A. Who may use fire hydrants. Employees of the Portland Water Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue can use fire hydrants for their work. Other persons must apply for a permit to use a fire hydrant.
It is unlawful to operate, change, remove, disconnect, connect to or interfere with a City fire hydrant without Portland Water Bureau permission. The Annual Rates Ordinance includes penalties for unauthorized fire hydrant use.
B. The Portland Water Bureau issues temporary and annual fire hydrant permits. A temporary permit lasts up to 90 days; an annual permit lasts up to one year. When a person applies for a permit, the person must bring a Chapman-type (slow-closing) gate valve. The Portland Water Bureau must tag the valve with a permit listing the person’s name, the permit expiration date and the locations of fire hydrants the person is allowed to use.
C. Charges for permits and use are in the Annual Rates Ordinance.
D. The person who obtained the permit is responsible for following all City, state and federal rules, regulations and guidelines for using and disposing of water.
The Portland Water Bureau requires backflow protection for all fire hydrant use. The Chief Engineer must determine the type of backflow protection necessary.
For more about temporary permits refer to Section 21.12.090.
E. Fire hydrant Responsibility.
1. On public property in the City of Portland: The Portland Water Bureau installs and maintains fire hydrants (this could be in a right-of-way or an easement).
2. Outside city limits: If a person wants to connect a fire hydrant to Portland’s water system outside city limits, they must pay for installation. The Portland Water Bureau will connect the hydrant to the water system, own and maintain it.
3. On private property: The property owner installs and maintains any private fire hydrant and fire protection systems. The property owner must meet Portland Fire & Rescue and plumbing code requirements.
The Portland Water Bureau is authorized to furnish water to any visiting naval vessel that docks in the city, without payment. All such connections require an approved backflow prevention assembly.
To the full extent permitted by law, employees of the Portland Water Bureau may enter buildings and premises to inspect the condition of the water pipes and plumbing fixtures to determine whether cross connections or other hazards exist to the water systems and the manner in which the water is being used. Whenever the property owner refuses access to authorized Portland Water Bureau employees from making such necessary inspections, water service may be refused or discontinued.
It is unlawful for any person to willfully damage, connect to, operate, alter or otherwise tamper with any water main, service, meter, meter box, hydrant, valve or any other facility owned or operated by the Portland Water Bureau.
Some properties use water only intermittently, which may cause fluctuations in volume and pressure for other properties or tenants. The Portland Water Bureau may require a property owner to buy and install equipment that limits volume and pressure fluctuation to protect other properties, tenants and the public water system.
This may also mean that the property owner needs to buy and install a Portland Water Bureau-approved backflow prevention assembly.
A. The Administrator may adopt, amend and repeal administrative rules, procedures and forms pertaining to matters within the scope of this Title and consistent with the provisions of this Title.
B. Adoption, amendment or repeal of a rule pursuant to this Section requires a public review process followed by the public hearing. Notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Portland metropolitan area and other targeted media 30 days before the public hearing. The notice must include the place and time of any public meeting on the proposal, the description and purpose of the proposal, the location at which copies of the full text of the proposal may be read or obtained, and the name of the person at the Portland Water Bureau to whom written comments or questions about the proposal may be directed.
C. Thirty days after public notice, a public hearing will be held, and the Administrator must record and post oral and written testimony concerning the proposed rule(s) given at the public hearing. The Administrator may establish and limit the matters to be considered at the hearing, prescribe procedures for conduct of the hearings, hear evidence and preserve order. The Administrator may continue any such hearing to another date.
D. After considering comments received during the public review process and other relevant matters, the Administrator, taking into consideration the comments received during the hearing, must adopt, modify or reject the proposal.
E. Unless otherwise stated, all rules are effective upon adoption by the Administrator of the Portland Water Bureau and must be filed in the office of the Administrator of the Portland Water Bureau and in the Portland Policy Documents repository described in Portland City Code Chapter 1.07. Notice of the adopted rule(s) must be posted online on the Portland Water Bureau’s website with a hyper link to the official link in the City’s Auditor’s website for adopted Administrative Rules within 14 days of adoption.
F. Notwithstanding Paragraphs B. – E. of this Section, an interim rule may be adopted without prior notice or public process when the Administrator finds that failure to act promptly may result in serious harm to the water system or to the public interest. Any rule adopted pursuant to this paragraph must be effective for no longer than 365 days.
Any person who does not follow the rules in Title 21 is subject to City of Portland enforcement.
1. A violation occurs when a person does not comply with a requirement or prohibition of Title 21 (or rules adopted as described in Section 21.24.080).
2. Each violation is separate. The Portland Water Bureau may issue one enforcement action per violation per day.
B. Enforcement. In enforcing any of the requirements or prohibitions of Title 21 of Portland City Code or rules adopted under Section 21.24.080, the Administrator may:
1. Issue warning notices.
2. Issue notices of violation and orders to comply.
3. Institute an action before the Code Hearings Officer.
4. Impose civil penalties, in an amount not to exceed $500 per day or as specified elsewhere in Title 21 or the Annual Rates Ordinance. Penalties are imposed for each day a violation continues to exist against any individual or business that does not comply with the provisions of this Title.
5. Order the installation of facilities required by this Title as a condition of providing water service.
6. Terminate water service.
C. A property owner or tenant may appeal the Administrator's action within 30 days of the date the notice of enforcement is mailed, in accordance with procedures and timelines set out in Title 22 of Portland City Code. Such an appeal must include a copy of the action that is the subject of the appeal, must state the basis for the appeal and must be filed with the Code Hearings Officer and the Portland Water Bureau.
Exception: If enforcement is related to inadequate backflow protection, the Portland Water Bureau may not issue a waiver or variance. Refer to Oregon Administrative Rule 333, City Code Title 22 and Chapter 21.12