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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

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Our Call Center Will be Closed on Labor Day

Our call center will be closed Monday September 7th, 2020 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. The call center will reopen at 8:00 AM on Tuesday September 8th, 2020. For your convenience you may pay your bill online or pay by phone dialing 503-823-7770 and press 1.

The Water Bureau’s next chapter: Meet new director, Gabe Solmer

Gabe Solmer made history as the first woman to lead the Portland Water Bureau when she stepped into the Director’s role earlier this month. That fact alone is noteworthy, but it doesn’t tell Solmer’s full story or her vision about what’s possible for the bureau’s future. 

Solmer’s work experience, background, and education are primed to respond to how COVID-19 has shifted nearly everything in the world. What hasn’t changed is our mission of delivering excellent water every minute of every day, and the things it makes possible for Portlanders each day. 

Solmer demonstrated years of steady leadership while serving as the bureau’s Deputy Director. That experience coupled with her thoughtfulness, focus on relationships, and keen decision-making will help navigate the Water Bureau through the coming months of uncertainty.  

Solmer sat down with bureau Communications Specialist Reed Buterbaugh to discuss her vision and priorities for the bureau during this transition period.  

Here’s a snapshot of Solmer’s three key priorities: strategy, equity, and sustainability. 

Strategy and planning 
Our recently completed five-year Strategic Plan is a great place to start to when tackling big issues. Its really a risk-based document. We look at what those risks are and we kind of flip around that negative to look at the positive of what are the strategies were going to do to mitigate those risks. Right now because of COVID-19, there’s a lot of uncertainty. We have to use our flexibility, creativity, and adaptation to be ready to change and pivot. 

Equity 
We have really grappled with equity. We are becoming an anti-racist organization, we have a lot of work to go. This is not a moment; it’s a movement. We need to think about how we do that work. How do we engage? What is the education that we each need to do and what are the systems that we need to change? 

Sustainability 
I love the outdoors, it’s impossible to live in the Pacific Northwest and not have a deep respect for this beauty that we're surrounded by. I think that we can take a closer look and put a critical importance on the climate change work. It’s work we already do really well at the bureau, but we need to look at further actions we can take that have a real impact on the environment. 

Traffic Advisory: Washington Park, SW Sacajawea

SW Sacajawea Boulevard between SW Park Place and SW Sherwood Boulevard will be closed to all traffic shortly after noon on Sunday, Aug. 30 to the morning of Friday, Sept. 4 to remove one a tower crane from the Washington Park Reservoir worksite. This closure applies to vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

Local residents and visitors to the park should expect delays, watch for signs, plan extra time for trips, and consider alternate routes and modes of transportation to get to destinations.

Time frame and truck route

The tower crane will be dismantled into smaller parts by two smaller mobile cranes. Removal of the different crane parts via tractor trailer will require several trips.

  • SW Sacajawea Boulevard will be closed shortly after noon on Sunday, Aug. 30 and is expected to open no later than 7 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4.
  • Tractor trailers will begin arriving at approximately 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 31. The mobile cranes that are used to dismantle the tower crane will arrive early to allow for orientation and for the operators to set up.
  • Trucks will arrive at the site via SW Park Place to SW Lewis and Clark Way and back into place on SW Sacajawea Boulevard. (See map.)
  • Trucks will exit the park via SW Sacajawea Boulevard or SW Lewis and Clark Way with flagger assistance.
  • Vehicles will able to enter the park as usual from SW Park Place. The exit will be detoured to W Burnside Street via Southwest Tichner Drive.
  • Vehicles greater than thirty feet in length will not be allowed down SW Sherwood Boulevard due to their inability to make a sharp left turn for the detour. Signs will be placed at the top of SW Sherwood Boulevard notifying traffic.
  • Expect traffic delays on Southwest Lewis and Clark Way and Southwest Sherwood Boulevard as trucks maneuver into position.
  • The designated path separating pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles on SW Lewis and Clark Way will remain open in both directions for travel into and out of the park.
  • Cyclists will be required to walk bicycles on the path.
  • Madison Trail will remain closed.

What to expect

Vehicular traffic

  • Vehicles will able to enter the park as usual from SW Park Place. The exit will be detoured to W Burnside Street via Southwest Tichner Drive.
  • Vehicles greater than thirty feet in length will not be allowed down SW Sherwood Boulevard due to their inability to make a sharp left turn for the detour. Signs will be placed at the top of SW Sherwood Boulevard notifying traffic.

Intermittent delays

  • Expect traffic delays on Southwest Lewis and Clark Way and Southwest Sherwood Boulevard as trucks maneuver into position.

Multi-use shared path and Madison Trail

 

  • The designated path separating pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles on SW Lewis and Clark Way will remain open in both directions for travel into and out of the park.
  • Cyclists will be required to walk bicycles on the path.

Madison Trail will remain closed. 

About the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

The Portland Water Bureau is replacing reservoirs that have served the city since 1894 with a new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced underground reservoir. When completed, this project will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, twenty schools, five hospital complexes, and more than sixty parks. Find more information at portlandoregon.gov/water/wpreservoirs.

Online payment system temporarily suspended early Sunday morning

Customer Alert: Please note that system maintenance is scheduled on the morning of Sunday August 16th, between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. During this time frame, customers may be unable to access our view/pay bill website or our 24-hour automated payment line. We apologize for the inconvenience.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Portland Water Bureau to Begin Annual Groundwater Maintenance Run

Starting today, Aug. 4, the Portland Water Bureau will begin blending a portion of water from its Columbia South Shore Well Field with water from the Bull Run Watershed as an annual maintenance operation.

During the groundwater maintenance run, the Portland Water Bureau will operate the well field for approximately 10 hours a day Monday through Friday. The operation is estimated to be last 25 days, unless additional groundwater is needed to supplement supply. The Portland Water Bureau anticipates returning to 100 percent Bull Run water upon completion.

As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations.

The city’s groundwater supply is a complex system composed of groundwater wells, pumps, treatment systems, electronic controls, and other equipment that must be operated regularly to identify maintenance needs. By doing this operation routinely, the bureau will ensure the reliability of the system when needed, either in an emergency or to meet seasonal supply demands.

The average contribution of groundwater to the system will vary between zero and 40 percent of the total daily water demand. It can take up to two weeks, depending on location and overall water demand, for the blended water to make its way through the distribution system to all homes and businesses.

The Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater and when it has significant operational changes. Sensitive water users can sign up to be directly notified by the Portland Water Bureau at portlandoregon.gov/water/notification.

Customers with questions should call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

ABOUT THE PORTLAND WATER BUREAU

The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,200 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day.

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