Bull Run Treatment Projects Fact Sheet

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The Portland Water Bureau is building a water filtration facility, new pipelines, and an improved corrosion control treatment facility. These projects will help the bureau comply with federal Safe Drinking Water Act regulations. The Improved Corrosion Control Treatment Project will improve treatment for lead in 2022 until a permanent treatment technology is incorporated into the filtration process. The Filtration Project is required to be completed by 2027 and will further protect our health, support our economy, and prepare us for the future — keeping our water safe and abundant for generations to come. 

How Filtration Will Treat Bull Run Water

Illustration of the filtration process including the bull run water supply, ozone, sedimentation, filtration, and treatment
  1. Clean and safe water starts in the highly protected Bull Run Watershed.
  2. Ozone will break down organics in our water.
  3. Silt and small particles will settle out and be removed.
  4. Microorganisms and any remaining silt or particles will be removed by filtration.
  5. Proven and safe treatment will continue to reduce the corrosion of lead. It will also protect filtered water from bacteria and viruses.

Benefits of These Projects

3 icons for the Bull Run Treatment Project including a sparkling glass of water for our health, a stack of dollar bills for our economy, and a family for our future.

For Our Health: Making sure our water is safe for everyone

  • Bull Run water will be less corrosive to lead in home and building plumbing starting in 2022.
  • Filtration will remove Cryptosporidium and other disease-causing microorganisms from our drinking water starting in 2027.
  • Treatment will reduce regulated compounds that can cause cancer (disinfection byproducts) by removing organics in the water.
  • Our water will be better protected from toxins, bacteria, and viruses using proven treatment.

For Our Economy: Creating jobs and investing in infrastructure to help our community thrive

  • The Bull Run Treatment Projects will create thousands of jobs in the Portland metropolitan area.
  • Projects include Community Benefits Agreements to increase opportunities for certified Minority-Owned Business Enterprises, Women-Owned Business Enterprises, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Emerging Small Businesses, and Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (M/W/DBE/ESB/SDVBE).
  • Filtration allows us to more consistently deliver the high-quality water that our diverse industries and local businesses depend on.

For Our Future: Providing a more resilient water system and greater protection

  • Improved treatment will prepare us to better respond to future water quality regulations. 
  • Two pipelines will carry water to and from the filtration facility to increase system reliability. 
  • The Bull Run supply will be able to recover more quickly from a fire, landslide, or major storm. 
  • New facilities and pipelines will be built to better withstand an earthquake.

Creating Jobs: By the Numbers


  • 18 New Jobs
  • 22% of contract dollars committed to M/W/DBE/ESB/SDVBE


  • 41 New Jobs
  • 20% of contract dollars committed to M/W/DBE/ESB/SDVBE

Construction and Startup

  • 4,700 New Jobs
  • 22% of hard construction cost committed to M/W/ESB
  • 31% of apprentice worker hours committed to M/W
  • 28% of journey worker hours committed to M/W

Delivering Value and Keeping Water Affordable

We deliver the best value and affordability by:

  • Smoothing rate impacts over time.
  • Securing a low-interest Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to build the Bull Run Treatment Projects that will provide at least $247 million of debt-service savings over the loan term.
  • Providing a robust financial assistance program to be responsive to our community’s needs.
  • Continuously improving efficiency in bureau operations and programs.

Bull Run Treatment Projects estimated monthly water bill impact with WIFIA loan

A chart showing forecasted rates for typical residential customers and extreme low income customers from 2021 through 2028.
Bull Run Treatment Projects estimated monthly water bill impact with WIFIA loan
Fiscal Year20212022202320242025202620272028
Typical residential customer $1.43$2.62$3.90$5.33$6.92$8.70$10.66$12.85
Extreme low-income customer $0.28$0.50$0.79$1.04$1.37$1.73$2.11$2.56


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