On Wednesday, June 20, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using its groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate water supply to its customers. As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system. The Bull Run Watershed, in combination with the Columbia South Shore Well Field, is capable of meeting Portland’s water needs throughout the summer.
Public notification is not required but the Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater. One change that customers may notice is a slight increase in water hardness. The media and sensitive water users will again be notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water or if there is a significant change in the drinking water blend.
Due to the dry spring weather, above average temperatures, and in consideration of available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau will use the Columbia South Shore Well Field to supplement supply until the return of significant fall rains.
The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations. It is anticipated that groundwater will contribute between 25 and 35 percent of supply and may be increased if above average demands and dry weather continue.
“We deliver safe and reliable drinking water to almost one million customers,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr. “At the end of a dry spring, it’s tremendously comforting to know that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field and supply all our customers’ needs.”
As part of our ongoing summer supply planning, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to ensure adequate, clean water for all of its customers. The Portland Water Bureau will be managing our water supply carefully throughout the remainder of this summer, so that we continue to meet our obligations.
Depending on location, it may take up to two weeks for groundwater to move through the distribution system and reach customers. Supply updates will be posted to www.portlandoregon.gov/water/summersupply.
For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.