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Portland Water Bureau

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1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY 01/31/17: Large Equipment Deliveries at Washington Park Reservoir Project Site Scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 1; Traffic Delays Expected

By Brian Balla

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., two large drill rigs and a large tank will be delivered to the reservoir project site at Washington Park. The three deliveries will be spread throughout the day to reduce the length of individual delays.

All deliveries will enter the site by traveling West Burnside Road, to Southwest Tichner Drive, to Southwest Kingston Avenue, to Southwest Sherwood Boulevard.

After being unloaded, the delivery truck trailers will exit the park using Southwest Park Place.

What Travelers Can Expect                            

  • 20- to 25-minute temporary delays as each delivery truck trailer maneuvers through the park.
  • Delays and slow moving traffic on West Burnside Street, Southwest Tichner Drive, and Southwest Kingston Avenue.
  • Staged flaggers to direct traffic at the following intersections: Southwest Kingston Drive and Southwest Sherwood Boulevard; Southwest Kingston Avenue and Southwest Fairview Boulevard.

Avoid Delays

To avoid delays, plan ahead and detour around the crane’s route. Enter the park using:

  • West Burnside Road to Southwest Skyline Boulevard to Southwest Fairview Boulevard
  • Southwest Canyon Road to Southwest Knights Boulevard
  • Southwest Fairview Boulevard to Southwest Knights Boulevard
  • Southwest Canyon Road to Southwest Knights Boulevard

Exit the park using:

  • Southwest Fairview Boulevard to Southwest Skyline Boulevard to West Burnside Road
  • Southwest Knights Boulevard to Southwest Fairview Boulevard
  • Southwest Knights Boulevard to Southwest Canyon Road

Safety is Priority

Safety is our number one priority when moving any type of heavy equipment into or out of the project worksite.

Park users and travelers are encouraged to move safely around the park. Please watch for detours and signage and follow direction from flaggers. The public is encouraged not follow construction vehicles or buses as they may enter restricted zones. All construction-related traffic impacts are subject to change.

Project Details

The Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project entails constructing a new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir in the same footprint of existing Reservoir 3 (upper) with a reflecting pool/water feature on top. Existing Reservoir 4 (lower) will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland wildlife habitat area, bioswale, and reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.

For additional project information and updates, contact the project hotline at 503-823-7030, e-mail or visit

Water Bureau Finds Additional Cryptosporidium in Bull Run Water: City to continue increased monitoring efforts of drinking water source

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Today, the Portland Water Bureau received results that Cryptosporidium, a potentially pathogenic microorganism, was detected in a water sample collected Wednesday, January 25, from the Bull Run watershed, which provides drinking water to Portland and neighboring communities. The lab results show that one individual Cryptosporidium oocyst was present in a 50-liter (~13 gallons) sample of water.

At this time, we do not believe there is any increased public health risk as a result of the current detection. The general public is not being asked to take any special precautions. We continue to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice about drinking water from their health care provider.

The Portland Water Bureau currently does not treat for the parasite Cryptosporidium because of a variance issued by the State of Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in 2012. Instead, the Portland Water Bureau is required to conduct routine monitoring for Cryptosporidium and notify the public of any detections.

This detection at the intake is the third detection this month. January 2nd was the first detection since the Portland Water Bureau began operation under the variance in April 2012. Prior to that, the last time Cryptosporidium was detected was December, 2011, when a single oocyst was also detected.

As required by the conditions of the variance, the Portland Water Bureau had been testing for Cryptosporidium at the source water intake twice a week. Since January 8th, the Portland Water Bureau began monitoring at the source water intake at least four times per week for one year to demonstrate whether the Cryptosporidium concentration in the source water is less than 0.075 oocysts per 1,000 liters.

“While these detections do not indicate an increased public health-risk, we are taking them very seriously.” said Water Bureau Administrator Mike Stuhr. “Public safety is the Water Bureau’s top priority. We will continue increased monitoring at the drinking water
source, and continue close coordination with health officials at all levels to continue to protect public health.”

The City continues to consult with the Multnomah County Health Department and OHA. Public health officials have determined that no special precautions for Portland’s drinking water are currently necessary, aside from the increased monitoring and testing efforts currently underway. Portland-area health departments will also increase public health monitoring for indications of an increase in Cryptosporidium related illness that could be related to drinking water.

“Historically, we cannot find any evidence of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak tied to drinking Bull Run water.” said Multnomah County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. The county’s ongoing disease surveillance has shown no unexplained increase in Cryptosporidium cases.

The Water Bureau is continuing a thorough investigation. Wildlife found in the Bull Run are the most likely source of the Cryptosporidium detections, however no specific source has been identified. The Water Bureau will notify the public if any additional precautions are necessary.

Additional information regarding Water Bureau’s treatment variance is available at Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.


Happy Anniversary to Suzhou, China’s Benson Bubbler

By Brian Balla

Portland is a special place to live. From Forest Park to the Bull Run Watershed – where Portland gets its clean, fresh water – we are fortunate to live in a place that values its uniqueness and recognizes the importance of preserving its history.

Unveiling of the Benson Bubbler at the Jiangsu Horticultural FestivalOne of the most charming Portland legacies is the Benson Bubbler, the four-bowl bronze drinking fountains dotting downtown’s busy sidewalks, and their one-bowl cousins spread throughout the city. These iconic fountains serve up Bull Run drinking water to Portland’s visitors and residents from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily. The Benson Bubbler water fountain is an enduring legacy reflecting over 100 years of Portland history.

And while most Benson Bubblers are indeed located in Portland’s thriving downtown area, three Benson Bubblers can be found outside of Portland city limits, including one in Pendleton, Oregon; Sapporo, Japan; and Suzhou, China.

This week on Jan. 27 marks the one-year anniversary of Portland City Council voting to allow the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) to transfer a Benson Bubbler to Suzhou, China, honoring the 15-year anniversary of Lan Su Chinese Garden. Lan Su Chinese Garden is a product of collaboration between the cities of Portland and Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, a province famous for its Ming Dynasty Gardens. The City of Suzhou is located about 60 miles (100 km) Northwest of Shanghai. The Benson Bubbler arrived safely in Suzhou in February 2016 and was unveiled in April of that same year at the 9th Jiangsu Horticultural Exposition, an event that drew millions of visitors to the shores of Taihu Lake.


In May 2015, the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) requested that the City provide a Benson Bubbler in honor of the 15-year anniversary of the Lan Su Chinese Garden, a friendship project between Portland and Suzhou. The Lan Su Chinese Garden is today one of the great cultural treasures of Portland. According to the Lan Su Chinese Garden, it is the most authentic Ming Dynasty Garden outside of China.

Happy anniversary to Suzhou, China’s very own Benson Bubbler!

Learn More

Learn more about the iconic Benson Bubblers, including their history and the bureau’s conservation efforts, by visiting the Water Bureau’s Benson Bubbler page. Then find out more about the Portland-Suzhou Sister Association at No ratepayer funds were spent on the Suzhou Benson Bubbler and none were removed from service or otherwise uninstalled as part of this sister city project.  

Hannah Mason Pump Station Project Update

By Brian Balla

Hannah Mason Pump StationConstruction of the Hannah Mason Pump Station in Southwest Portland is in the final stage of construction. The new pump station will replace the aging Fulton Pump Station that was built in 1912. The Hannah Mason Pump Station houses five pumps, public restrooms, park equipment storage and complements the park with a subtle design meant to blend into the surrounding landscape. This project minimized impacts to local residents and business as a result of focused and responsive community outreach.

Who was Hannah Mason?

Hannah Mason Plat Map

Hannah Mason was a philanthropist, landowner and widow of an early Portland mayor, William S. Mason. At the time of her passing in 1908 she owned the majority of the land on which Willamette Park sits today.

Project Background

Late last year, the pumps in the pump station were tested and operations and maintenance training for the new facility was completed. Additionally, all restoration work on Southwest Nevada Street, including sidewalks and driveways, was completed except for landscaping which will be completed pending better weather conditions. Several sections of the Greenway Trail within Willamette Park will be improved as part of a larger Park and Recreation project concurrent with the pump station construction including the installation and restoration of curbs throughout the entire park.

The existing Fulton Pump Station will remain in operation for a minimum of two years after the Hannah Mason Pump Station is complete and operational.

More Information

For general project information, you can access the project website at

Main Break at Southeast 69th and Duke

By Jaymee Cuti Add a Comment

Portland Water Bureau crews are responding to a large main break at the intersection of Southeast 69th Avenue and Duke Street. The broken main is a 16-inch cast iron main from 1930.

At the Portland Water Bureau, we call this time of the year "Main Break Season". The Portland Water Bureau has responded to approximately 75 main breaks since Jan. 1. We typically have approximately 200 main breaks per year. This is caused by very cold water running through pipes, which makes them brittle. As the ground expands as it freezes and contracts as it thaws, this puts stress on the already brittle and aging pipes.

What Affected Customers Can Expect During and After Main Break

During a main break, customers in the immediate vicinity may notice a reduction in water pressure or have their water temporarily shut off while repairs are being made. Customers may also experience discolored water. This color is from sediment that is always in our pipes and can get stirred up during a main break. The discoloration does not pose a health risk. However, customers should avoid using hot water or running the washing machine or dishwasher until flushing is complete. If you have experienced discoloration in your water, run the water at one tap for five minutes to see if it clears. If it does not clear, wait an hour and try again. When the water runs clear, flush any taps where discolored water was present.

Please see the "Discolored Water Fact Sheet" for more information.

If customers have questions, they can contact the Emergency Line 24-hours a day at 503-823-4874.