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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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Join Our Team: Customer Accounts Specialist I, Environmental Program Specialist, Program Specialist, Senior Engineer

By Brian Balla

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 
Customer Accounts Specialist I  Full Time  $17.95 - $25.88 Hourly

Mon. 2/27/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

 Apply Here!
Environmental Program Specialist Full Time $5,033.00 - $6,709.00 Monthly

Thurs. 3/9/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

Apply Here!
Program Specialist Full Time  $5,033.00 - $6,709.00 Monthly

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

Apply Here!
Senior Engineer Full Time  $7,468.00 - $9,956.00 Monthly

Fri. 3/10/17 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.

Additional Cryptosporidium Detected in Bull Run Water

By Brian Balla

The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring of the Bull Run watershed. While the bureau is no longer serving drinking water from the Bull Run watershed, monitoring for Cryptosporidium has continued. The bureau remains in compliance with the terms of the Cryptosporidium treatment variance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.

On Monday, Feb. 13, anticipating that further Cryptosporidium detections from the Bull Run were possible, the Portland Water Bureau proactively activated the groundwater wells from the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

The most recent results from water that was not served to the public was from two 50-liter (13 gallon) samples that were positive for one Cryptosporidium oocyst each. The positive samples were collected Tuesday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 15. These are the eighth and ninth positive samples out of 32 samples this year.

The bureau is committed to keeping the public informed of the ongoing monitoring for Cryptosporidium from the Bull Run. The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at The bureau will continue to notify the Oregon Health Authority of all detections.

The bureau will also coordinate with state and county health officials to determine when to return to the Bull Run as our drinking water source. The bureau will notify the public and the media when it returns to Bull Run water.

Additional information regarding the Portland Water Bureau’s treatment variance and answers to frequently asked questions are available at Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at (503) 823-7525.

Five Presidents That Helped Protect Portland’s Water Supply

By Brian Balla

Presidents’ Day is a time to remember and reflect on the contributions made to our country by each of our past U.S. Presidents.

Washington, D.C. may seem worlds away from Portland, Oregon, but five past Presidents had a part in helping preserve the Bull Run Watershed – the federally-protected reserve that supplies fresh, clean drinking water to over 900,000 Oregonians every day.

Let’s take a moment to learn about these five past Presidents who helped protect this important natural resource.

President Benjamin HarrisonPresident Benjamin Harrison

In 1892, using powers granted to him under the Forest Reserve Act passed by Congress a year prior, President Benjamin Harrison established the Bull Run Forest Reserve which prohibited settlement in the 142,000-acre reserve. President Harrison’s act also made it easier for the Portland Water Committee (later renamed the Portland Water Board) to acquire private land and water rights in the basin. The establishment of the Forest Reserve set a precedent for federal protection of the Bull Run. It was the first step of many in protecting and preserving the delicate ecosystem that supplies Portland’s drinking water.

President Theodore RooseveltPresident Theodore Roosevelt

Despite the new settlement restrictions signed into law by President Harrison, fishing, hunting, camping and livestock grazing were still allowed in the newly-created Bull Run Forest Reserve. Because of this, the Portland Water Board sought additional land use restrictions within the reserve to further protect Portland’s drinking water supply.

In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the Bull Run Trespass Act which further limited entry and activities – including grazing – in the Bull Run Forest Reserve. But the specific wording of the law left the law open to interpretation, planting seeds for conflict over access and forest management in the Bull Run. Over the next half-century, the Portland Water Board, which would become the Water Bureau in 1913, completed a variety of infrastructure projects – including adding diversion structures, water conduits and others – to the original system. But by the mid-1950s, the City of Portland and the U.S. Forest Service began to disagree about logging and public access in the watershed.

President Jimmy CarterPresident Jimmy Carter

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Bull Run Act (PL 95-200). The law replaced the Trespass Act of 1904 and declared that the principal management objective of the Watershed to be the production of “…pure, clear, raw potable water…for the City of Portland and other local government units and persons in the Portland metropolitan area.” Other activities inside the watershed were permitted, provided they did not interfere with the primary objective of the Watershed.

The Bull Run Act also created the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit (BRWMU; the administrative boundary of the Bull Run Watershed), authorized the Forest Service to enact entry restrictions and formally recognized a role for the City of Portland in the management the Bull Run. The law did not settle the controversy around logging and logging continued in the Bull Run until the early 1990s. 

President Bill ClintonPresident Bill Clinton

President Clinton signed into law the Oregon Resource Conservation Act of 1996. This law amended the Bull Run Act and prohibited all timber harvest on all Forest Service lands within the Bull Run River drainage except for tree cutting needed to protect or enhance water quality or water quantity and for the development, operation and maintenance of hydropower and water supply facilities. This Act largely ended the logging controversy in the Bull Run.

President George BushPresident George W. Bush

In 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the Little Sandy Protection Act. This law added most of the Little Sandy watershed to the BRWMU and extended the timber restrictions throughout the Little Sandy drainage within the BRWMU. (The Little Sandy is outside of the water supply drainage boundary.)

Learn More about the Bull Run Watershed

Careful and responsible management and protection of the Bull Run drinking water supply are vital to maintaining Portland’s high quality water quality and public health.

To learn more about the Bull Run Watershed and how federal, City and State protections safeguard this important resource, click here.

Water Work Closes One Lane of SE 68th Avenue North of SE Division to Mt. Tabor Park

By Teresa Black Add a Comment

PORTLAND,  OR- A contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be disconnecting an old water pipe in SE 68th Avenue the week of Feb. 20, 2017.

The work will begin on Monday (Presidents’ Day) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. One lane of traffic will remain open. Flaggers will direct traffic.

No water services will be disrupted.

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the work site.

Portland Water Bureau Offices Closed Feb. 20 in Observance of the President’s Day Holiday

By Brian Balla

In observance of the Presidents' Day holiday, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017.

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 Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 at 8 a.m.

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

  • Online
  • Pay by phone by dialing 503-823-7770 and press 1
  • 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
  • To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

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