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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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December Water Quality Trivia

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

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

  • Clean faucet screens (aerators) a few times per year at kitchen and bathroom faucets.
  • Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water faucet.  Use cold water and heat the water as needed.
  • If a faucet has not been used for several hours, run the cold water for 30 seconds to two (2) minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.
  • 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.

Thankful for a Safe & Sustainable Water Supply

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In November, many of us have much to be thankful for - friends, family, and health.

There’s one more thing you might want to add to that list - water.

The simple fact is that water is a vital part of every Thanksgiving celebration.

So how do you save water during such a hectic, family-filled time? Easy. Integrate water-wise behavior into your daily life well beforehand. That way, when the big day comes, you’ll be well versed in knowing water-saving tricks.

Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Tip 1: Brush food scraps into the garbage can instead of rinsing them into the sink’s garbage disposal.
  • Tip 2: Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator the night before they’re needed, instead of running hot water over them on the same day.
  • Tip 3: Rinse vegetables and fruits in a sink or pan filled with water instead of running them under water. As a bonus, you can use this water on houseplants.
  • Tip 4: If you wash dishes by hand, rinse them in a sink partially filled with clean water instead of under running water.

There you have it — the perfect “recipe” for having a water-wise Thanksgiving. Enjoy and give a little thanks for water.

For more water efficiency tips, visit

Refilling Portland's Water Supplies

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Usable storage in the Bull Run ReservoirsWhat a difference one weekend can make!

On October 30, the first strong storm of the season rolled into the Pacific Northwest. Streets flooded, drains were clogged with debris, and gutters overflowed in the Portland metro area after nearly two inches of rain fell over a stretch of six hours.

In the Bull Run Watershed, the rain gauges registered between 4.5 and 10 inches of rain over the Halloween weekend.

These significant rains began quickly refilling Reservoir 1 and Reservoir 2, capable when full of holding a combined 16.8 billion gallons of water.

By November 3, the two reservoirs were nearly full, allowing the Portland Water Bureau to switch from using a groundwater/Bull Run water blend to 100 percent Bull Run water. Groundwater had been used for supply augmentation purposes since July 16 due to a long and dry season.

The bountiful rain in the Bull Run Watershed also ended the Water Bureau’s longest reservoir “drawdown” on record. Drawdown is the period of time during the spring/summer and early fall where more water leaves the reservoirs than enters. Bull Run reservoirs started drawing down on May 18, about six weeks earlier than the historic average.

The expected wet season weather is expected to keep the Bull Run reservoirs at or near capacity until late spring or early summer 2016. 

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 11/24/15: Portion of Northbound Lane of SE 60th Avenue Flagged on Wednesday, Nov. 25

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Approximately 150 feet of the northbound lane of SE 60th Avenue south of SE Hawthorne Boulevard will be closed to through traffic intermittently between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Flaggers will be directing traffic.

Portland Water Bureau Construction and Maintenance crews will be restoring the sidewalk on the east side of SE 60th Avenue, where construction was performed in October.

Parking on SE 60th Avenue directly across from the construction zone will be restricted. The sidewalk adjacent to the construction zone will be closed and pedestrians will need to walk around the work area.

Remember to drive slowly, exercise caution when traveling in the construction zone, and obey traffic controllers.

Project information can be found online at

Portland Water Bureau Offices Closed November 26 & 27 in Observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday,  Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, 2015.

This includes both the Customer Service Call Center and the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the first floor at 1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Offices will reopen on Monday, November 30 at 8 a.m.

During the holiday, Water Bureau customers are invited to pay their bill in the following ways:

  • Online
  • Drop off: Leave a payment in the Water Bureau's night box located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue to the left of the building's front doors

Customers are reminded to contact 503-823-7525 with questions regarding water quality or pressure. To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

Customer Service