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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

Customer Service: 503-823-7770


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Get Involved: Join the Portland Utility Board

Portland Utility Board meeting

Do you want to have a part in overseeing the important work we do?

The Portland Utility Board (PUB) is made up of community volunteers that help guide City Council in the management of the Portland Water Bureau and our partner agency, the Bureau of Environmental Services.

And City Council is looking for volunteers to join the Board.

What’s involved in PUB service?

The PUB meets monthly to craft advice for City Council on each bureaus’ financial plans, capital improvement projects, public policies, rates, and more.

We welcome diversity. You do not need to be a policy wonk or utility expert to care about the Portland’s critical water and sewer infrastructure.

Learn More and Apply

Visit the City Budget Office PUB website to find out more.

How One Multi-Family Property Saved Over 11,000 Gallons of Water Per Day

Water use data tells a tale.

Commercial water efficiency expert looks for leaks. Data is fun. Here at the Portland Water Bureau we think water data is especially fun.  Even more thrilling is when water use data tells a happy story. This is one such tale.

The Water Bureau’s water efficiency team – your experts in helping save water and money – was contacted by a multi-family property owner because of unusually high water use. After our team reviewed historic water use data for the property, it was clear there was an issue – water use was six times higher than it had been the previous year!

What’s Behind the 11,000 Gallon Leak?

Water efficiency staff visited the property and found a significant number of toilets had leaky flappers. This seemly small issue was resulting in an average of over 11,000 gallons of water loss each day at the 50-unit complex.

Toilets are the number one cause of leaks in all building types, and toilets can fail before their time. It’s always a good idea to check for toilet leaks.

And here comes the happy ending.

After the leaks were identified, the property owner replaced all flappers in the building’s toilets. Today, average daily water use is back to what it was with the benefit of about $220 per day in water savings.

Do you know a multi-family property that could use some water efficiency assistance?

Check out our water efficiency resources for multi-family customers.

Tell Us What You Think: Take the 5-Minute Filtration Survey

Take the Bull Run treatment survey

Last August, Portland City Council held a hearing to discuss options for compliance with a federal rule requiring water treatment for the parasite Cryptosporidium. City Council voted unanimously to direct the Water Bureau to begin planning for a water filtration facility.

Since then, the Water Bureau assembled a team that has started work on the planning for the 10-year filtration project.

And now our filtration team wants to hear from you – our customers.

We want to hear what matters to you about the quality of your drinking water and the value to consider in planning the filtration plant.

Share Your Thoughts: Take the 5-Minute Survey

To provide your thoughts, please take a few minutes now to complete the online survey at the link below.

Take the Treatment Survey

The survey results will provide valuable information to the City in making decisions on the filtration plant.

More About Bull Run Water Treatment

The Portland Water Bureau is planning for changes to how Bull Run water is treated.

While water from the Bull Run Watershed is considered some of the cleanest in the nation, it still requires treatment to meet federal standards and protect public health.

Over the next 10 years, the Portland Water Bureau will be making two major treatment changes to the Bull Run.

The first is enhanced corrosion control, which will be in place by April 2022. This will reduce the risk of lead and copper leaching from home plumbing by adjusting the pH, or corrosivity, in the water system. Learn more.   

In addition to enhanced corrosion control, the Portland Water Bureau will be installing a new filtration plant that will remove sediments and organisms such as Cryptosporidium that can cause illness. Learn more.

Your Toilet is Feeling Neglected. Here's What You Can Do About It.

Leaks in homes account for 1 trillion gallons of water loss nation-wide every year. Here’s what you can do when your home plumbing takes a leak.

Simple steps you can take to fix a water-wasting toilet

Toilets are misunderstood. Knowing the basics of how a toilet works, and how to fix it can help you save thousands of gallons every month!

If you’re unsure, don’t worry, you’re not alone in having some toilet anxiety. Google aggregated global “how to fix” searches and it turns out we search for how to fix toilets a lot. It’s the top “how to” search for fixture fix in North America!

We’ve got you covered on this one.

How to Find a Toilet Leak

Check your toilet for leaks twice a year. It’s easy!

Just grab some food coloring, lift the lid off your toilet tank, and add 10 drops of food coloring to the water in the tank. But don’t flush! Wait 15 minutes. If the dye color shows up in your toilet bowl, you have a leak. Don’t have food coloring around? Order a conservation kit and you’ll get a set of leak detection tablets that you can use instead.

Fix a Flapper in Five Easy Steps

Toilet tankIn the toilet, the flapper is really the magic behind the flush. This rubber or plastic part allows water to “flush” from the tank into the bowl and down the drain.

Flappers typically last about 5 years and are often the source of leaks when they no longer fully seal. You can repair or replace a flapper with these quick, easy steps. It’s fine to put your hands in the tank water, but you might want to wash well afterwards.

  1. Turn the water inlet shut-off valve clockwise to turn the water off.
  2. Flush the toilet to drain the tank.
  3. Check the flapper valve to make sure it is lining up with the valve seat. If needed, replacement flappers can easily be purchased at hardware stores and some large grocery stores. Take your old flapper with you to make sure you get one that fits.
  4. Attach the new flapper to notches on either side of the overflow tube base. Hook the chain in a position where it rests without pulling the flapper up (causing a leak) or hanging over the edge.
  5. After installing the new flapper valve, flush to test.

Replace your toilet for a rebate!

If repair isn’t the answer, that the Portland Water Bureau offers a $50* rebate to replace your old toilet with a water efficient model.  Lean more at:

*Single-family residential customers enrolled in the bill discount program are eligible for a $100 per toilet rebate.

Join Us March 20 at Pioneer Square to Find Out How to Stop a Water-Wasting Leak In Its Tracks

Learn how to spot and fix home plumbing leaks

Did you know...

Leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water in an average home every year?

That's the amount of water it takes to wash 270 loads of laundry.

Leaks can run, but they can't hide! Join the Portland Water Bureau at Pioneer Square tomorrow from 10am to 4pm to find how you can can stop water-wasting leak in your home.

Leak detectives from the Portland Water Bureau will be on hand to teach you how to fix simple toilet leaks and how much water can be saved by repairing leaky home plumbing.

When: Tuesday, March 20th
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Pioneer Square

We'll see you there!