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Portland Water Bureau

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


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

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Happy Earth Day from the Portland Water Bureau!

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The Portland Water Bureau is committed to being a responsible steward of the public’s fiscal and natural resources. Through sustainable operations, the bureau saves energy, reduces costs, eliminates waste and becomes more efficient. 

In recognition of Earth Day, the Water Bureau has highlighted a few of its sustainability efforts below:

Energy Use:
The bureau’s Energy Committee works to improve energy efficiency at bureau facilities and pump stations and educate employees about energy savings.

Renewable Energy:
The bureau has helped install 400 kW of renewable energy through solar arrays and micro-hydro to comply with City and State-wide renewable energy goals. This includes the installation of a new 78 kW array at the new LEED-certified Water Bureau Shops and Stores Warehouse as part of the Interstate Renovation Project.

Installation of solar array on the new Interstate Shops and Stores Warehouse
Installation of solar array on the new Interstate Shops and Stores Warehouse

Carbon Emissions: The bureau’s carbon emissions for calendar year 2013 were 35 percent lower than its 2007 baseline carbon emissions due to in part to energy efficiency measures and lower vehicle fuel use.

Recycling Rate
: The City of Portland has a 90 percent recovery rate for city bureaus. The Water Bureau’s recovery rate was 75 percent in Fiscal Year 2013-14, a two percent increase from the previous year, and total garbage generation was one-third lower.

To learn more about how the Water Bureau works to create a healthier environment and use ratepayer resources wisely, visit our Sustainable Operations webpage.

Kavita Heyn
Climate Science & Sustainability Coordinator

Herbicide Treatment to Control Invasive Weeds at Powell Butte Nature Park Underway

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The Portland Water Bureau, in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation and SSC Construction, Inc., is conducting contact spraying for weed control at Powell Butte Nature Park.

Spraying has begun and will continue during the summer months. 

The current spraying is focused around trees (maple, fir, oak, ash) and plants (yarrow, roses, willow) newly planted as part of the Water Bureau’s Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project’s re-vegetation plan. The spraying targets non-native, highly invasive, state-listed noxious weeds or City of Portland Nuisance Plants which, left untreated, would rapidly increase and interfere with the natural ecology of the park, including the newly established trees and plants. The treatment is carefully targeted and won’t be applied near water storage facilities.

The spraying is part of the City of Portland’s invasive management program and is required for compliance of permits conditions as required by our permit for Powell Butte phase II. The Water Bureau is using state certified pest control applicators for all weed control requiring herbicide and following strict guidelines of the Portland Parks Integrated Pesticide Management (IPM) Program

No portion of the park will be closed during the spraying operations. However, park users are encouraged to watch for signage and avoid areas which are actively being sprayed.

Members of the public who have questions about the contact spraying are encouraged to contact the Water Bureau Public Information team at 503-823-3028 or by e-mail.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 04/17/15: Short Section of SW Terwilliger Boulevard Reduced to One Lane for Sawcutting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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A short stretch of SW Terwilliger Boulevard northbound lane at the traffic island on the corner of SW Terwilliger Boulevard and SW Capitol Highway will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21.

Both traffic lanes will reopen when the work is completed. Work will be done outside of commute hours.

Flaggers will be stationed to pass traffic through safely. Motorists are reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly stop. Alternate routes are encouraged for motorist to avoid traffic delays.

The contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be working in the road in preparation for the restoration of the traffic island as part of the SW Carolina Pump Mains-Phase 2 project. More information about the project can be found on the project webpage

Terry Black
Public Information

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 04/16/15: SW Burlingame Terrace Closed to All but Local Traffic

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Road restoration work on SW Burlingame Terrace will begin the week of April 20, 2015 and will continue for six to eight weeks. The road will be closed to all but local traffic during this time.

A Portland Water Bureau water main installation project was completed last fall and the restoration work was postponed until warmer weather. 

Motorists are urged to use alternate routes, remember to drive slowly, and exercise caution when traveling in the construction area.

Project information can be found online at

Bull Run Treatment Variance: Watershed & Supply Protection, Inspection & Monitoring

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Reservoir 2 holds about seven billion gallons.

This past March marks the third anniversary of the Bull Run Treatment Variance (BRTV).

Granted by the Oregon Health Authority in 2012, the Variance allows the Portland Water Bureau to operate the Bull Run supply without treatment for Cryptosporidium, due to the protected nature of the watershed.

Maintaining the BRTV requires intensive monitoring for Cryptosporidium.  In 2014, the Water Bureau collected and tested the following for Cryptosporidium: 

  • 5,200 liters (L) of raw intake water from Headworks
  • 710 L of Bull Run tributary water from the 4 Key Stations
  • 294 wildlife scats from the watershed 

Bull Run Treatment Variance Watershed Report - Water Year 2014The Water Bureau is also required to demonstrate protection of the watershed and water supply. To that end, the bureau:

  • Completed 1,155 checks of 16 watershed entry gates
  • Conducted 363 inspections of the Diversion Pool
  • Verified containment at 16 sanitary facilities
  • Carried out 27 wildlife inspections
  • Inspected 13 miles of public trails
  • Flew 2 aerial inspections for landslides
  • Prepared a 97 page compliance report for OHA, accessible online on the LT2 webpage.

In addition to meeting these ongoing requirements, the Water Bureau met several milestones in 2014 including: 

  • Major Key Station upgrades
  • Two wildlife studies
  • A Bull Run Neighbor Outreach campaign
  • A standard operating procedure for livestock incursions

And finally, the most important statistics for 2014:

  • Complete compliance with Variance conditions
  • Zero detections of Cryptosporidium in the water