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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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Customer Guide to Water Quality and Pressure

If you turned on your faucet and the water was discolored, or the flow was less than normal, would you know what to do? It’s OK if you don’t, and you are not alone. This is why we created the Customer Guide to Water Quality and Pressure

Whether you rent or own your home, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate:

  • The basics of water quality and pressure.
  • Water quality concerns, such as discolored water or changes in taste or odor.
  • Changes in water pressure or flow.
  • Basic plumbing and water heater maintenance.
  • Lead in home plumbing and how to reduce your exposure.
  • Ways to prevent backflow contamination.
  • Reasons to use a home water filter and how to choose one.
  • Storing water for emergencies.
  • Leak detection and water efficiency.

While the Portland Water Bureau performs the majority of the work to ensure customers received safe and reliable drinking water, customers also have responsibilities to maintain water quality and pressure in their home. 

Learn more by viewing the guide online at or by visiting our Water Quality at Home page.

To request a paper copy, or for assistance with water quality or pressure concerns, contact the Water Quality Line at 503-823-7525 or, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.