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Apply for a temporary hydrant permit

If you'd like to use water from a specific hydrant, you can apply for a temporary hydrant permit. This permit allows you to use that hydrant for up to 90 days.

Applying for the permit takes about 15 minutes.

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How to request a temporary hydrant permit

Call the hydrant permit coordinator at 503-823-1256. Be prepared to answer these questions:

  • Why will you be using the hydrant?
  • Will you be using a hose line or filling a tank?
  • Where is the hydrant you would like to use?
  • For how long would you like to use the hydrant? (You can use it for up to 90 days.)

Based on this information, we will estimate and collect the anticipated permit cost and deposit, prepare the permit tag, and issue you the required equipment.

Equipment you'll need

To use a hydrant, you'll need a Chapman (hydrant) valve, spanner wrench, water meter, and backflow prevention device. You can rent that equipment from us.

Temporary hydrant permit fees and payment

Our hydrant permit coordinator will estimate your permit cost based on the fees in the table below. This is an estimate because your actual permit cost will depend on how much water you use. You must pay the estimated cost before getting your permit. You can pay your permit fee online, by calling 503-823-1256, or by visiting our Interstate facility.

ItemCost
Permit fee (includes 700 cubic feet of water)$255
Fee for each additional 100 cubic feet of water$5.593

Equipment rental fees:

  • Chapman valve and spanner wrench (rents as a set)
  • Water meter
  • Backflow prevention device

Each of these costs $7.95 for the first three days and $2.65 for each additional day.

You must also pay a $1,500 deposit to rent this equipment.

Picking up and returning equipment

Photo map of the meter shop at 1850 N Interstate and where to enter the Water Bureau campus at 701 N Hancock St

You can pick up and return your permit and equipment at our meter shop. We're open by appointment only, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Call 503-823-1256 to schedule an appointment. Please schedule your appointment at least two business days in advance.

The meter shop is at 1850 N Interstate Ave. If you're using GPS or map apps for directions, use 701 N Hancock St as your destination, then enter the Portland Water Bureau campus on the left. The meter shop is on the left by the gas pumps.

​Instructions for using rented equipment

Hydrant use rules and regulations

  • Do not chain equipment to the hydrant.
  • Equipment cannot be left on the hydrant overnight.
  • Someone must be onsite while equipment is attached to the hydrant.
  • The hydrant permit tag must be current and clearly displayed while using the hydrant.
  • Improper use of equipment will result in a fine of up to $10,000 per incident.
  • Permits are issued for a maximum of 90 days. A one-time extension may be available.

Setting up and using the hydrant

An image of equipment rented to customers by the Portland Water Bureau, including hoses, a large wrench, and a water meter.

Before turning the hydrant on, follow these instructions to install the rental equipment provided by the Water Bureau:

  1. Use the spanner wrench to remove a port cap on the side of the hydrant.
  2. Ensure the Chapman valve is closed. Screw it onto the port on the side of the hydrant.
  3. Attach the hose to the Chapman valve.
  4. Attach the meter to the hose.
  5. Attach the double check backflow device to the meter.
  6. Check all the equipment connections. Tighten with the spanner wrench if necessary.
  7. To open hydrant, use the spanner wrench to turn the top nut counterclockwise in twelve complete turns.
  8. Start the flow of water through the hose and equipment by turning the handle on the Chapman valve. Control the flow of water with the Chapman valve, not the top of the hydrant stem.

If the hydrant malfunctions—including if it vibrates when it flows or if water bubbles from its base of the hydrant—stop using it immediately and call the Water Bureau Emergency Line: 503-8234874.

Shutting down the hydrant and disconnecting equipment

  1. Use the handle on the Chapman valve to stop the flow of water.
  2. Close the hydrant by using the spanner wrench to turn the top nut clockwise for twelve complete turns.
  3. Unscrew the double check backflow device, meter, hose, and Chapman valve.
  4. Before replacing the cap on the port on the side of the hydrant, check inside the hydrant barrel to make sure the water level is dropping.
  5. If water is still flowing, that means the hydrant is not fully shut off. Use the spanner wrench to turn the top nut in eighth-turn increments until fully closed.
  6. Do not overtighten the hydrant when closing.

​Closing your temporary hydrant permit

When you return the equipment, the hydrant permit coordinator will generate the final bill. The final bill is based on the following information:

  • The date you're returning the equipment
  • Meter readings
  • Equipment numbers
  • All equipment is broken down or separated before returned (we will charge you a $25 fee if equipment is still attached when returned)
  • Any equipment not returned (we will bill you the replacement cost)
  • Repair cost of any equipment damaged during your rental

If you don't have any additional charges, we'll refund your deposit. If you do have additional charges, we'll apply your deposit towards the final billing and refund you the remaining balance from your deposit. 

We generally refund deposits one to two weeks after you return the equipment.

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