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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

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

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Traffic Advisory: Gas Line Repair Closes SW Capitol Highway between SW Huber Street and SW Barbur Boulevard

UPDATE 12/14/2019, 3:31 p.m.: Work has been completed. Capitol Highway is now open in both directions.

Southwest Capitol Highway between Southwest Huber Street and Barbur Boulevard is closed in both directions. There are no impacts to Barbur Boulevard. The street will be closed for several hours due to a broken gas service line.

NW Natural is repairing the gas line and our crews will then repair the street.

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. To avoid traffic delays, travelers are encouraged to use alternate routes around the work site.

The Portland Water Bureau’s Maintenance & Construction crews are ready to respond to emergencies, including water main breaks, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. On average, crews respond to 200 main breaks a year.

This advisory will be updated when the closure has ended.

Dec. 13, 2019: Cryptosporidium Monitoring Update

Since 2017, the Portland Water Bureau has detected low levels of Cryptosporidium from routine monitoring. Monitoring results were received from the Bull Run Watershed intake for Cryptosporidium, a potentially disease-causing microorganism. In the 50-liters sampled daily, between Sunday, Dec. 8 and Wednesday, Dec. 11, one Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected in each of the samples collected on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. Cryptosporidium was not detected in the samples collected on Dec. 10 or Dec. 11. Prior to these detections, Cryptosporidium was last detected from the Bull Run Watershed intake on Dec. 4, 2019.

The Bull Run watershed is Portland’s primary source of drinking water. The Portland Water Bureau does not currently treat for Cryptosporidium, but is required to do so under drinking water regulations. Portland is working to install filtration by September 2027 under a compliance schedule with Oregon Health Authority. In the meantime, Portland Water Bureau is implementing interim measures such as watershed protection and additional monitoring to protect public health. Consultation with public health officials has concluded that at this time, customers do not need to take any additional precautions.

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

The Environmental Protection Agency (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 Domestic 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.

More Information

The public and the media are encouraged to view all sampling results posted to the City’s website at portlandoregon.gov/water/cryptoresults. The bureau will notify the media and public immediately should further test 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.

A Key Investment in Earthquake Preparedness for the Portland Region, the Washington Park Improvement Project Reaches Key Milestone

Yesterday marked an important milestone for a critical regional project that, when completed, will make Portland’s west side drinking water supply more resilient in the event of an earthquake. Even though we will continue pouring concrete for the reservoir walls, columns, and roof, this is a milestone worth noting!

Known as the Washington Park Improvement Project, the combined work of many is creating a seismically resilient reservoir—and crews poured the final section of its floor yesterday. Called “bottoming out” in the construction world, crews poured more than 1,000 cubic yards—or about a third of the volume an Olympic swimming pool—of concrete to cover the final section of the future reservoir’s floor.

“We’re proud to have committed crews always working on behalf of Portlanders, and today they started at three in the morning to beat bad weather and accomplish the goals for the day,” said Thomas Gilman, a construction manager for the project. “The previous reservoir was deteriorating and aging and wouldn’t last through an earthquake. Through this project, we’re proud to construct something that can provide peace-of-mind for Portlanders west of the Willamette River. As more and more people talk about the importance of protecting ourselves against the catastrophic impacts of the Big One, we’re working to do just that.”

Project at a Glance:
12.4 million gallons. 360,000 people.

  • The future reservoir will store 12.4 million gallons of water for drinking and fire suppression and will be reinforced to resist landslides and earthquakes.
  • More than 360,000 people on the west side of the Willamette River will get water from the reservoir, including all downtown Portland businesses and residents, 20 schools, five hospital complexes, more than 60 parks, and the Oregon Zoo.
  • Project investment: $205 million, which includes planning, design, and construction costs.

The More You Know

How many pours make a reservoir floor? And other quick facts.

The final floor pour used:

1,000 cubic yards of concrete (100+ concrete trucks)

80+ workers

10+ hours

This project overall will use:

3,000 truckloads of concrete

35,000 truckloads of excavated and imported fill material moved on site

7.4 million pounds of rebar

Neighbors on Speed Dial: An Ongoing Community Conversation

Throughout the design phases, the project team conducted stakeholder interviews, convened a Community Sounding Board, regularly briefed area neighbors and business groups, met with historic advocacy groups, and communicated with the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. Ongoing community outreach includes sending mailers to neighbors, hosting an online virtual tour, attending neighborhood meetings, conducting outreach within the park, and convening partner meetings with Explore Washington Park. After gaining a clear understanding of the need for this project, there has been positive support for the public process and the design of the visible features of the project.

“I can see the crane from my home. I can walk down to the project and see the progress being made each day,” said Kathy Goeddel, a neighbor in the area. “It’s a really interesting and once-in-a-lifetime project, and the Water Bureau has worked really hard to gain feedback and apply that to the final plans. The communication has been superb.”

Click here for a video.

Creative Solutions for an Ancient Landslide

The Washington Park project site is on an ancient landslide. The Water Bureau has used various measures to reduce the effects of the landslide since the early 1900s. Building this new reservoir has required creative solutions to address the reality that this area is on a landslide site, including adding:

  • Heavy, 4-foot-thick concrete floors and walls, and 6 million pounds of rebar for seismic reinforcement.
  • 176 pilings embedded in stable bedrock to support the bottom of the reservoir
  • State-of-the-art compressible material that absorbs shock from earthquakes and any movement from the landslide

For more information on the Washington Park Improvement project, click here. To subscribe to the Washington Park newsletter, click here.

Customer Alert: Customer Service Call Center Closure at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13

The Portland Water Bureau’s Customer Service department will be closing at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13 for a planned office relocation. This closure impacts our Call Center only. Our Customer Service Walk-In Center at 664 N. Tillamook St. will continue to operate on regular business hours.

Our Customer Service Call Center will reopen at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 16.

If you would like to make a payment during our Call Center closure, you may pay your bill online or pay by phone by dialing 503-823-7770 and press 1.

Filtration Pipeline Planning for Resilience and Reliability

Two years of extensive planning work and community outreach are informing the direction for the Bull Run Filtration Projects. The new ­filtration facility and pipelines will be key components of a resilient water system that serves clean and safe water to nearly one million people every day.

 This work includes:

  • Public opinion research to identify customer values
  • Rigorous evaluation of alternatives through technical engineering workshops
  • Geotechnical borings to obtain information about the site soil
  • Environmental and cultural studies at the site and along pipeline routes
  • Water quality testing as part of a pilot study to learn how Bull Run water responds to different treatment methods
  • Engineering analysis vetted by a Technical Advisory Committee of national experts

As the project planning phase continues, work is underway to identify potential locations for the new pipelines that will connect the filtration facility to existing water pipelines. Two new pipes will be built to bring Bull Run water to the filtration facility to be filtered and then carry filtered water to the existing system to serve customers.

Two pipes will increase system resilience/reliability and allow for future maintenance to occur without disrupting service. These new pipelines will be built to modern seismic standards to better withstand an earthquake or other emergency and will replace existing pipes in poor condition.

Careful Planning Informs Future Work

In the coming months, project team members will be reaching out to property owners in the study area and conducting fieldwork to gather important information along potential routes. To evaluate routes, the Water Bureau is looking at:

  • Community considerations
  • Maintaining gravity flow
  • Seismic stability
  • Constructability
  • Environmental impacts
  • Meeting regulatory timeline
  • Property rights

This information will be used by the pipeline designer in 2020 to select preferred pipeline routes.

In 2020, design for the filtration facility and pipelines is anticipated to begin. The planning and design team is looking at a variety of pipeline routes and construction options along easements and in the public right-of-way. Impact to the community is a top criterion as we evaluate possible options with the Site Advisory Group.