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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY 07/24/15: SW Market Street Closed between SW 11th & SW 12th Avenues on Sunday, July 26 for New Water Service Install

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One block of SW Market Street between SW 11th and SW 12th avenues will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 26, 2015.

MapTraffic will be detoured to SW Columbia Street.  

The Portland Water Bureau will be installing a new water service for a building on the north side of SW Market Street. Work will consist of trenching across SW Market Street to connect the new service to an existing water main.

Motorists are reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly stop when traveling from Interstate 405 to the SW Market Street off ramp from US 26. Alternate routes are encouraged for motorists to avoid traffic delays.  

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

Three Finalists Named to Lead Portland Water Bureau

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After a nationwide search, Commissioner Nick Fish has decided on three internal candidates as finalists to succeed Portland Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff: Edward Campbell, Michael Stuhr, and Chris Wanner.

The candidates are senior Water Bureau employees with more than a decade of service each at the bureau.

Edward CambpellEdward Campbell is the resource protection and planning group director. Mr. Campbell is responsible for resource protection and planning, including coordination with federal, state and local partners on source protection efforts for both of the Bureau's drinking water sources, long-term planning and policy development work, compliance with environmental regulations, and leading the Bureau's regulatory compliance efforts for the LT2 Rule and the federal Endangered Species Act. He joined the Bureau in 2004 as an assistant to the Administrator and was selected to lead the Resource Protection and Planning Group in August 2005. Prior to coming to the Bureau, Mr. Campbell served as a senior policy advisor, sustainability coordinator and chief of staff to City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and before that as communications director for Multnomah County Chair Beverly Stein. Mr. Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia.

Michael StuhrMichael Stuhr currently serves as the Water Bureau chief engineer. Mr. Stuhr is responsible for overall management of engineering, its support functions, and administration of the CIP including planning, design, and construction as well as emergency management. Mr. Stuhr joined the Bureau in 2003 and was the Director of Maintenance and Construction during his first two years. Mr. Stuhr has over 30 years experience leading and managing a wide variety of engineering activities and more than 10 years as a senior executive with state, federal, and international experience managing multi-million dollar environmental, water resource, and facilities engineering programs. He is a registered professional Civil Engineer. Mr. Stuhr has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Davis.  

Chris WannerChris Wanner is the bureau’s director of operations. Mr. Wanner is responsible for management of operations and maintenance of surface and groundwater supplies, including treatment, transmission, storage, distribution, pump stations and tanks, system analysis, and the SCADA system. Since 1984, Mr. Wanner has held various Bureau positions. He has State of Oregon certifications at the highest levels for both Water Distribution (WD4) and Water Treatment (WT4) and is a veteran of the United States Army. He has Associate degrees in Computer Technologies and Electronic Engineering from Portland Community College and maintains a State of Oregon electrical license. Mr. Wanner has also been assigned to various capacities in the Bureau's ICS including Operations and Incident Commander. Mr. Wanner was appointed as Director of Operations in 2005.

The new director will be likely announced in early August.

Portland’s Water System, 100 Years Ago: The Dry Summer of 1915

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1915 Clipping from the OregonianWith California, Washington, and several Oregon counties in drought, people on the West Coast have been talking a lot about how we use water.

Here in Portland, we're fortunate: we rely more on rain than on snow; we have a great groundwater source we can use to augment the Bull Run supply; and we have a conservation-minded citizenry.

In the dry summer of 1915, the talk of Portland was also all about how people used water. This editorial from The Oregonian reveals that 100 years ago, the average Portlander used 112 gallons per day. It's a tough number to compare to today's because we're not sure how they did the math, but these days, the average Portlander uses 52 gallons a day at home. (If you include commercial and industrial use, Portlanders use 92 gallons per capita per day.)

Lisa Vieno
Resource Protection & Planning Group

Join our Team: Current Jobs at the Water Bureau

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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 Jobs Available at the Water Bureau

 Utility Worker II - Apprentice Full Time $17.33 - $22.90 Hourly 7/24/15
 Environmental Specialist Full Time $32.36 - $41.32 Hourly 7/27/15
 Engineering Technician II Full Time $26.64 - $33.99 Hourly 8/3/15

Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project: Public Comment Period Open & Hearing Scheduled

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In order to comply with federal and state mandates, and ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system, the Portland Water Bureau is moving forward with a project to update the Washington Park reservoir site.

Public Comment Period Open for Type III Historic Resource Review Application
The public is now invited to review and submit comments to the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) on the Water Bureau’s Type III Historic Resource Review Land Use application.

Public comments can be e-mailed to BDS Planner II Hillary Adam, mailed to the below address, or mailed to the Historic Landmarks Commission at 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500, Portland, OR 97201. Please reference Land Use Review number LU 15-169671 HR in any communications.

Hillary Adam
Land Use Services, Bureau of Development Services
RE: LU 15-169671 HR
1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500
Portland, OR 97201

A courtesy copy of the application and subsequent updates submitted to BDS is posted on the Water Bureau’s project webpage. Note that BDS maintains the official application record which tracks updates and revisions over time.

Testify at Public Hearing
A public hearing before the Historic Landmarks Commission is scheduled for Monday, August 10, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. on the second floor of 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Conference Room 2500A. During the hearing, the Commission will listen to public testimony, evaluate the Water Bureau’s Type III Historic Resource Review Land Use application, and review the BDS staff report.  The decision of the Landmarks Commission can be appealed to City Council.

In May 2015, the Water Bureau submitted a Type III Historic Resource Review application and a Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Reviews application to the BDS for the proposed Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project.

On June 30, 2015, BDS deemed the Type III Historic Resource Review application complete and issued a “Request for Response.” The Request for Response officially opened the public comment period and set a date for a public hearing, both of which provide opportunities for comment and feedback before a final land use decision is rendered.

The Type III Historic Resource Review application describes historic preservation and rehabilitation actions and proposes construction of a covered reservoir, reflecting pools, lowland habitat area/bioswale, and walkways.

These features, which are generally described in the Type IV Land Use Review (LUR) application approved in June 2015, will offer the public enhanced access to the new surface water features and classically-designed gatehouses, dams, and related structures.

The Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Reviews application is also considered complete. Both BDS and the Water Bureau will provide notification when the comment period opens and the date is set for the public hearing in front of the Land Use Hearing Officer.

For more information on the Type III LUR process, visit the BDS website

Project Details
The Water Bureau’s Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project proposes to build a new below-ground reservoir in the same general footprint as the existing upper Reservoir 3, with a reflecting pool on top.

The lower Reservoir 4 basin and the slope west of it are needed to provide landslide abatement; the slope will be restored to its pre-reservoir condition. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland habitat area/bioswale and a reflecting pool are also proposed in the Reservoir 4 basin. Work will primarily be within the Historic District. The project addresses major reservoir issues, including recurrent landslide damage, compliance with federal law, seismic vulnerability, and deterioration of the 120 year-old structures.

Next Steps
Before work permits are issued or construction begins, both the Type III Historic Resource Review and the Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Review applications must be approved. The applications are a result of a robust public involvement process that included multiple public open houses and nine Community Sounding Board meetings that guided design for the required visible features of the Washington Park project.

Additional Information & Contacts
For detailed project information, visit the project webpage or contact Water Bureau Public Information staff at 503-823-3028 or by e-mail or. Visit the Bureau of Development Services’ website or call 503-823-7300 for more information on the land use review application process.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information