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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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Environmental Services encourages people to get a weed workout (not that kind)

Our partners at the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) are encouraging you to make the most of your time at home: get fresh air, exercise, and keep your yard beautiful. You also will help prevent ivy, clematis, certain geraniums and other invasive plants from spreading far and wide and damaging the natural areas and rivers we love and rely on.

Why this is important: Some of the fastest growing plants in your yard are weeds – and some of those weeds are aggressive enough that they quickly spread and take over. These invasive plants, which originated elsewhere and tend to overrun our native flora, are a leading cause of damage to ecosystems and wildlife habitat as well as the City’s stormwater infrastructure.

While you’re at it, consider clearing the area around your meter box. Every day, a Water Bureau meter reader will visit more than 500 meters. Keeping the meter area clean and clear helps them do their job safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, if your meter is obstructed by objects such as cars, trailers, trash and recycling bins, landscape bark or gravel, and weeds, a meter reader will have to return to do their job.

A clear box makes it easy to ensure that the lid fits properly, is safe, and can be quickly turned off in an emergency.

Make some time over the weekend to check your meter and follow these tips for keeping it free and clear.

Clear Away Trees, Bushes, and Plantings

  • Trim bushes, trees and grass that block the way or cover the meter.
  • Minimize plants in the area which meter readers must travel through to get to your meter.
  • Remove all branches hanging lower than six feet over the meter box.

Watch Your Pets

  • Keep pets away from the path that leads to your meter.
  • If you have a guard dog for security, please let us know so that we can make sure that our meter readers and other utility personnel are aware of this. We may ask that you arrange to confine the dog during the day that your meter will be read.

Please also ensure your house address is clearly displayed on your residence. This also assists emergency personnel who may need to find your home in a hurry.

Don’t have a yard? See if you can safely help a neighbor. We’re all in this together and we’re all connected.

So stay home, get fit, and enjoy the benefits of your weed workout.

More Information

BES has lots of information about to learn more about invasive weeds.

Click the link for additional information about water meters or contact Customer Service at 503-823-7770.