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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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About Tours

During the tour, a professional natural resources educator leads participants through the Bull Run Watershed, discussing Portland's drinking water sources and system. All information is intended for a general audience. If you're a teacher interested in Bull Run tours, check out our school programs.

Photos of things you might see on a tour

Here’s what a typical tour day is like:

8:15        Meet the bus in Portland

               Visit the Columbia South Shore Well Field, the city’s groundwater source

               Walk through old-growth forest in the upper reaches of the Bull Run Watershed

               Eat lunch at Bull Run Lake, the headwaters of the Bull Run River

               Tour the city’s 1929 concrete dam, plus the house of one of the engineers who worked on it

               Drive across the city’s 1962 earth and rock fill dam

               Visit the lower Bull Run River and learn about the fish that live there

4:30        Arrive in Portland

Here are some essentials to be aware of:

  • The tour area is remote. Water Bureau staff carry emergency radios and are trained in first aid; however, cell phones do not work and emergency care can be more than an hour away.
  • Restrooms can be up to 2-3 hours apart. Please contact us if limited restroom availability presents a challenge for you.
  • Smoking/vaping/e-cigarettes are not allowed.

Thank you for your interest in Portland's drinking water.

Sign up for a tour (registration is available in summer and early fall), or, if you’d like for us to let you know when we post future tour dates, sign up for our notification list.

Questions? Please email, or call Kate Leatherbarrow, 503-823-5351.