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The City of Portland, Oregon

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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Classroom Visits

The Portland Water Bureau encourages teachers and students to get to know their water system. We have a number of activities available that cover topics ranging from water quality to water pressure and water conservation to fish. The Portland Water Bureau provides all activities free of charge and on a limited basis. These activities can also be offered to your students as part of a field trip to the Portland Water Bureau's operations facility .

For more details and assistance in tailoring activities to meet your needs and interests, contact Briggy Thomas, Education Program Manager, at 503-823-7407.

The following activities can be brought to your classroom:

Tap Water Testing - Students will test their own tap water or compare tap water quality to bottled water quality. Tests include turbidity, chlorine, total hardness, and pH. Minimum time commitment of 1.5 hours (2 hours recommended.) Grades 4-12.

Water Tasting - Students will evaluate taste, odor, and color of various water samples through investigation, analysis, and explanation. Minimum time commitment of 30 minutes. Grades 4 - 12.

Home Water Audit - Students will learn how to use water audit kits to assess their indoor and/or outdoor water use and find ways to reduce it. Minimum time commitment of 30 minutes. Activity continues as a week long assignment. Grades 2-12.

So You'd Like to be a Salmon? - Students will experience first hand just how difficult the obstacles are that face Bull Run River Salmon and Steelhead. Learn what we can do to ensure plenty of water for fish and for people. Minimum time commitment of 30 minutes. Grades 2-8.

Groundwater Model - Students will learn about groundwater anatomy and observe groundwater movement in our physical groundwater model. Learn about Portland's vital backup and emergency water supply. Minimum time commitment of 30 minutes. Grades 2-12.

Hydraulic Gradeline Model - Students will learn about water pressure, pressure zones and hydraulic gradeline by observing this physical model and making predictions about what water will do under various pressure conditions. Minimum time commitment of 30 minutes. Grades 5-12.

All the Water in the World - Students will test their knowledge about the distribution of fresh water throughout the world. Minimum time commitment of 30 minutes. Grades 4-12.

So Little Water - Another worldwide water distribution activity for younger students. This is a demonstration of water distribution with student observation and discussion. Minimum time commitment of 20 minutes. Grades 1-4.

Water System Overview - Students will receive an overview of the water system, either by video, slide show or booklet. Students will understand how and where water travels from the Bull Run watershed to their faucet. Minimum time commitment of 30 minutes. Grades 3-12.Slide show: Grades 6-12.