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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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Are You Ready to Shake Out?

2017 Great Shake Out graphicOn October 19, millions of people like you across the globe are signed up to drop, duck, and hang on in the world’s largest earthquake drill.

The Big One” will happen one day, there’s no question. Are you prepared for when the ground starts shaking?

Prepare to Shake Out

The Great Shakeout begins at 10:19 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. The Great Shakeout began in California in 2008 to practice how to be safer during earthquakes. Now, it’s a global event with over 55 million participants in 2016.

In a disaster, everyone has a role to play.

Every day, the Water Bureau prepares as part of its daily work—hardening the backbone of our water system and building storage that will last for generations.

Storing water and other supplies will help ensure that your household is ready to weather many events—including a serious earthquake. September was National Preparedness Month, but preparedness efforts are year-round.

How to Shake Out

This year, 528,000 Oregonians plan to take part in the event. Join thousands of your friends and neighbors and get ready to drop, cover, and hold on for the Great Oregon Shakeout!

At 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, we are practicing for an earthquake by getting under our desks or another sturdy piece of furniture, covering our heads, and holding on for a full minute.

Once you’re in place, take a photo and share it through your own personal social media networks with the hashtag #GreatShakeOut.

More Planning and Prep Information

As we’re fond of saying, everyone has a role to play in preparing for natural disasters and other emergencies.

For more information on how to prepare for a variety of emergencies, check out these sites:

Maintenance and Construction Crews in Your Neighborhood

Water Bureau maintenance crewWhile walking, rolling, or driving around Portland you may notice the Portland Water Bureau’s Maintenance and Construction crews.

So what exactly are they doing?

On any given day, the Water Bureau’s Maintenance and Construction teams are working around the city to maintain the city’s water system – from underground pipes to above-ground fire hydrants.

In the last fiscal year alone, crews completed more than 4,000 maintenance tasks.

Fixing leaks and main breaks. Portlanders who notice issues with pipes or hydrants can report them to the Emergency Line by calling 503-823-4874, 24 hours, seven days a week. Maintenance and Construction crews are on standby 24 hours a day to repair main breaks, which are more likely to occur during the winter season – or, as the Water Bureau calls, “main break season.”

Replacing aging and obsolete fire hydrants. The City of Portland has more than 14,000 fire hydrants that are not only important fire suppression tools, they are also important portals for flushing, which helps us maintain and ensure water quality. Many hydrants throughout the city are more than 100 years old, and parts to repair them no longer exist.  Last year crews replaced more than 500 hydrants in the system!

Replacing water mains. Portland Water Bureau proactively replaces old pipes and other infrastructure, including replacing water mains which are prone to breaks and leaks. The oldest pipe replaced in 2016 was 114 years old.

Maintenance crews repair water main

Be Our Eyes and Ears

Notice a leaking hydrant or broken water main in your neighborhood? Call the Emergency Line at 503-823-4874.

If you experience discolored water or have questions about water pressure, contact the Water Line at 503-823-7525 or from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

A LEGO Robotics Team Gets An Up-Close Look at the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

6th graders standing at construction site

Somewhere in Southwest Portland, a LEGO robotics team is getting ready for their second-ever LEGO competition.

Using state-of-the-art Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robotics, team Redstone Robotics Incorporated brings together a group of 6th graders to work on robotics challenges and participate in competitions. This year's challenge is hydro dynamics, where the goal is to learn about all-things water – how water is found, transported, used, and disposed of. So when Scott, the team coach, saw the Water Bureau's announcement for a tour of the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement project, he knew his team had to join in.

Read about the Redstone Robitics tour to find out what they learned, including a few fun facts about the construction project.

Click to read the article.

How Different Would Your Day Be Without Water?

Imagine a Day Without Water banner

National Preparedness Month ended on Saturday, Sept. 30th. But that doesn’t mean having water—during an emergency or not—is any less important now that September is over.

Think about it: How different would your day be without water?

Maybe your bedhead look is back in fashion, but most of us crave that morning shower. At the least you’d want to be able to flush your toilet and brush your teeth. For those of us who need a cup of coffee to face our mornings, we’d be stopped in our tracks.

Today, we’re asking you to imaging your day without access to our region—and our world’s—most precious resource: water.

A day without water can be scary to imagine but it doesn’t have to become a reality if we prepare together.

Learn more about safely storing water for an emergency so you can imagine a day without water without it ever becoming a reality.

Join Our Team: Communications and Project Support Intern and Senior Engineer

Join the Portland Water Bureau teamIf 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 
Communications and Project Support Intern 15 hours a week for 12 months from start date $18.00 Hourly Mon. 10/30/17 4:00 PM Pacific Time  Apply Here!
Senior Engineer Full Time $7,633.00 - $10,174.00 Monthly Mon. 10/30/17 11:59 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!

Learn More About the Water Bureau


For more information regarding career opportunities at the Water Bureau, contact (503) 823-3515 or e-mail.