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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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Analyzing Water Samples Collected from Forest to Faucet


Since the early 1960s, the Portland Water Bureau has been fortunate to have a water quality testing laboratory, first in the Bull Run Watershed near the treatment facility, then for the last 23 years at the Interstate facility. 

Currently, the lab has eight full time employees: a laboratory manager, a laboratory coordinator, four laboratory analytical specialists, and two laboratory analyst IIs.

The lab is accredited to run drinking water analysis by Oregon Health Authority. To maintain accreditation, the following is required by the lab:

  • Pass two blind performance tests each year for each of the 30 analytical methods.
  • Maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS).
  • Have a Quality Manual.
  • Conduct an in-house assessment by accreditors every two years.
  • Document everything!

By the Numbers

  • The lab performs approximately 30 analytical methods for drinking water and environmental water samples.
  • The lab performs about 95 percent of the drinking water analyses that are required for compliance with state and federal drinking water regulations for the bureau.
  • Last year, the lab processed approximately 11,000 samples for compliance and process control, producing approximately 58,000 sample results plus another 30,000 QC results. Samples were collected from the Bull Run Reservoirs and Lake, Lusted conduits, the ground water system, the distribution system, water mains construction and repair projects, water system customers, and research projects.


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