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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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Attend the Portland Utility Board Meeting Today at 4 p.m.

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The Portland Utility Board (PUB) is a citizen oversight body for the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services that advises City Council on water, sewer, stormwater and solid waste financial plans and rates.

Meeting Information

The next PUB meeting will be held today at the Portland Building. Meeting information is below.

Date: Tuesday, March 7
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Location: The Portland Building, Room C

For more information about the Portland Utility Board, including meeting minutes and agendas, visit

Groundwater: Portland’s Buried Treasure

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Many Portlanders are familiar with the Bull Run Watershed – Portland’s main water supply of fresh, clean water – tucked away in the protected wilderness of the Mt. Hood National Forest. But did you know that Portland also has a second supply of high-quality water?

The Columbia South Shore Well Field

The Columbia South Shore Well Field

The Columbia South Shore Well Field (CSSWF) is used as a secondary source to the Bull Run Watershed, during an annual maintenance operation, in the summer when the region’s demand increases or when the Bull Run cannot be used, such as in the winter when heavy rains can cause turbidity to rise in the Bull Run. Over the past 10 years, Portland has used anywhere from 0.01 to 5.8 billion gallons of groundwater annually.

The CSSWF is the second largest drinking water source in the State of Oregon, with about half of the daily capacity of Portland’s Bull Run supply. Currently, the Portland Water Bureau is serving one hundred percent groundwater.

Groundwater Water Quality

The groundwater from Portland’s production wells meets or exceeds all safe drinking water standards, so it’s treated similarly to the water from the Bull Run with chlorine, ammonia, and sodium hydroxide.

Groundwater quality is closely monitored at individual drinking water wells, and at the inlet and outlet of the Groundwater Pump Station. This is where groundwater blended from individual wells enters the distribution system.

How Much Groundwater Is There?

Colubmbia South Shore Well Field AquifersThe short answer is: a lot! The detailed answer is that the Columbia South Shore Well Field can sustainably produce about 80 million gallons of safe drinking water per day. The City holds water rights that would allow about another 200 million gallons per day of groundwater to be pumped for future municipal use.

Protecting the Groundwater Supply

Groundwater Protection Area"The Columbia South Shore Well Field is right here in town, so we all play a role in preserving this vital drinking water source,” says Doug Wise, Groundwater Protection Program Manager with the Water Bureau’s Resource Protection and Planning Group.

See below for several ways you can help protect our groundwater supply:

Learn more about how the Portland Water Bureau’s Groundwater Protection Program is working to keep the groundwater supply safe at

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Join Our Team: Electrical/Instrumentation Systems Supervisor and Operating Engineer II

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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 Opportunities at the Water Bureau

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Electrical/Instrumentation Systems Supervisor  Full Time  $6,422.00 - $8,630.00 Monthly

Mon. 3/24/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

 Apply Here!
Operating Engineer II Full Time $25.05 - $32.37 Hourly

Thurs. 3/17/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

Apply Here!

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on the closing date and hour of this recruitment. E-mailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted.

Learn More About the Water Bureau


For more information regarding career opportunities at the Water Bureau, contact (503) 823-3515 or e-mail.

How to Read Your Sewer, Stormwater, and Water Bill

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Base charges. CCF. Water volume. Whether you’re a residential or commercial water customer, the first step in changing the way you use water – and saving money by reducing your usage -- is by understanding how much water you use today. And the best place to find this information is on your monthly water bill.

So what does it all mean?

Fortunately, you don’t need an advanced degree or decoder ring to become the master of your water bill. Use our helpful brochure titled “Understanding Your Sewer, Stormwater, and Water Bill” to get the information you need to understand the different charges and usage information on your bill.

Click here to view the brochure.

More Ways to Understand Your Bill and Conserve Water

Discover more ways to understand your bill and find resources to conserve water and save money by using the links below.

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March Water Quality Trivia

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Glass of waterWhich of the following actions will help you maintain high quality drinking water inside your own home?

  1. Clean faucet screens (aerators) a few times per year at kitchen and bathroom faucets.
  2. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water faucet.  Use cold water and heat the water as needed.
  3. If a faucet has not been used for several hours, run the cold water for 30 seconds to two minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.
  4. Install a backflow device on your irrigation system to prevent backflow contamination to your potable water supply.


All of the above.

Ensuring the delivery of high quality water is a shared responsibility between the Portland Water Bureau and our customers. The Water Bureau monitors and maintains the drinking water system up to and including the water meter. Beyond the water meter into the house is the responsibility of the customer.

Water Quality Questions or Concerns

Contact the Portland Water Bureau’s Water Line at 503-823-7525. The Water Line is available 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

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