Starting in January 2017, the Water Bureau will be conducting uni-directional flushing (UDF) of water mains in parts of the following North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods:
- East Columbia
- Portland Airport area
Flushing will be conducted between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Click here to view a map of the areas scheduled for flushing.
Improving and Maintaining High-Quality Drinking Water
Drinking water systems, especially unfiltered systems like Portland, need to routinely clean the network of pipes to improve water quality. Over time, very fine sediment and organic matter from the Bull Run settle out of the water and accumulate in the bottom of the pipes. While the sediments are generally harmless, they can make the disinfectant in the water less effective.
Click here to find out how the Portland Water Bureau uses flushing to clean and maintain the drinking water system.
Flushing in Your Neighborhood
Unidirectional flushing will have minimal impacts to customers. If you see hydrant flushing crews working in the area, please drive carefully and treat them like any other road construction crew.
Residents in the immediate vicinity of flushing may notice temporarily discolored water and lower than normal water pressure. The discoloration does not pose a health risk. However, avoid using tap water or running the washing machine or dishwasher until flushing is complete.
If you experience some discoloration in your water from nearby flushing, run the water at one tap for 5 minutes to see if it clears. If it does not clear wait an hour and try again. When the water runs clear, flush any taps where discolored water was present.
The Water Line is available 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday-Friday at 503-823-7525 or WBWaterLine@portlandoregon.gov. If you have a discolored water-related emergency after these hours, please call 503-823-4874 to speak with a Water Bureau Emergency Dispatcher. To learn more about home water quality, visit the Water Bureau’s Drinking Water Quality at Home page.