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Portland Water Bureau

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

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update: Monitoring and Coordination with Health Officials Continue

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The Portland Water Bureau received results from ongoing monitoring for Cryptosporidium. Between March 12 and March 17, one sample out of five was positive for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. The detection was from a sample collected Sunday, March 12, from the Bull Run Watershed intake, and is the 14th positive sample this year. One Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in this 50-liter sample.

The Portland Water Bureau monitors for Cryptosporidium under conditions of a variance for the treatment of Cryptosporidium issued by its regulators at the Oregon Health Authority. After the first detections of Cryptosporidium in early January 2017, the Portland Water Bureau increased monitoring at the drinking water intake. These results are part of that effort.

The Portland Water Bureau continues to coordinate with public health officials and the Oregon Health Authority. At this time, the bureau and our public health partners at Multnomah County, continue to believe the health risk to the public from Bull Run water is low.

The bureau continues to recommend that people with severely weakened immune systems seek specific advice from their health care providers about drinking water. There is no need for the general public to take additional precautions.

While it is possible that low-level detections of Cryptosporidium from the Bull Run will continue, current evidence from public health data, monitoring results, and watershed investigations, as well as extensive consultation with public health officials, have provided confidence in the Portland Water Bureau’s decision to continue serving Bull Run water.

The bureau will continue to sample the Bull Run for Cryptosporidium and gather information about these detections.

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

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

Fix a Leak Week Trivia

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Photo of leaky faucetThis week, we’re celebrating Fix a Leak Week with tips and tools to help you find and fix pesky water leaks that can cost you hundreds of dollars a year.

A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute can waste how many gallons of water per year?

  1. 100
  2. 250
  3. 500

Answer:

A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute can waste a whopping 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher!

Learn How to Find and Fix Leaks

Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench. Watch this video to learn how you can repair a leaky shower faucet, then jump over to www.portlandoregon.gov/water/leak for more DIY leak-repair information.

3 Ways to Make Every Drop Count

Did you gnome that the average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water each year in fixable leaks? That equals 270 loads of laundry! We are all familiar with the nuisance of a kitchen faucet dripping late at night, but other leaks may not be as obvious. Some take investigation to find, but are well worth your sleuthing efforts. By fixing a leak yourself, you can save money by reducing your household water and sewer costs!

Here are a few places to check for water leaks:

  • Toilets: Lift the lid off the toilet tank and squeeze in a drop of food coloring. Wait 15 minutes. Don’t flush. If any color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
  • Faucets: A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year! Replace old and worn out faucet pieces like washers and o-rings to stop a leaky faucet. To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a water-efficient kitchen or bathroom faucet aerator.
  • Fixtures: If it’s time to replace a toilet, faucet, or showerhead, look for models labeled with the WaterSense logo. WaterSense fixtures are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as (or better than) standard models.

Toilet leak detection tablets, bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators, and high-efficiency showerheads are available to Portland Water Bureau customers for free. The Portland Water Bureau also offers rebates for WaterSense-labeled toilets and irrigation controllers.

Join Our Team: Water Service Inspector I

If you're interested in joining an award-winning public utility where employees thrive on the pride of delivering a life-essential product with world class customer service, the Portland Water Bureau might be just the place for you.

The Water Bureau is a recognized leader in the utility industry. We've achieved this success by investing in the very best people and empowering them to find new and better ways to meet our customer's needs.

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 Opportunities at the Water Bureau

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Water Service Inspector I  Full Time  $23.52 - $27.58 Hourly

Mon. 3/29/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time

 Apply Here!

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on the closing date and hour of this recruitment. E-mailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted.

Learn More About the Water Bureau

Questions 

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

St. Patrick’s Day and The Many Uses of Dye Tablets

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St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many ways across the United States. From parades to dances to corned beef and cabbage, there’s one common thread that binds together any St. Paddy’s Day tradition: the color green.

Hulk-colored clothing. Chartreuse-hued cupcakes. Emerald-tinted beer. There’s never a lack of green-decorated or -dyed memorabilia to celebrate the Irish holiday, including green waterways.

Several U.S. cities get into the St. Paddy’s Day spirit by dyeing bodies of water green, something we at the Portland Water Bureau take special note off for reasons we are about to explain. To commemorate the upcoming Fix-A-Leak week, let’s take a look at a few of these cities and find out what dyeing water has to do with finding household leaks.

Chicago River dyed greenChicago

Chicago began dying the Chicago River green in 1962 after Mayor (?) Richard Daley noticed that the dye tablets used to detect leaks from plumbing gave water the perfect shade of Irish green. Since then, this tradition has grown to attract worldwide attention each year. At 9:15 a.m. on the day of the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, members of the local plumbers union hop aboard several boats on the Chicago River and begin the dyeing process.

Tampa

Each year on St. Patrick’s Day, the City of Tampa, Florida, dyes the Hillsboro River green with an orange powder called “Bright Dyes,” a fluorescent “dye tracing product” which is also used to detect leaks from plumbing.

The river stays a bright green for just a few hours before the tide washes out the color.

Tweet of Indianapolis Greening of the Canal eventIndianapolis

In its 21st consecutive year, Indianapolis, Indiana, dyes a portion of its downtown canal green for the annual Greening of the Canal event which features live music and celebrity appearances. The City uses 10 gallons of concentrated liquid dye which colors the water for about two to four days.

Not Just for Dyeing Rivers Green

While no waterways are dyed green in Oregon for St. Patrick’s Day, we do use dye for another purpose: to detect leaky toilets.

How does this work? So glad you asked.

Place a dye tablet – or a few drops of food coloring – in your toilet tank. If the dye color leaks into the toilet bowl, you have a leak! Fixing leaks, which can be done at home, helps you to conserve water and save money on your water bill.

You may not be able to see a green waterway in Oregon on St. Patrick’s Day, but why not start your own annual leak-detecting custom this St. Patrick’s Day knowing you’re joining a proud history of American water conservation?

Find how you can save water and money, and how to order a Water Efficiency Kit, at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/29334.