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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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PSU Capstone Class Comments - Fall 2012

"This class explored an aspect of the water system I hadn’t expected to learn about -- the distribution system.  It is mostly underground, out of sight and something most citizens don’t think about often unless something goes wrong.  Distributing water is just as important as maintaining the source and and the public should be educated on this."
"I would like to close by taking one last opportunity to thank you for all your hard work.  Your passion for water issues made each of us in my group really want to give you and the PWB our best effort with our projects,and I honestly will never look at water in the same way again."  
"After taking this course, I find myself talking to all my roommates, friends and family about water and the impacts that it has on our lives.... As we learned throughout the course, there are so many components that work together to deliver water to its citizens, and most people have absolutely no clue.... this class had also made an influence on my potential career in land use and resource management.  From here on out I will be looking for internship opportunities in something surrounding tap water and watershed protection."
"Another great part of the class that I will take away from this is that  [water] isn’t free and it isn't to be taken for granted.  Our water system is far too important for people not to understand all the costs involved in running and maintaining the system.  Water is more than just going to the faucet and turning it on; it is a complex network requiring investment, communication, and collaboration with the public.  I have also decided that the public needs to know where their water comes from and to be involved in the system that provides water to their particular community which is why it has now become a topic to bring up in discussions with friends.  We talk about how important water really is to life."  
"Among the most significant lessons learned “takeaways” from this class I would say at the forefront would be the understanding and comprehension I have now of the complexities behind the provisions of safe and delicious drinking water to a municipality."  
"Though I absorbed the information presented by each respective presenter, I couldn’t help but gain an appreciation and awe at the sheer size and scope of the structure of the “human network” that operated just as synchronously as the mechanical machinery to ensure that water flows.  It’s a vast network of people, each with similar and unique skill sets, utilizing their knowledge and expertise to ensure that goals are achieved daily."
"All in all, I take away a tremendous appreciation, greater awareness and far and away more knowledge and understanding behind what it takes to deliver clean and delicious drinking water from source to faucet.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey and delight that I was able to finish my undergrad academic experience with this class."
"I can share the things that I learned in the class with my family and friends.  It is surprising to me that almost all of my friends (including my kids and husband) did not know that the Portland water is unfiltered. This class will definitely remain as one of my memorable courses in my academic career.  I am expecting that the experience I have from this class will help me in my future professional life."
"I was also impressed with the Water Bureau employees.  It can be hard to stay passionate about something when you have been doing it for X amount of years.  Often people enter into something with the highest hopes and ideals only to be crushed by the actuality of the thing.  This was not the case with the people we had the chance to meet and interact with.  They all seemed to genuinely care and enjoy their work which bodes well for the future of our water supply.  I would also like to thank you, Professor, for your obvious passion and commitment to your field.... You brought a wealth of knowledge and excitement to the classroom and I appreciate that."
"So, in short, what I will be taking away from the class is comfort in the public control of the water system, the dedication of the bureau employees, the passion you brought to the subject, and the continued purity of our future water supply."
"The whole course was extremely interesting, but what I will take away from it is how important water is.  It is an issue I’ve always had an interest in but didn’t know how to tell the story to others in a meaningful way.  It is something that most people never question especially in Portland, where drinking water is high quality.  I now know that my water bill is not that extreme when I look at the overall cost of running a water utility and I am confident that my money is going towards something I need.  I can now explain to my friends how important it is to understand what goes into the infrastructure and maintenance to keep the system delivering water.  Hopefully they will take away something from it, and understand that even things like water still do come at a price.  So I am glad to say that I can take away from this class the ability and knowledge to allow myself to educate other people without having to force the conversation."
"I learned not only the value of Portland's water source and delivery system but also the value and importance of precious resources that modern societies abuse and take for granted every day.  It blows my mind the complexity and expense that goes into delivering something so basic and fundamental to life yet societies here in the west think nothing of limited capacities and long term consequences.  I fell that I am now empowered to advocate on behalf of this precious resource forever..... After taking this class I will be a champion for water.  I will always remember the lesson that this class has taught me about how and where our water comes from and the history behind the monumental achievement.  I will be an advocate for water for the rest of my life."
"The thing I liked the most about the class was how passionate the professor was about the topic and objectives of the class.  It is hard not to become inspired about water while being in the class.  I think it really sets the tone of the course; all the ground work having been done to facilitate the relationship between PSU and the PWB is really impressive.  Actually learning something that applies to the real world and furthermore something that matters is really cool and inspiring."
"The information that has been provided by this class has made me want to work for a water utility.  I have an interest in emergency management, which I feel is a major component of any progressive utility so they can ensure that clean water is provided after a disaster so that public health can be maintained.  Thank you for bringing your love of this topic to the classroom, it has proved to be quite infectious."