Portland Water Bureau crews are responding to a large main break at the intersection of Southeast 69th Avenue and Duke Street. The broken main is a 16-inch cast iron main from 1930.
At the Portland Water Bureau, we call this time of the year "Main Break Season". The Portland Water Bureau has responded to approximately 75 main breaks since Jan. 1. We typically have approximately 200 main breaks per year. This is caused by very cold water running through pipes, which makes them brittle. As the ground expands as it freezes and contracts as it thaws, this puts stress on the already brittle and aging pipes.
What Affected Customers Can Expect During and After Main Break
During a main break, customers in the immediate vicinity may notice a reduction in water pressure or have their water temporarily shut off while repairs are being made. Customers may also experience discolored water. This color is from sediment that is always in our pipes and can get stirred up during a main break. The discoloration does not pose a health risk. However, customers should avoid using hot water or running the washing machine or dishwasher until flushing is complete. If you have experienced discoloration in your water, run the water at one tap for five 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.
Please see the "Discolored Water Fact Sheet" for more information.
If customers have questions, they can contact the Emergency Line 24-hours a day at 503-823-4874.