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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

More Contact Info


Your comments needed on Water Management and Conservation Plan

The Portland Water Bureau is seeking input from the public on the draft Water Management and Conservation Plan, which was submitted to the Oregon Water Resources Department on April 30 and published in their public notice on May 19. View the public notice here.

The state requires most water providers to develop Water Management and Conservation Plans. As stewards of water, a precious natural resource, water providers are responsible for using water wisely. Focusing on conservation programs, this plan describes how the Water Bureau meets state rules and the drinking water needs of Portlanders.

Whether you’re a resident, business owner, landscaper, or environmentalist, you may be interested in this plan. Here are some highlights of the report:

Plans for encouraging Portlanders to use water efficiently. This report contains a look back and a look forward. It includes information about how we met previous conservation commitments and a list of commitments for the next 10 years. In that span, we’ll work on everything from education to rebates to tools for low-income Portlanders. The report also describes efforts to embed equity into conservation work.

 Plans for a potential water shortage. Portland has not had to restrict water use since 1992. But we always want to be prepared in case of a serious drought or emergency. This plan describes plans for water shortages. 

Plans for using water rights. This report is part of the state’s requirement for cities requesting or maintaining water rights. Portland has a “bank” of groundwater rights to meet future demand, and every 10 years, the City is required to analyze whether it needs access to more water. The City is also required to demonstrate that it is using the water it has as efficiently as possible. The Water Bureau has analyzed supply and demand and concluded that Portland has enough water supply to meet projected demand and is not asking for more water from its “bank” of rights.

“This plan reflects how well the City has managed supply over the decades, the strength of the partnerships we’ve built, and how committed Portlanders are to conserving water,” said Rebecca Geisen, the Water Bureau’s Manager of Intergovernmental Coordination, who compiled the plan. 

The state requires a public review period for Water Management and Conservation Plans. That review period is underway now. You can review the plan here.

If you have questions about the plan, please contact Rebecca Geisen at the Portland Water Bureau: 503-823-7493, rebecca.geisen@portlandoregon.gov.

If you want to submit comments about the plan, please send them to them to Kerri Cope at the Oregon Water Resources Department: 503-986-0919, kerri.h.cope@oregon.gov. The comment period is open until June 18.

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.  For more information, visit portlandoregon.gov/water and follow us on Twitter @PortlandWater.

Environmental Services encourages people to get a weed workout (not that kind)

Our partners at the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) are encouraging you to make the most of your time at home: get fresh air, exercise, and keep your yard beautiful. You also will help prevent ivy, clematis, certain geraniums and other invasive plants from spreading far and wide and damaging the natural areas and rivers we love and rely on.

Why this is important: Some of the fastest growing plants in your yard are weeds – and some of those weeds are aggressive enough that they quickly spread and take over. These invasive plants, which originated elsewhere and tend to overrun our native flora, are a leading cause of damage to ecosystems and wildlife habitat as well as the City’s stormwater infrastructure.

While you’re at it, consider clearing the area around your meter box. Every day, a Water Bureau meter reader will visit more than 500 meters. Keeping the meter area clean and clear helps them do their job safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, if your meter is obstructed by objects such as cars, trailers, trash and recycling bins, landscape bark or gravel, and weeds, a meter reader will have to return to do their job.

A clear box makes it easy to ensure that the lid fits properly, is safe, and can be quickly turned off in an emergency.

Make some time over the weekend to check your meter and follow these tips for keeping it free and clear.

Clear Away Trees, Bushes, and Plantings

  • Trim bushes, trees and grass that block the way or cover the meter.
  • Minimize plants in the area which meter readers must travel through to get to your meter.
  • Remove all branches hanging lower than six feet over the meter box.

Watch Your Pets

  • Keep pets away from the path that leads to your meter.
  • If you have a guard dog for security, please let us know so that we can make sure that our meter readers and other utility personnel are aware of this. We may ask that you arrange to confine the dog during the day that your meter will be read.

Please also ensure your house address is clearly displayed on your residence. This also assists emergency personnel who may need to find your home in a hurry.

Don’t have a yard? See if you can safely help a neighbor. We’re all in this together and we’re all connected.

So stay home, get fit, and enjoy the benefits of your weed workout.

More Information

BES has lots of information about to learn more about invasive weeds.

Click the link for additional information about water meters or contact Customer Service at 503-823-7770.

Brief interruption to payment system overnight Sunday

Customer Alert: Please note that on the morning of Sunday May 17th, between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., customers will be unable to access our view/pay bill website or our 24-hour automated payment line due to system maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Water Safety in Buildings: It's everyone's responsibility

When food sits in the pantry too long – it can go stale and lose its flavor. The same is true with the water in your pipes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, water quality in large buildings that have little to no water use are especially at risk of Legionella bacteria growth in building plumbing. Legionella bacteria can cause a potentially life threatening pneumonia called Legionnaires’ Disease. Find the steps you need to take to protect health and maintain the water quality in buildings at the CDC’s Guidance for Building Water Systems page or the Water Bureau’s Water Quality in Large Buildings page. Email our water quality staff if you have questions.  

Maintaining proper water quality is essential all the time, not just during emergencies.

Are you doing your part to maintain safe drinking water in your building? Take time to make sure your backflow preventors, swimming pools and hot tubs, and your building’s water management plan, and up to date.   

Backflow prevention for single family homes 

Does your home have a second water service specifically for your lawn and garden irrigation system? These irrigation systems have a backflow assembly to keep you, your family, and Portland’s drinking water safe. Backflow assemblies allow water to enter your irrigation system while at the same time preventing water that is in your irrigation system from flowing back into the drinking water supply. Once a year, homeowners are required to have the backflow assemblies connected to their system tested. Also, as the weather warms up, remember to keep your hose out of your pool or hot tub as you are filling them. Learn more at our Cross-connection & Backflow page.

Questions about your backflow assembly or backflow assembly testing? Contact Portland Water Bureau Backflow Records at 503-823-3256.  

Maintaining water quality in your home 

Just like household chores, maintaining water quality is a shared responsibility. The Portland Water Bureau preforms the majority of the work to ensure you receive safe and reliable drinking water, but customers have responsibilities to maintain water quality and pressure in their home. Find common maintenance and troubleshooting tips in our Customer Guide to Water Quality and Pressure.  

This guide covers:  

• The basics of water quality and pressure  

• Troubleshooting common water quality and pressure concerns  

• Plumbing and water heater maintenance tips  

• Lead in home plumbing and how to reduce your exposure  

• Water filters, backflow prevention, emergency water storage, and water efficiency tips 

Questions about water quality or pressure?

Water Quality Line: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday. (Interpretation available.)

WBWaterLine@portlandoregon.gov

503-823-7525

May. 1, 2020: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

Since 2017, the Portland Water Bureau has detected low levels of Cryptosporidium from routine monitoring.

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. Two Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in the 50-liters collected on Tuesday April 28. Prior to this detection, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on March 31, 2020, when one oocyst was detected from the 50-liters sampled.

The Bull Run Watershed is Portland’s primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions. 

About Cryptosporidium

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Domestic Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

More Information

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.