Chapter 21.04 Definitions

City Code Chapter

21.04.010 Administrator.

(Amended by Ordinance 190811, effective June 10, 2022.)

  1. The following definitions apply to the entirety of Title 21. Additional Section-specific definitions may be found in other Sections.
  2. A. “Administrator” means the person in charge of the Portland Water Bureau, or the person the Administrator appoints as their designee.  Also called Director.
  3. B. “Annual Rates Ordinance” means the legislation approved by Portland City Council that establishes rates and charges for use of water and water-related services during each City fiscal year.
  4. C. “Appeal” means a request for an exception to a Portland Water Bureau standard, specification, requirement or assessment.
  5. D. “Applicant” means the person or group applying for water or water-related services. This may also be a private property owner, an owner representative of the property owner, or a tenant. Once the application is accepted, this customer may also be known as a “ratepayer.”
  6. E. “Backflow Assembly Installation Requirements” means standards for premises-isolation backflow prevention assemblies and their installation. The Portland Water Bureau developed these standards to be consistent with State of Oregon administrative rules. Where backflow protection is mandated, the application of these requirements are a condition of water service or continued water service.
  7. F. “Backflow Prevention Assembly” means a valve that prevents water from flowing opposite of the normal direction of the flow. Backflow prevention assemblies may prevent premises water from flowing back into the City’s water system (this is called premises isolation) or prevent water flowing backward through premises piping (this is called point-of-use isolation).
  8. G. “Backflow Protection” means the methods by which the Portland Water Bureau protects the public water system from backflow as established by Oregon Health Authority Cross-Connection Control Requirements and this Title.
  9. H. “Base Charge” means a charge for all services connected to the City water system. This per-day charge is published in the Annual Rates Ordinance.
  10. I. “Billing Period” means the time between two meter reading dates.
  11. J. “Chief Engineer” means a licensed professional civil engineer in charge of the Portland Water Bureau’s engineering staff. The Chief Engineer, or the person the Chief Engineer appoints as their designee, establishes, maintains and enforces engineering and technical standards used for planning, design, construction, operations, safety, maintenance and protection of the City’s public drinking water system, related infrastructure and assets. The Chief Engineer is the individual designated to act as the official agent of the Portland Water Bureau to make decisions that directly impact the quality or quantity of drinking water. The Chief Engineer has overall responsibility for engineering at the Portland Water Bureau.
  12. K. “Commissioner-in-Charge” means the Portland City Council member who supervises and controls the Portland Water Bureau’s work and the City property assigned to it.
  13. L. “Curtailment” means the intentional reduction in potable water usage by customers below normal consumption levels for a specified period of time.
  14. M. “Developer” means the initiator of a proposal to construct a water main extension or modification on private property that will connect to the public water system. The development work may include work in a subdivision, multifamily lot or redevelopment of a single family lot into multiple units, commercial or other development.
  15. N. “Emergency” means an unforeseen circumstance or combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action as determined at the discretion of the Administrator.
  16. O. “Engineering and Technical Standards” means the standards used for planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance and protection of the water system.
  17. P. “Fire Hydrant” means a connection point by which firefighters and Portland Water Bureau staff may tap into a water supply. Also called hydrants.
  18. Q. “Front Lot Line” means a lot line, or segment of a lot line, that abuts a street. On a corner lot, the front lot line is the shortest of the lot lines that abut a street. If two or more street lot lines are of equal length, then the applicant or property owner may choose which lot line is to be the front. However, a through lot has two front lot lines regardless of whether the street lot lines are of equal or unequal length.
  19. R. “Header Pipe” means a large pipe that has one tap on the main in the right-of-way and has more than one small pipe or service connected to it.
  20. S. “Main” means pipe that bring water to service connections and hydrants. Distribution main may be underneath streets, public rights-of-way, private rights-of-way or easements.
  21. T. “Master Meter” means a meter that records the total water use of more than one unit.
  22. U. “Meter” means a device that records water use.
  23. V. “Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR)” means the State of Oregon Administrative Rules as amended.
  24. W. “Oregon Health Authority (OHA)” means the state agency responsible for governing the operations of public water systems in the State of Oregon.
  25. X. “Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS)” means the codified laws of the State of Oregon.
  26. Y. “Person” means any natural person, joint venture, joint stock company, partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business trust or organization, or the manager, lessee, agent, servant, entity, officer or employee of any of the previously mentioned items.
  27. Z. “Point of Delivery (POD)” means the connection between a public water system and the private property owner’s water system. On the private property side of the connection, the Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code applies. Refer to OAR 333-0061-0020. If a premises-isolation backflow assembly is installed on the private property side of the connection, it must meet Portland Water Bureau’s cross connection control requirements per Subsection 21.12.320 B.1. Refer to OAR 333-061-0070 (9)(b)(A)(ii).
  28. AA. “Portland Water Bureau” means the organization charged with the responsibility for the finance, operation, maintenance and improvement of the City’s water distribution system.
  29. BB. “Potable Water” means safe drinking water. Refer to OAR 333-061-0020.
  30. CC. “Premises” means a piece of land and the buildings on it.
  31. DD. “Private Property Owner” means a person who is a legal holder of property according to the appropriate county’s assessment and taxation records. Also identified as applicant or ratepayer depending on role in Title 21.
  32. EE. “Project” means a series of tasks completed by the City that need to be completed in order to reach a specific outcome.
  33. FF. “Public Improvement” means an improvement performed or financed by a local, state or federal entity of, on, over or under property owned or controlled by the City, or premises to be controlled by the City upon plat and easement recording for approved land premises division by construction, reconstruction, remodeling, repair or replacement, when no property is intended to be charged through assessment any portion of the improvement cost.
  34. GG. “Public Utility” means a person possessing a current franchise or privilege granted by the City of Portland to provide utility service, or a City bureau charged with providing utility service, to the public to generate, transmit or provide any such service within the City, including, but not limited to, electricity, telecommunications, natural gas, sewer, water, stormwater, cable or pipeline services.
  35. HH. “Ratepayer” means the person or group responsible for paying for City water, stormwater or sewer service charges and fees that are fixed by the Annual Rates Ordinance, which is approved by Portland City Council.  This may also be an applicant, private property owner, an owner representative of the property owner, developer, or a tenant depending on their role in Title 21.
  36. II. “Rate” means water, stormwater or sewer service charges and fees that are fixed by the Annual Rates Ordinance, which is approved by Portland City Council.
  37. JJ. “Right-of-Way (R/W)” means the area between property lines of a street, easement, tract or other area dedicated to the movement of vehicles, pedestrians or goods; dedicated or deeded to the public for public use and under the control of a public agency; or a private right-of-way in private ownership, for use by the property owner and those having express or implied permission by the property owner, but not by others.
  38. KK. “Service” means the connection by means of which water is conveyed from a main of a public water system to a premise or to a Point of Delivery.
  39. LL. “Service – Branch” means a service from the water main to a future meter location.
  40. MM. “Service – Combination” means a service for both fire and domestic (standard) use.
  41. NN. “Service – Curb” means a domestic (standard) service where the Portland Water Bureau has removed the meter but has not yet disconnected the service from the main. The service is still full of water.
  42. OO. “Service – Defective” means a service which is no longer compliant.
  43. PP. “Service – Domestic (also known as Standard)” means an active service with a meter installed, provided for human consumption.
  44. QQ. “Service – Fire” means a service for premises fire suppression only (also identified as fire service).
  45. RR. “Service – Header” means two or more metered services tapped off a single service pipe.
  46. SS. “Service – Irrigation” means a service for landscape irrigation only.
  47. TT. “Service – Temporary” means a service intended for short-term use, not exceeding 24 months.
  48. UU. “Service Termination” means that depending on the type of service, the ends occur at the following places:
    1. 1. Metered small (1 inch or less) service on private property: through the meter and to the first coupling connection.
    2. 2. Metered large (more than 1 inch) service on private property: through the downstream meter valve.
    3. 3. Metered service in public right-of-way: through the first coupling.
    4. 4. Unmetered service, meter stop or valve: to the backside of the shutoff valve.
  49. VV. “System Development Charge (SDC)” means a fee applied to create a new service or make an existing service larger.
  50. WW. “Tenant” means a person who rents or occupies property from another person.
  51. XX. “Vaulted Basement” means below-grade building extension into the right-of-way.
  52. YY. “Volumetric Charge” means a charge that is based on how much water is used, as measured by the meter.
  53. ZZ. “Water Main Extension” means the addition of more feet of water main to an existing water main.
  54. AAA. “Water Charges” means water charges that appear on a ratepayer’s bill, including water volume and water base charges, that are fixed by the Annual Rates Ordinance, which is approved by Portland City Council.
  55. BBB. “Wholesale Distributor” means a water district, city, water company, association or other agency that buys water from the City of Portland and then sells or distributes it.

Upcoming and Recent Changes

Ordinance Number 190811

Effective Date