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Portland Water Bureau

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

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

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

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Water Levels in Reservoir 1 to Rise and Fall this Spring

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Water levels in Reservoir 1 at Mt. Tabor Park will fluctuate this spring and early summer as the Portland Water Bureau conducts maintenance and repair work to the water distribution system.

Park users will see Reservoir 1 empty for almost all of March while it undergoes its semi-annual cleaning, maintenance, and repair work. Draining of Reservoir 1 began Friday February 27.

Additionally, the bureau is also conducting scheduled maintenance work in East Portland over the next few months that will impact water levels in Reservoir 1 in Mt. Tabor Park.

That work consists of installing new valves and controls in three vaults. These vaults house the pipes, valves, and controls that make up the ‘intertie’—a system which permits the passage of water from each of the three large conduits to the water distribution system itself. Work can only be performed on one vault at a time, as the water conduit must be shut down to conduct the work. As water from the conduits flow directly to Mt. Tabor Reservoir 1, it will be impacted by the vault work.

When the water conduit is shut down, the water from the large conduits must be drained. Reservoir 1 will serve as the ‘holding tank’ for this water, where it will then be drained to the combined sewer system. Once the repair work is done for each conduit, they will then be disinfected and that water will be flushed once again to Reservoir 1, before it is drained into the combined sewer system.

For almost all of March, the last two weeks of April, and the last two weeks of May, the reservoir will be emptied and filled in order to flush each of the three conduits after the valve and control work is done. Each conduit flushing cycle will take about two weeks. Water quality or service to local residents will not be affected by the maintenance work.

Flow schematic

Work can only be performed on one conduit at a time. Once the shut-off valve is engaged, the water in the isolated part of the pipe (purple pipe) must be drained into the reservoir, where it will be drained into the sewer system. The amount of water drained can be approximately 2-3 million gallons.

Avian Wildlife Survey at Powell Butte Nature Park, Park Users Reminded to be Cautious of Survey Markers

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Powell Butte Nature Park trail

Powell Butte Nature Park in southeast Portland hosts miles of trails used daily by hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.

    

The nature park also offers a home to an abundant wildlife population, including rabbits, ring-necked pheasants, ground squirrels, raccoons, gray foxes, skunks, bats, chipmunks, coyotes, black-tailed mule deer, and many different species of birds. 

This diverse wildlife flourishes in the park’s open meadows, groves of wild hawthorn trees, forested slopes of Western red cedar, and wetlands near Johnson Creek.

Maintaining and continuously improving habitat for birds and other wildlife within the nature park while making trails easily accessible to park users is of key importance for the Portland Parks & Recreation and the Water Bureau.

Pre-placed markersOne way park wildlife, specifically the bird population, is researched and monitored in the nature park is through avian or bird surveys. During field visits, volunteers trained by Portland Parks & Recreation collect information used to study: 

  • Relationships between birds and habitat
  • Seasonal migration
  • Breeding
  • Siting of a particular species
  • Effects of reducing non-native invasive plant species
  • Re-vegetation of native shrubs, trees, and grasses
  • Any changes in avian communities before and after reservoir construction and restoration efforts

Pre-placed wooden markers, such as the one to the right, help direct volunteers where to stand, observe, and count birds for the survey. The markers are located throughout the park, in the meadows, forested areas, and close to trail edges. 

The markers near the trail edge are in the process of being leveled with the ground for safety.

Reminder to Be Safe
Parks users are asked to leave the markers in their locations as they are integral to consistency for the Bird Study and other data collection throughout the year. Users are also asked to stay on the designated trail system for their safety and equine trail riders and mountain bikers encouraged to ride single file.

The Portland Water Bureau and Parks & Recreation appreciate the public’s help in preserving and protecting the nature parks and all its inhabitants.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information

UPDATE: Personal Safety Reminder

Portland Water Bureau Security learned today from the Portland Police Bureau that a man identifying himself as a Portland Water Bureau employee asked to see pipes in the basement of a Northeast Portland home. After he left, the resident noticed that several items were missing and contacted the police. The man was wearing an orange vest and driving a white truck. 

Read the Portland Police Bureau's official press release: Suspect Claiming to be Water Bureau Employee Burglarizes an Argay Neighborhood Home (Photo)

This report came a day after the City of Hillsboro notified the public of individuals falsely identifying themselves as utility employees trying to gain entrance into people's homes.

The Portland Water Bureau wants you to know that although Water Bureau employees may knock on your door to ask a few water-related questions, they will never ask to enter your home without a previous appointment.

The public is reminded of the following safety tips in situations like this:

* Do not open the door to someone you don't know. 
* Ask for proper official identification.
* Look for a city utility vehicle. 
* Call the police if you feel suspicious about someone at your door. 
* Share information about suspicious people with your neighbors. 
* Ask for the person's purpose for being there. 
* Do not allow anyone unknown to enter your home without a bona fide prior appointment.

Portland Water Bureau employees always drive "E-plate" vehicles with logos and carry identification badges.

If someone knocks on your door claiming to be from the Portland Water Bureau, ask to see an ID badge and/or call and check with the Water Bureau at 503-823-4874.

A true employee will encourage, not resist, efforts made by a customer to confirm that they are legitimate. 

Terry Black
Public Information

Personal Safety Reminder: Warn Against Imposters

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This afternoon, the City of Hillsboro notified the public of recent reports of individuals falsely identifying themselves as utility employees trying to gain entrance into people's homes by claiming they need to do work inside.

The Portland Water Bureau wants you to know that although Water Bureau employees may knock on your door to ask a few water-related questions, they will never ask to enter your home without a previous appointment.

The public is reminded of the following safety tips in situations like this:

* Do not open the door to someone you don't know.
* Ask for proper official identification.
* Look for a city utility vehicle.
* Call the police if you feel suspicious about someone at your door.
* Share information about suspicious people with your neighbors.
* Ask for the person's purpose for being there.
* Do not allow anyone unknown to enter your home without a bona fide prior appointment.

Portland Water Bureau employees always drive "E-plate" vehicles with logos and carry identification badges.

If someone knocks on your door claiming to be from the Portland Water Bureau, ask to see an ID badge and/or call and check with the Water Bureau at 503-823-4874.

A true employee will encourage, not resist, efforts made by a customer to confirm that they are legitimate. 

Terry Black
Public Information

Take a Dip in Our News Stream

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Take a Dip in Our News Stream!

Interested in staying up-to-date with Portland Water Bureau news and information alerts?

Simply follow the steps below to subscribe and automatically receive by e-mail the latest Water Bureau press releases, news announcements, and Water Blog articles. 

Press Release Subscription

Sign up for a press release subscription and receive Water Bureau emergency alerts and news releases. This includes traffic advisories, news announcements on planned or emergency projects, steps to address and how to contact the Water Bureau with urgent water emergencies, and water efficiency and cold weather tips.

On average, the Water Bureau sends out three to four press releases each month. To register to automatically receive alerts or releases, follow these steps: 

  1. Visit FlashAlert.     
  2. Enter your primary e-mail address.
  3. Click the boxes to the left of both Emergency Alerts and News Releases.
  4. Click Subscribe.     
  5. In the following window, confirm your e-mail address and create a password

Blog Subscription

Since 2011, the Water Bureau has utilized the Water Blog to help share information and knowledge.

The Water Blog, built into the Water Bureau’s website, is just one tool to help distribute important information to thousands of customers. In fact, in 2014, the blog was accessed by more than 1.5 million readers.

The blog is a platform for a variety of topics, and includes detailed articles on how the Water Bureau is:

  • Replacing and maintaining the aging water system infrastructure (repairs, replacements, and upgrades).
  • Providing excellent quality water for customers.
  • Improving responsiveness to customer needs.
  • Promoting engagement of the community. 

Interested in subscribing to our blog? Point and click here for instructions on how to subscribe and review daily, weekly, or monthly e-mails with new Water Blog articles.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information