizing community impacts to rural site neighbors
  • Reliable, consistent water

What Risks Do We Face?

There are a variety of challenges to maintaining a reliable drinking water supply, including:

  • Forest fires
  • Algal toxins
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Earthquakes

Finding the Right Investment Level for Portland

Additional investments in the Filtration Project provide greater protection for customers—addressing risks like forest fires and algal toxins that impact water quality, decreasing need for groundwater and curtailments, and replacing aging infrastructure.

Table of Benefits

Additional Investment Now Saves Money in the Future

Full implementation now increases current rate impacts but saves money overall and reduces how much customers will be paying in the long-term.

Maintaining Affordability While Providing Needed Investments

Low income customers will be financially supported through our customer assistance program. Investments in water quality and reliability have the greatest benefit to customers with the fewest resources.

Learn More

Learn more about the Bull Run Filtration Project and what the future holds for ensuring you continue to receive excellent drinking water for generations to come.

Oct. 8, 2019: Administrative Review Committee Meeting

The Administrative Review Committee reviews ratepayer requests for account adjustments, proposed account actions, and other disputes concerning water, sewer, and/or stormwater accounts.

The purpose of the Committee is to review account issues that ratepayers have been unable to resolve with the bureaus’ Customer Services group. The Committee weighs policies, rates and special circumstances when reviewing an account. The Committee may accept the customer’s request, offer with an alternate remedy, or deny the appeal. Administrative Review Committee decisions are bureau decisions.

The Administrative Review Committee is made up of:

Meeting Information

Portland Water Bureau Interstate Facility
Kelly Butte Room
664 N Tillamook St.
Portland OR 97227

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Agenda: Click here

For More Information

Review the City of Portland Water, Sewer, and/or Stormwater Billing Appeal Policy (ADM-14.02).

Questions? Contact us at (503) 865-2755 or PWBCustomerService@portlandoregon.gov

The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact 503-823-7432, City TTY 503-823-6868, Relay Service: 711.

Bull Run Treatment Planning for Pipes

Map of property and potential pipeline routesCity Council will decide whether to purchase the property at 35319 S.E. Carpenter Lane in Gresham, which is directly across the street from the new filtration facility. The land provides a potential route for pipes from the filtration plant.

Council will decide on Wednesday, Oct. 23 whether the Water Bureau will move forward with the purchase of the property at 35319 S.E. Carpenter Lane in Gresham. This is directly across the street from the new filtration facility. The bureau’s interest in this property is in the land, as a potential route for pipes from the filtration plant north to Dodge Park Boulevard.

When the Council provides direction on the pipe configuration, the project team will develop designs and determine specific needs. The property will be sold if not needed for filtration plant purposes when the project is complete.

Water Bureau staff are committed to being good neighbors and responsible stewards of ratepayer money. The treatment facility is needed to comply with federal regulations. It also provides multiple benefits to the nearly one million people we serve. 

“This filtration facility will improve public health and water quality and increase the drinking water system’s resilience and reliability,” said supervising engineer David Peters.

Early decisions for the new facility were made using a process grounded in community and Water Bureau values. More than 1,600 customers and 20 stakeholder groups weighed in. These values are being incorporated throughout the project and help inform decisions. Nearby neighbors of the filtration plant are engaging in a Good Neighbor Agreement process to give input on the design of the plant, construction management, and mitigation options.

“The City Council will make decisions together, with the advice of the Portland Utility Board and with our ratepayers and the Site Advisory Committee,” said Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

As the facility is being designed and during construction, additional property and easements from property owners may need to be purchased. Any purchases above the financial thresholds in City Code must be approved by City Council.

“Keeping sight of the goal is critical,” said Peters. “This project will help the Portland Water Bureau provide safe and abundant water to a million people for generations to come.”

Click here for more information about the Bull Run Filtration Project.

November 2019 City Charter Ballot Amendments

Election Day is Nov. 5 and, by now, you should have received your ballot in the mail. (Hit up Multnomah County Elections, if you haven’t.) There are two measures on the ballot that are connected to the work we do here at the Portland Water Bureau:

  • City of Portland Measure 26-204 on the management of and protections for the Bull Run Watershed
  • City of Portland Measure 26-205 on mutual aid agreements

Here’s a little information on the two measures (PDF). 

We’re pretty limited on what we can say about them. State election law requires City employees to stick to the facts and what we’ve provided here is approved by the Oregon Secretary of State. If you have additional questions about what happens if these measures pass, we’ll do our best to answer them. 

Commissioner Amanda Fritz is the champion for these measures, so if you have questions about “Why?”, contact her office or read her blog.

Media Advisory: EPA Invites Portland and Beaverton to Apply for $600 Million in Water Loans

Bull Run, Beaverton projects focus on critical reliability upgrades to protect public health.

SEATTLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting a total of 39 projects in 19 states to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. Together, the selected borrowers will apply for WIFIA loans totaling approximately $6 billion to help finance over $12 billion in water infrastructure investments and create almost 200,000 jobs.

Major drinking water facilities in Beaverton and Portland are among the eligible projects.

“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing an integral role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure and ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This announcement highlights billions of dollars in needed water infrastructure investments to upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce exposure to lead and emerging contaminants and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country – all while creating almost 200,000 jobs.”

“I know first-hand how important it is to find outside capital when a community needs critical infrastructure investments,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick. “These drinking water projects in Oregon are important public health investments, so we’re pleased that Beaverton and Portland are included in this list of eligible communities.”  

“This is exciting news and we are grateful for the invitation from EPA to apply for WIFIA program funding,” said Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle. “We are committed to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for our growing community. This is a positive next step in our efforts toward critical water infrastructure improvements that will enhance resiliency for our customers and the greater region. I want to thank our federal representatives for their support and the many partners who have contributed to this opportunity.”

Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr says he is thankful for the opportunity. “The Bull Run Treatment Projects will ensure that our water system, which serves nearly one million people, will be safe and abundant for generations to come. The EPA’s invitation to apply for this funding is a testament to the merits of this project and their confidence in the Portland Water Bureau. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the application process, and want to extend a thank you to our congressional delegation for their support, in particular Senator Jeff Merkley for his leadership on WIFIA.”

EPA’s WIFIA loans will allow communities across the country to implement projects to address national water priorities – including providing for clean and safe drinking water by reducing exposure to lead and emerging contaminants, addressing aging water infrastructure and developing water recycling and reuse projects. EPA received 51 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2019 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

After a robust, statutorily required review process, the WIFIA Selection Committee included the drinking water projects in Portland and Beaverton in the pool of eligible applicants:

  • City of Portland Bull Run Treatment Program -- $554 million

The City of Portland will complete three projects to improve public health and water quality and increase drinking water system resiliency and reliability for  nearly 1 million people: (1) the Corrosion Control Project will further adjust the chemistry of Portland’s water, reducing potential levels of lead at the tap; (2) the Filtration Project will construct a new filtration water treatment plant to remove the microorganism Cryptosporidium and other potential contaminants; and (3) the Pipeline Project will construct raw and finished water pipelines to connect the filtration water treatment plant to existing conduits. The purpose of the projects is to comply with two federal regulations, the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule and the Lead and Copper Rule.

  • City of Beaverton Water Supply Improvement Program -- $58 million

The Water Supply Improvement Program will include a series of projects that will enhance the reliability and resiliency of the water system to meet the needs of a growing urban area. The program includes major new transmission mains, new or improved connections to neighboring purveyors, additional seismically resilient storage, expansion to a new service area, a system-wide Advance Metering Infrastructure system, and a new stormwater reuse system.

To learn more about the 39 projects invited to apply, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects.  

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA's aim is to accelerate investment in the nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA's WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump's infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

Contact:               Bill Dunbar/EPA/206-553-1019

                              Jaymee Cuti/PWB/503-823-8064

                              Diana Ballash/Beaverton/503-526-3737