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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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Conduit Work Causes Some Water Discoloration in Southeast Neighborhood

The Portland Water Bureau has received reports of discolored water from Southeast Holgate to Flavel boulevards, and Southeast 39th/Cesar Chavez to 75th avenues. This is from conduit maintenance work. The Water Bureau is performing spot flushing in the affected area to move fresh water through the pipes.

This work is expected throughout the day and possibly into tomorrow. During the work, customers may experience periodic discolored water. You can find updates at:

The City of Portland has a high quality water source – the Bull Run Watershed – that is unfiltered. Like any unfiltered water supply, over time a very fine layer of sediment can deposit along the bottom of pipes. This natural sediment is organic material. On rare occasions it can get stirred up and cause discolored water.

Common causes of discolored water include maintenance work, hydrant use, hydrant replacement, valve turning, routine maintenance, firefighting, main breaks, or nearby construction. 

In most cases the water will clear on its own within an hour or two. You may want to wait to run the washing machine, filter your water, make ice, or use hot water (like taking a shower). After waiting an hour for the system to settle, run water at one tap for two to three minutes to see if it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes.

If the water does not clear in a few hours, or if there is also a significant loss of pressure, contact the Water Quality Line at 503-823-7525 Monday-Friday from 8:30am – 4:30 pm, or email  You can also learn more here:, Drinking Water Quality at Home, and