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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Sept. 18 Update on the Eagle Creek Fire and the Bull Run Watershed

Eagle Creek Fire Updates Sept 18th

The Eagle Creek Fire is 32 percent contained. Because of very favorable conditions over the weekend, which are anticipated to continue this week, staff at the Water Bureau Emergency Operation Center is standing down.

Cloud cover prevented the gathering of infrared imagery data today. According to data from Sunday, Sept. 17, the fire burned approximately 150 acres inside the Bull Run Management Unit, but not inside the Bull Run drainage area. Current estimates are that less than one percent of the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit has been burned at the northern boundary. The Bull Run reservoirs and water supply infrastructure are not near the areas that are currently estimated to have been burned.

Helicopters continued doing bucket drops of water on Sunday in the far northeast and northwest corners of the management unit, near Oneonta and Bell creeks. Southeasterly changing to southwesterly winds aided firefighting efforts by moving the fire away from the watershed on Sunday. Quite a bit of rain has fallen over the fire since yesterday. 

Showers, heavy at times, are predicted Monday and Tuesday, with another significant front moving over the fire Wednesday. Anticipated heavy rains may cause challenges for those working and living in communities along Columbia River Gorge and Interstate 84 as they recover from the fire.

Throughout this operation, the Water Bureau delivered 100 percent Bull Run water with one brief interruption related to a treatment chemical delivery delay. The bureau continued with its regular drinking water quality monitoring of the Bull Run and did not find any measurable differences since the fire started.

There will be ongoing work by the federal firefighting agencies in and around the watershed over the next few weeks to ensure the fire danger has passed and that fire suppression areas are prepared for winter rains. The Water Bureau will continue to coordinate with its federal partners on access and demobilization activities in the northern portions of the management unit as needed.

On behalf of the bureau, we wish to recognize the heroic efforts of the Type I Incident Management Team that capably managed this fire during its critical phases. We are grateful to our local partners from the U.S. Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and the Oregon State Fire Marshall’s Office, for their work in fighting the fire.

The Portland Water Bureau thanks its stakeholders for their flexibility and support as we addressed this rapidly changing event over the last two weeks.

Portland Water Bureau security and resource liaison staff deserve a heartfelt congratulations for providing vital information and access to fire fighters who defended our watershed and key infrastructure.

The Water Bureau does not anticipate frequent updates related to the Eagle Creek Fire.

The Water Blog, along with Facebook and Twitter, will be made available should there be new information in the future.

Sept. 15 Update on the Eagle Creek Fire and the Bull Run Watershed

The Eagle Creek Fire is 28 percent contained. All suppression efforts are focused on protecting communities, infrastructure, and other values at risk. Protecting the Bull Run remains a top priority of the fire response.

Based on available data from the U.S. Forest Service, the Portland Water Bureau will continue to update the fire perimeter map at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/655188 as it becomes available. Based on new infrared imagery data from Sept. 15, the fire has burned approximately 100 to 150 acres inside the Bull Run Management Unit, but not inside the actual Bull Run watershed. The Bull Run reservoirs and water supply infrastructure are not near the areas that are currently estimated to have been burned. Please check this link periodically for updated maps on the fire perimeter in relation to the Bull Run watershed.

According to current estimates, less than 1 percent of the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit has been burned at the northern boundary.

The fire will continue to burn along the northern edge of the management unit until significant wet weather arrives, possibly beginning on Sunday. Weather is expected to remain cooler with light winds. Friday evening and Saturday may bring lower relative humidity and a shift to light northeast winds. Significant precipitation is still forecast for Sunday night and early next week.

Yesterday, aircraft dropped nearly 100,000 gallons of water on the fire. Crews will be constructing direct hand line and helicopter bucket drops may be used to cool hotspots in the northwestern edge of the management unit. No retardant has been used in the Bull Run watershed

The Water Bureau continues delivering 100 percent Bull Run water and monitoring indicates that water remains safe to drink.

Unless there are significant changes this weekend, you can expect the next update to come on Monday, Sept. 18. 

Sept. 14 Update on the Eagle Creek Fire and Bull Run Watershed

Eagle Creek Fire and Bull Run Updates

The Eagle Creek Fire is 17 percent contained. Firefighting efforts are focused on protecting communities, infrastructure, and other values at risk. Protecting the Bull Run is a top priority of the fire response.

The already established fire in the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit continues to burn at a low intensity and creep through the ground fuels along the far northeast and northwest corners of the management unit, near Bell Creek. The fire is not in the watershed drainage. Unified Command tells us this growth was expected, resulting from a drying trend and winds that culminated Tuesday. Fuels responded as expected. The fire is expected to continue to creep along the northern edge of the watershed until significant precipitation occurs.

Based on infrared data as of Sept. 14, 2017, the Portland Water Bureau has developed an updated fire perimeter map. Please check the map periodically for updated maps on the fire perimeter in relation to the Bull Run watershed.

Unified command is responding by continuing to establish fire lines along existing roads within the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit to protect against a southward push from the main body of the fire. Because of the fuel type, topography, and elevation, Unified Command has a greater focus on preventing the fire from moving along the northwest perimeter of the management unit. There have been active helicopter water drops in the western portion of the fire on the management unit perimeter.

Today’s data from Unified Command tells us that the fire remains at approximately 100 to 150 acres inside the Bull Run Management Unit, but not inside the actual Bull Run watershed. Current estimates remain at less than one percent of the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit, affected along the northern boundary. The Bull Run reservoirs and water supply infrastructure are not near the areas that have burned.

The bureau continues to serve Bull Run water, which is being rigorously monitored and remains safe to drink.

Weather will continue to be closely tracked. Weather is predicted to remain cooler with higher relative humidity and light winds through this evening. Friday and Saturday may present some challenges, with a potential for light east winds and lower relative humidity. Rain is still predicted for Sunday evening and Monday, forecasted at a half inch to two inches of precipitation early next week.

Water Bureau staff will continue to coordinate with Unified Command.

Water Bureau Customer Service is Moving Oct. 6

Water Bureau Customer Service employeesOn Oct. 6, the Water Bureau’s customer service department will be moving to a new location.

New address: 111 SW Columbia St., Portland, OR 97204
Telephone: 503-823-7404
TriMet access: bus lines 38, 45, 55, 92, 96
Directions: Get customized travel directions (Google Maps)

Skip the Hassle: Sign Up for Autopay

What else could you be doing instead of paying your utility bill?

If you’d rather be spending your time doing something more fun than paying your utility bill over the phone or in person, sign up for AutoPay.

With AutoPay, you’ll never have to remember another utility bill payment again. That’s because AutoPay will automatically pay invoices on their due date from your credit card or by electronic check. After each bill is paid, you’ll receive an email confirmation of your transaction as each invoice is paid, automatically.

The Portland Building in downtown Portland, OregonWhy Is Customer Service Moving?

The Water Bureau’s Customer Service department currently serves customers from the Portland Building, next to City Hall in downtown Portland. Designed by Michael Graves and built in 1982 as administrative offices for the City of Portland, the Portland Building is an award-winning design of Post Modern architecture and is placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a building of “exceptional importance.” But the building currently faces problems with its structure, exterior, and operational systems that repairs alone cannot address.

In October 2015, City Council directed the Office of Management & Finance (OMF) to reconstruct the Portland Building. The project will be completed by 2020.

The City will create an adaptable building that will last 50-100 years, providing a productive work environment for employees and a welcoming space for community members.

More information is available about the Portland Building Reconstruction project on the OMF website.

Sept. 13 Update on the Eagle Creek Fire and Bull Run Watershed

Bull Run Watershed update banner

The Eagle Creek Fire perimeter grew modestly overnight, with limited growth in the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit. The fire is 13 percent contained.

Based on this data, the Portland Water Bureau has developed an updated fire perimeter map. Please check this map periodically for updates on the fire perimeter in relation to the Bull Run Watershed.

As of Sept. 13, 2017, based on new infrared imagery data from very late Sept. 12, the fire has burned approximately 100 to 150 acres inside the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit, but not inside the actual Bull Run Watershed. Current estimates are that less than one percent of the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit has been burned at the northern edge.

Protecting the Bull Run remains a top priority of the fire response. The Bull Run reservoirs and water supply infrastructure are not near the areas that are currently estimated to have been burned.

Winds are currently dry and from west to east. Forecasts predict a half inch to two inches of rain starting Sunday night and into next week through Wednesday. Should these rains come as predicted, they could improve fire conditions, although the fire is expected to continue burning even if the forecasted rains occur.

The Water Bureau continues delivering 100 percent Bull Run water. The Water Bureau is continuing its monitoring and has not seen measurable impacts from the fire. The water continues to be safe to drink. Samples for additional monitoring have been collected to further investigate any effects of the fire on water quality. Results of this additional monitoring are expected back next week.