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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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March 17 Update: NE 23rd Ave. and Skidmore Main Break

Water Bureau crews continued working overnight to reduce the flow to a level where they could begin excavating the main. 

Sunday and Monday, crews will continue making progress by reducing flow, excavating and installing shoring so they can safely enter the site. Then crews will replace this badly damaged section of main. 

Because of the challenging conditions, this work is estimated to continue into the beginning of the week of March 18. As some of the largest pipe in the system, this results in more water and more pressure. While making this repair, crews will install a new valve to help ensure more shutdown options and dependability in the future.

"We have continued to make gains against water flow, but more is needed. The work will take time. We will get it done!" said Maintenance and Construction Director Ty Kovatch.

Homes and businesses continue to have water service because this is a transmission main, not a service main. Sediment in the water has settled overnight but neighbors near the break may still see some sediment in their tap water.

There is no health risk associated with the tap water but sediment may cause taste, odor and discoloration. People experiencing this may choose to drink bottled water until it clears. Water Bureau recommends flushing taps for two minutes until water clears and repeating as necessary.

Water still flows at a lower rate down the street and into catch basins. The public is advised to not touch water in the street because of various safety hazards. 

The public should still avoid the immediate area around Northeast 23rd and Skidmore. Some areas near the break are closed to thru traffic.

For updates, follow @PortlandWater on Twitter.