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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


Nov. 8, 2019: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

Since 2017, the Portland Water Bureau has detected low levels of Cryptosporidium from routine monitoring. Monitoring results were received from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. In the six 50-liter samples collected between Thursday, October 31 and Wednesday, November 6, one Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in the sample collected on Nov. 1. Cryptosporidium was not detected in the samples collected on Oct. 31, or Nov. 3 through Nov. 6. Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Oct. 30, 2019.

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.

Nov. 12, 2019: Administrative Review Committee Meeting

The Administrative Review Committee reviews ratepayer requests for account adjustments, proposed account actions, and other disputes concerning water, sewer, and/or stormwater accounts.

The purpose of the Committee is to review account issues that ratepayers have been unable to resolve with the bureaus’ Customer Services group. The Committee weighs policies, rates, and special circumstances when reviewing an account. The Committee may accept the customer’s request, offer with an alternate remedy, or deny the appeal. Administrative Review Committee decisions are bureau decisions.

The Administrative Review Committee is made up of:

Meeting Information

Portland Water Bureau Interstate Facility
Kelly Butte Room
664 N Tillamook St.
Portland OR 97227

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Agenda: Click here

For More Information

Review the City of Portland Water, Sewer, and/or Stormwater Billing Appeal Policy (ADM-14.02).

Questions? Contact us at (503) 865-2755 or PWBCustomerService@portlandoregon.gov

The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact 503-823-7432, City TTY 503-823-6868, Relay Service: 711.

Water Bureau Offices Closed for Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11

Portland Water Bureau logoIn observance of the Veterans Day holiday, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed on Monday, Nov. 11.

Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 at 8 a.m. The Customer Service Call Center will reopen at 8 a.m. The Customer Service Walk-In Center will reopen at 7:30 a.m.

How to Pay Your Utility Bill

During the holiday, Water Bureau customers can pay their bill in the following ways:

  • Online: Click here
  • Phone: Pay by phone by dialing 503-823-7770 and pressing 1
  • Drop box: Payments can be deposited at a drop box at the Portland Water Bureau Interstate Facility at 664 N. Tillamook St. The box is located outside of the double doors to our Customer Service Walk-In Office.

Water Emergency Hotline

To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

Working Together as a City to Prioritize Fire Suppression

Charles Smith, Deputy Director of Maintenance & Construction, gives a tour of the Water Bureau's supply of hydrants.

Without water, firefighters wouldn’t be able to do their job, but it’s our duty to make sure the fire hydrants are properly working at all times.

On any given day Charles Smith says there are a few dozen hydrants waiting to be replaced, but that’s dramatically less than a few years ago when it was common for more than 100 to be out.

“As we see the numbers creeping up we make it a priority to get the numbers back down to a manageable number,” said Charles Smith, Deputy Director for Maintenance and Construction.

Smith jokes the city’s fire hydrants are almost magnets for drunk drivers. Car crashes are a major factor in what leads to an average of 270 hydrant replacements every year.

October was National Fire Prevention Month, and the Water Bureau’s efforts in maintaining functioning hydrants and ensuring the system works properly is a key ingredient in stopping fires from spreading.

The bureau has more than 14,000 hydrants it takes care of. That number is growing due to increased development throughout the city.

The goal is to have a working hydrant every 500 feet citywide.

“It’s a focus for us because it’s an essential service that we provide to the city,” Smith said.

Multiple Benefits for Fire Suppression Planning

Besides the immediate need for fire suppression, having a fully functional system of fire hydrants gives Portland Fire & Rescue a preferential reading for insurance purposes and can lower homeowner’s insurance rates as well.

The improved response time has been a focus for Maintenance and Construction crews, due partly to better planning.

“If we have an opportunity to replace three in one shut down so that we don’t impact the neighborhood multiple times, we’ll go in and cut in a series of new valves and new hydrants at the same time,” Smith said.

Keep Your Home and Family Safe: How to Prevent Fires

Educating yourself and others about fire safety, injury and illness prevention, and disaster preparedness helps to keep everyone safe.

Learn the steps you can take to keep your home, family, business, and community safe from fires.

Nov. 1, 2019: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

Since 2017, the Portland Water Bureau has detected low levels of Cryptosporidium from routine monitoring. Monitoring results were received from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. One Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in the 50-liters sampled on both Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Wednesday, Oct. 30. Low level Cryptosporidium detections may continue through the rainy season. Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Oct. 22, 2019.

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.