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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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Explore STEM with the Water Bureau's Education Program

Take a tour of the Bull Run WatershedOur world, and our water, depends on STEM.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These fields include jobs like civil engineer, water quality scientist, wildlife biologist, and many more. People with STEM training play an important role at the Water Bureau, where scientists and engineers keep an eye on the health of our system and the water it delivers.

Without STEM, who would engineer our city’s underground water supply pipes? Collect and analyze distribution performance data? Monitor and report on the quality of our city’s drinking water?

Last week was STEM Week Oregon, a time to celebrate and learn about all the ways science, technology, engineering, and mathematics plays a role in our everyday lives. STEM Week Oregon may be over, but here at the Water Bureau, our immersive STEM-related programs are in full swing.

Discover Where STEM Can Take You: Inside the Bull Run Watershed

Did you know that we offer a Water Resources education program where students engage in hands-on STEM activities all year long?

Collecting a water sample for analysisDuring the spring and fall of the school year, the Water Bureau’s education team takes students in the Portland area into the Bull Run Watershed for engaging STEM related field trips. Students get to tour one of the dams, witness the engineering feats of the 1920s, and learn about how our engineers today monitor the integrity of the dam.

How does a healthy forest relate to clean water? And how does a hydrologist, wildlife biologist, and forester work together to track the health of an old-growth forest? These are a few of the questions our young tour-takers explore.

Students can also take part in hands-on learning activities like conducting their very own water quality test. For this test, students observe how Water Bureau employees use a Kemmerer bottle to collect a sample of water. Then the students use turbidimeters to measure water cloudiness in the sample and record their data. It's a real-life exercise in STEM field work.

The Portland Water Bureau relies on STEM every day to get clean water to homes and businesses. And our educators love sharing the wonder and excitement of where STEM can take you, from the forest to the faucet.

Sign Up for a Bull Run Tour

Teachers, would you like to take your classroom on a tour of the Bull Run Watershed?

Sign up to take your class into the Bull Run by emailing And learn more about the educational opportunities at the Water Bureau by visiting the Water Resources Education webpage.

Cycle the Well Field on June 9

Cycle the Well Field cyclists

Join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for a FREE bicycle tour through Portland’s Columbia South Shore Well Field!

Located deep below the Columbia Slough Watershed, the City’s well field is capable of producing close to 100 million gallons of high-quality drinking water per day. The well field is used as an emergency backup for the Bull Run source and to augment our water supply during the summer when demand for water is higher.

Refreshments will be provided. Space is limited so register early!

The Ride

At several stops along the ride, experts from the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council will reveal the mysteries of groundwater, discuss how groundwater provides flexibility and reliability to the City's water supply, and explain how we can all have a role in protecting this important resource.

The ride will cover approximately 16 miles over relatively flat terrain, at a slow to moderate pace. This event is suitable for advanced, beginner, and intermediate riders due to the length and possible headwinds.

Bring your bike, helmet, water bottle and lunch. This event is rain or shine, please dress for the weather!

Event Details

Date: Saturday, June 9
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Start/Finish location: Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station; 9920 NE Cascades Pkwy; Portland, OR 97220
Requirements: Age 12 and up are welcome. Helmets and pre-registration are required.

Register today.

More Information

Questions about this event? Contact Susanne Raymond at or 503-281-1132.

This event is sponsored by the Portland Water Bureau, Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station, and Columbia Slough Watershed Council

Join Our Team: Communications Assistant

Communications Assistant If 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.

The Water Bureau currently employs approximately 560 people. All current job postings with the City of Portland are posted online, and updated weekly. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Current Opportunities at the Water Bureau

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Communications Assistant Full Time $16.00–$20.00 Hourly Mon. 5/21/2018 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.

Take the Mt. Tabor Interpretive Display Survey

Mt. Tabor Reservoir Interpretive Displays

For more than a hundred years, reservoirs on the slopes of Mt. Tabor formed a major part of Portland’s water system.

While the three open reservoirs at Mt. Tabor no longer supply drinking water, they continue to be important assets to the City of Portland.

The Portland Water Bureau is working with Portlanders, including representatives of the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association, to design interpretive displays and mobile app content that will tell the story of the Mt. Tabor reservoirs to park visitors.

What do you think the displays should look like? Take the Mt. Tabor Interpretive Display survey by 5/8.

Water Bureau Pilot Project Provides Opportunities to People with Disabilities

Water Bureau Instagram photo A new pilot program at the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services is aiming to help people with disabilities gain workplace skills and employment experience. The pilot is part of a national program called Project SEARCH.

“It's probably the first time where I feel like I'm part of a team,” said Per-Michael Jarnberg, an intern with the program.

Per-Michael and fellow program intern Ivory Broom were recently interviewed by KGW News about their experience at the Water Bureau.

Watch the interview and read their story on