Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Welcome to the official web site of the City of Portland, Oregon

General Information: 503-823-4000


1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 110, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View Less

Filtration facility planning phase complete, design phase moves forward

Bull Run Dam 1

Over the past year, we have made great progress with the planning phase of the federally-required filtration projects and are now moving forward with the two-year design phase of a new filtration facility to filter Bull Run water.

We are designing a treatment facility to filter Bull Run water to comply with federal safe drinking water regulations. When complete, this filtration facility will remove the microorganism Cryptosporidium and provide other benefits to our Bull Run water supply, producing clean and safe water for the nearly one million people who depend on it now and for future generations.

“We’re excited to share with the community that we’ve completed the critical planning phase of the filtration facility. It’s an important milestone. As we move forward with the design phase, we’ll leverage this preliminary planning work, community input, and additional evaluations to guide the design,” said Water Bureau Director Mike Stuhr

In December 2018, the Portland City Council established granular media as the preferred filtration technology and a facility capacity of 145 to 160 million gallons per day at a site located in east Multnomah County. In 2019, following those initial Council decisions, we completed extensive planning and engineering analysis to guide design of the new facility and identify treatment best-suited to filter Bull Run. These efforts are documented in the Draft Filtration Facility Overview, which serves as the bridge between the planning and design phases of the filtration facility project.

Image of Filtration Facility Overview reportThe Draft Filtration Facility Overview outlines preliminary information about water quality objectives, site characteristics, treatment process alternatives, and other significant components of the planned facility to guide the design process. This preliminary work used information about performance goals and known constraints to screen the alternatives under consideration to those feasible for our water system.

The information in the Draft Filtration Facility Overview is conceptual and provides a guide for the designers and a basis for the most recent cost estimates.  As design progresses, we will continue to evaluate alternatives using engineering and community input to inform design decisions for the new filtration facility.

“We’ve been very thoughtful in this planning phase and identified the treatment process alternatives best-suited to treat Bull Run water and meet community values. The planning work lays the foundation for designing a treatment facility that not only meets federal requirements, but when it’s online will produce clean and safe drinking water for generations to come.” said David Peters, Bull Run Treatment Program Director.

Planning for the pipelines to and from the filtration facility is ongoing and will progress to the design phase in 2021. We are currently completing field investigations and gathering information about conditions along potential pipeline routes to help identify preferred pipeline routes, provide guidance to the pipeline designer, and refine cost estimates for the pipelines. Pipeline planning information will be available in summer 2020, and a designer for the pipeline is expected to join the filtration team in late 2020.

Joint Water Commission tourAs design progresses on the filtration facility and pipelines, we will continue our commitment to share information about project progress and actively gather input from the community to inform project decisions. This includes engaging the community through stakeholder interviews, surveys, open houses, and community forums. The Bull Run Filtration Site Advisory Group will continue to offer independent community perspectives on facility design through a variety of virtual meeting tools as we work through the challenges associated with COVID-19.

“Our community is very proud of Bull Run and our water and plays an important role in helping us plan for the future.” said Director Stuhr. “That’s why we are so excited to share the news that we’ve moved into the next phase of our filtration project. We’ll continue the ongoing and open public engagement as we work to build a new filtration facility that aligns with community values and provides resilient infrastructure for future generations.”

Comments or questions about the Draft Filtration Facility Overview report can be submitted online at or by email at

Sign up to be notified by email about project updates including meetings and events at:



Draft Filtration Facility Overview
Chapter 1 Introduction; Chapter 2 Existing Water System; Chapter 3 Water Quality Considerations; Chapter 4 Planning Considerations; Chapter 5 Design Considerations; Chapter 6 Treatment Process Alternatives; Chapter 7 Filtration Facility Support Systems

Draft Filtration Facility Overview Appendices A-C
A. Communications Framework; B. Basis of Estimate Report; C. Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Report

Draft Filtration Facility Overview Appendices D-F
D. Traffic Impact Analysis TM; E. Acoustic Design Criteria and Baseline Measurements; F. Geotechnical Data Report

Draft Filtration Facility Overview Appendices G-K
G. Pilot Plant Work Plan; H. Stormwater Conceptual Design TM; I. Septic System Conceptual Design TM; J. Solar Analysis Technical Summary; K. Architectural Administration and Maintenance Building Program