Moving forward on planning for new pipes, with your input

Blog post

We’re evaluating potential pipe routes in east Multnomah County to connect the future filtration facility to our existing water system. We’re gathering community feedback to help identify preferred pipeline routes and will share that input with our pipe designer this fall.

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Next Steps to Select Pipe Routes

Photo showing five people wearing safety vests and masks, standing in a loose semi-circle outdoors roughly six feet apart from one another.
Over the past year, we've completed a variety of field investigations to better understand conditions along potential pipe routes.

Two new raw water pipes will carry Bull Run water to the facility where it will be treated, and two new finished water pipes will carry treated water from the facility to the existing distribution system.

Using the results of engineering and field studies completed over the past year, we've narrowed down the list of route alternatives. We've identified potential pipe routes that make use of our existing easements and public right-of-way where possible.

Raw Water Pipe Route Alternatives

We're reviewing potential routes for two new raw water pipes that will carry water by gravity to the filtration facility where it will be treated. The route alternatives currently being considered make use of our existing easements where possible. The alternatives are shown in the figure below. The exact route locations will be determined during pipe design.

Aerial map showing roadways and three differently colored lines running diagonally southeast to northwest and labeled: Open Cut South Alternative, Tunnel South Alternative, and Tunnel North Alternative.
Potential raw water pipe alternatives.
  • Tunnel North Alternative: One pipe in the pairing (shown as a solid line) starts at the Hudson Road Intertie and follows our existing easement northwest, then travels west to the facility site in a tunnel. The second pipe in the pairing (shown as a dotted line) starts at a new North Intertie and travels west to the filtration facility site joining the first pipe at the tunnel.
  • Tunnel South Alternative: One pipe in the pairing (shown as a solid line) starts at the Hudson Road Intertie and follows our existing easement northwest, then travels west and cuts north to the filtration facility site in a tunnel. The second pipe in the pairing (shown as a dotted line) starts at a new South Intertie and travels southward, then parallels the first pipe to the site.
  • Open Cut South Alternative: One pipe in the pairing (shown as a solid line) starts at the Hudson Road Intertie and follows our existing easement northwest, then travels west and cuts north to the filtration facility site. The second pipe in the pairing (shown as a dotted line) starts at a new South Intertie and travels southward, then parallels the first pipe to the filtration facility site.

Finished Water Pipe Route Alternatives

We're reviewing potential routes for two new finished water pipes that will carry treated water from the future filtration facility by gravity to the existing distribution system. The route alternatives currently being considered are largely in the public right-of-way and are shown in the figure below. The exact route locations will be determined during pipe design.

Aerial map showing roadways and three differently colored lines running generally southeast to northwest and labeled: Alternative 5A, Alternative 3, and Alternative 3C.
Potential finished water pipe alternatives.
  • Alternative 5A: One pipe in the finished water pairing heads north from the filtration facility site, then west along SE Dodge Park Boulevard, cutting north to SE Lusted Road where it travels west to the intersection with SE Altman Road (with possible extension to Pipeline Road).
  • Alternative 3: One alternative for the second finished water pipe in the pairing heads north from the filtration facility site, then west along SE Dodge Park Boulevard until SE Altman Road where it heads north until the intersection with SE Oxbow Drive.
  • Alternative 3C: One alternative for the second finished water pipe in the pairing heads north from the filtration facility site, then west along SE Carpenter Lane until SE Altman Road where it heads north until the intersection with SE Oxbow Drive.

What to Expect During Pipe Design

We'll continue to share information and work with neighbors as we choose pipe routes and begin design. We expect to begin pipe design in 2021. Design phase activities will include: 

A black and white photo showing a bridge structure in the middle ground with a pipe being hoisted into place.
Portland has been operating pipes in the area for more than 100 years. The new pipes will be built to modern seismic standards and will allow nearby segments of aging pipe to be retired. 
  • Continuing outreach to neighbors
  • Additional field work, including surveying, drilling, and environmental studies
  • Determining new easement and property needs
  • Developing plans and specifications for pipes, interties, and connections to existing pipes
  • Developing traffic control plans

The new pipes will be designed to better withstand earthquakes. Having two pipes instead of one will also increase water system reliability by allowing future maintenance to occur without disrupting service. 


Share Your Input!

We're inviting your input on community considerations for the route alternatives we're currently considering.

To share your feedback, visit: surveymonkey.com/r/PipelinePlanning_CommunityFeedback

We'll also be hosting an online open house Sept. 3-17, 2020 for another opportunity to learn about work underway to plan and design the filtration facility and pipelines and share your feedback on preliminary design concepts. 

Topics include: 

  • Architectural design styles for facility structures
  • Design strategies to manage light and sound
  • Landscape design ideas for site buffers and edges
  • Potential routes for new pipes

We'll incorporate community input, as well as the results of our engineering and field work, into the evaluation process.

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