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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.


MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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The Bull Run Does More Than Just Fill Water Glasses, It Creates Energy from a Renewable Source

Hydroelectric powerhouse at dam 2The rain has returned, and the Bull Run reservoirs are once again overflowing.

On an average day, Reservoir 1 and 2 serve up about 80 million gallons of water to residents across the Portland metro area.

But before water flows into town to provide water to homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses, it does double duty, generating enough electricity to service an average of 8,000 homes for a year. That’s almost as many homes as people live in downtown Portland’s Northwest District.

The City’s Bureau of Hydroelectric Power, a separate entity from the Water Bureau, manages the two hydroelectric plants situated at the bases of Reservoir 1 and Reservoir 2 in the Bull Run Watershed.

Get a Dam That Can Do Both

Bull Run reservoir and hydroelectric power plantThe hydroelectric plants have been maintained and operated by Portland General Electric (PGE), which has been a great deal for Portland residents for decades – netting the City’s General Fund a cool $14 million dollars in its 35 years of operation.

Last year, Portland General Electric notified the City that it would not be continuing its current contract with the City. And on Aug. 30, Council decided to stay in the hydroelectric power business, approving new contracts with PGE and new partners EnergyNW and Eugene Water & Electric Board as contractors to run various parts of the power system.

With this new Power Purchase Agreement with PGE, the City will continue to produce hydroelectric power for years to come.

Join Our Team: Engineering/GIS Assistant

Join the Portland Water Bureau teamAre you interested in putting your skills to work at an award-winning public utility?

The Portland Water Bureau is hiring an Engineering/GIS Assistant with experience or interest in geographic information systems (GIS), drinking water distribution systems, and hydraulic modeling.

The Water Bureau currently employs approximately 560 people. All current job postings with the City of Portland are posted online, and updated weekly. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Current Opportunity at the Water Bureau

Position   Term   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Engineering/GIS Assistant Full-time for about nine months
- OR -
part-time for 18 months
- OR -
until completion of project.
$19.00 Hourly Mon. 12/4/17 4:00 PM Pacific Time  Apply Here!

Learn More About the Water Bureau


For more information regarding career opportunities at the Water Bureau, contact (503) 823-3515 or e-mail.

Nov. 13, 2017 Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

Water Bureau LabThe Portland Water Bureau received additional results from ongoing monitoring from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism.

Between Sunday, Nov. 5 and Wednesday, Nov. 8, Cryptosporidium was detected in four 50-liter samples. Two oocysts were detected from a 50-liter sample on Sunday, Nov. 5 and one oocyst was detected from each of the three 50-liter samples collected from Monday, Nov. 6 to Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Past Detections

Prior to these detections, two oocysts of Cryptosporidium were detected from 50 liters of water from the Bull Run collected on Sunday, Oct. 29. The bureau continues to use the Bull Run as its primary source of drinking water.

About Cryptosporidium

Exposure to Cryptosporidium can cause cryptosporidiosis, a serious illness. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain. People with healthy immune systems recover without medical treatment. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), people with severely weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease. Symptoms may be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

EPA has estimated that a small percentage of the population could experience gastro-intestinal illness from Cryptosporidium and advises that customers who are immunocompromised and receive their drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed consult with their healthcare professional about the safety of drinking the tap water. The Portland Water Bureau and Burlington, City of Gresham, City of Sandy, City of Tualatin, Green Valley, GNR, Hideaway Hills, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Lusted, Palatine Hill, Pleasant Home, Raleigh, Rockwood, Skyview Acres, Tualatin Valley, Two Rivers, Valley View and West Slope Water Districts receive all or part of their drinking water supply from the Bull Run. To learn if your drinking water comes from Bull Run, please contact your local drinking water provider.

No Increase in Cryptosporidium-Related Illnesses

Public health surveillance during and after a similar series of low-level detections from January through March of this year did not see an increase in Cryptosporidium-related illness. The general public is not advised to take additional precautions.

Water Sampling Results

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at The media will also be notified of any further low-level detections on at least a weekly basis, if they occur. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test results indicate a risk to public health and precautions are necessary.

Water Quality Information

Customers with questions regarding water quality can call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.

Water Bureau Offices Closed for Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 10

Veterans Day ClosureIn observance of the Veterans Day holiday, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2017 at 8 a.m.

This closure includes both the Customer Service Call Center and the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the sixth floor at 111 SW Columbia St., Suite 660, Portland, Oregon.

During the holiday, Water Bureau customers can pay their bill in the following ways:

  • Online: Click here
  • Phone: Pay by phone by dialing 503-823-7770 and press 1
  • Drop off: Leave a payment in the Water Bureau's night box located at 111 SW Columbia St. at the corner of SW 1st Ave. and SW Columbia St.

Water Emergency Hotline

To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

Water Workshops and Freebies Galore at Upcoming Fix-It Fairs

Upcoming Fix-it Fairs

Saturday Nov. 18, 2017
9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Ron Russell Middle School
3955 SE 112th Ave. Portland, OR 97266

Saturday Jan. 27, 2018
9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
George Middle School
10000 N Burr Ave. Portland, OR 97203

Saturday Feb. 24, 2018
9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Madison High School
2735 NE 82nd Ave. Portland, OR 97220

Do you have a long list of chores that includes repairing broken household items, hemming those favorite pants, or fixing that broken toaster?

Check those to-dos off your list with a visit to this season’s Fix-it Fairs! The first fair is Saturday, Nov. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 18
Time: 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Location: Ron Russell Middle School, 3955 SE 112th Ave., Portland

What’s a Fix-It Fair?

Portland Water Bureau at Fix It FairA Fix-It Fair is a free event with exhibits and workshops that cover topics including water and energy savings, DIY repairs, food and nutrition, recycling, home weatherization, gardening and growing food, yard care and composting, and transportation. 

The Water Bureau will be there with two workshops this year – Water Quality at Home and Saving Water Makes Cents. Join us and get answers to common water system-related questions. Water Bureau staff will discuss: 

  • Ways to save water and money
  • How plumbing can affect water
  • Easy steps to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water
  • Best ways to store water for emergencies
  • And more!

You’ll also get a preview the Water Bureau’s new online water project tool to see what the Water Bureau is doing in your neighborhood.

Free Stuff!

Woman attends a free Fix It FairAttendees can also get free lead blood testing, free lunch, and enter to win hourly door prizes. Plus, there will be free minor bike tune-ups and flat-tire repairs for students and families.

Childcare will also be available free-of-charge.

About Fix-It Fairs

The Portland Water Bureau is a proud sponsor of the City of Portland’s Fix-It Fairs.

Fix-It Fairs are presented by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) with support from the Energy Trust of Oregon, KBOO, KUNP Univision, Pacific Power, the Portland Water Bureau and the City of Portland.

Visit the BPS website for more information about Fix-It Fairs.