Projects in the Bull Run Watershed Closure Area

Information
The Portland Water Bureau regularly produces a list of projects and ongoing maintenance activities that are happening or planned to occur in the Bull Run Watershed Closure Area.
On this page

The purpose of the list is to disclose to the public City-sponsored activities occurring within the Closure Area per the Bull Run Watershed Protection requirements outlined in Portland City Code 21.36.050.  On a quarterly basis, the Water Bureau provides updates on all bureau-sponsored projects and activities both active and in the planning stage within the Closure Area.    

The Water Bureau adopted new administrative rules in December 2021 to implement City Code 21.36.050 Sections G.1 and G.2.  These rules apply only to City-owned land in the Bull Run Closure Area and, in part, define which projects are required to prepare project impact assessment and mitigation summary documents, and which projects are exempt from that requirement.  Implementing these rules is a new process for the bureau and for the public.  The January 2022 project list was the first to indicate if the listed project was subject to the new rules.  It is not unexpected that the projects on the current list are excluded from the requirement of the new administrative rules as the rules are mostly intended to address out-of-the-ordinary work in locations that have not been previously developed or disturbed.    All work on City-owned land in the Bull Run Closure Area is still subject to applicable federal, state and county requirements and permits as well as implementation of other aspects of City Code 21.36.050, Water Bureau best management practices, standard operating protocols, and regulatory compliance plans.   The City Charter and City code require the Bureau to avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental impacts when working on City-owned land in the Bull Run Closure Area. 

Contact for more information:  Anna Buckley, Anna.Buckley@portlandoregon.gov

The following list was last updated in July 2022.

Projects

1. Bull Run Lake Hydraulic Line Repair Project

During the annual maintenance test release at Bull Run Lake, the hydraulic line that controls the butterfly valve that releases water from the lake to the downstream outlet channel was found to be damaged. The damaged line prevented the valve from being completely closed allowing lake water to leak out through the valve and into the downstream channel. An emergency repair was conducted in late October 2021 that involved running a new hydraulic line to the butterfly valve actuator to successfully close the valve. Additional work is needed to encase and to bury the new hydraulic line and to remove the old line. 

  • Purpose:  To ensure reliable access to Bull Run Lake for water supply.
  • Location:  Bull Run Lake outlet
  • Land Ownership:  Forest Service
  • Schedule and status:  The project is planned for late summer/early fall of 2022.
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements:  This project is located on federal land, is not a major City project, and is not subject to the administrative rule requirements.The work will occur under requirements of the City’s Bull Run Lake easement from the Forest Service.

2. Bull Run Land Exchange

The project is exchanging approximately 2,890 acres of federal Forest Service land to the City of Portland for approximately 2,200 acres of City owned lands within the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit. The transaction is a land-for-land exchange of properties of equivalent financial value.

  • Purpose:  To create a better alignment of land ownership responsibilities with the respective missions of the City and the Forest Service.
  • Location:  Selected parcels within the Management Unit
  • Land Ownership:  City and Forest Service 
  • Schedule/status:  City Council voted to authorize signing the Exchange Agreement on July 31, 2019. The agreement authorizes the City and Forest Service to complete the exchange. Both agencies signed the agreement in September 2019. Completing the transaction involves a variety of process steps to prepare the deeds. The property transaction is currently expected to be completed in 2022.
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements:  Project is substantially complete and not subject to the City administrative rules requirements. Impacts of the exchange were evaluated according to federal environmental assessment requirements, and a federal Environmental Assessment document was available for public review prior to the City and Forest Service signing the exchange agreement.

3. Bull Run Treatment Pilot Plant

A pilot treatment plant has been installed at Headworks to inform development of the Bull Run Treatment Project. The pilot plant consists of multiple trailers that house small-scale water treatment equipment, including flocculation, sedimentation, ozonation, and filtration. The pilot uses raw water from the diversion pool and passes it through conventional surface water treatment processes. Treated water passes through a solids handling tank, activated carbon, and dechlorination (while being monitored daily to mitigate any risk of environmental impact) before being returned to the Bull Run River. Equipment runs continuously and will be staffed during normal work hours.

  • Purpose:  The objective of the pilot is to demonstrate improved water quality, inform process selection and detailed design for the full-scale Bull Run Treatment Project, optimize treatment processes, and train treatment operator staff.
  • Location:  Headworks, immediately downstream of intake
  • Land Ownership:  City
  • Schedule and status:  Pilot equipment was installed and began operations in 2019. Operations are ongoing and planned to continue until the Bull Run Treatment Project goes online in 2027.
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements:  The project has been constructed. Planning, design and construction were completed prior to the City code updates in 2020 and adoption of the administrative rules in 2021.

4. Conduit 3 Ovality Replacement

The City will replace approximately 200 feet of Conduit 3 that was identified in a 2018 field inspection to be significantly out-of-round. The project will include open trench excavation and abandonment of the existing 58-inch lock bar pipe and installation of a new 74-inch diameter welded steel pipe. All construction activities are expected to be confined to areas that were previously disturbed from the original road and pipe work.

  • Purpose:  The out-of-round pipe section has been identified as one risk to be mitigated along the route that has the least geologic hazards for conveying water from Bull Run to the city for distribution. 
  • Location:  along the north shoulder ofRoad 14, downstream of intake
  • Land Ownership:  City
  • Schedule and status: A planning level Project Validation Report was completed in November 2020. Design started in July 2021 and the 30% concept plan was completed in February 2022.  The earliest that construction is anticipated to start is Summer 2024 and is expected to take four months to complete.
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements: Project will occur within the existing alignment of the conduit and is excluded from the administrative rules’ requirements under section IV.C (1) Repair or reconstruction of buildings and facilities located wholly within previously developed, paved or otherwise non-forested areas.

5. Dam 1 - Needle Valve Replacement Project

This project will replace three Larner-Johnson Needle Valves from the face of Dam 1 with three new valves. The existing needle valves are over 90 years old and are antiquated, leak, require significant occasional maintenance, are difficult to open and close, and have been proven to be unsafe in certain operational conditions. The project met requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act as outlined in a Memorandum of Agreement between the Forest Service, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and Water Bureau.

  • Purpose: The project will replace existing valves with fixed-cone valves with hoods. It will also improve operation and access and is intended to reduce annual maintenance costs. Visual impacts to the historic valve house structure will be minimized.
  • Location: Dam 1
  • Land Ownership:  Forest Service
  • Schedule and status: Construction began in 2019 and the valve replacement work was completed in June 2021.  The remaining work of concrete wall repair, and window procurement and installation for the valve house was completed in June 2022.  
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements: Project is located on land the City will acquire from the Forest Service when the land exchange is officially complete.  The project is in the final stages of the construction phase.  Planning and design were completed prior to City code updates in 2020 and construction began prior to 2021 adoption of the administrative rules.  The work would, in any case, be excluded from the administrative rules’ requirements under section IV.C (1) Repair or reconstruction of buildings and facilities located wholly within previously developed, paved or otherwise non-forested areas.

6. Hamilton Creek Culvert Replacement Project

Hamilton Creek is a fish-bearing perennial stream that drains directly into Reservoir 1, just west of the North Fork Bull Run River Bridge. Road 10, a critical access route within the Bull Run, crosses Hamilton Creek just above the stream’s outlet into Reservoir 1. The current culvert was likely installed more than 60 years ago, is significantly undersized, and is in a failing condition. Complete failure of the culvert could result in degradation of drinking water quality as well as damage to road infrastructure and aquatic habitat. The project will replace the existing culvert with a bridge that is appropriately sized for current and future stream flow conditions and meets regulatory requirements for aquatic organism passage.

  • Purpose:  To reduce risk to drinking water quality, road infrastructure, and aquatic habitat that could result from a catastrophic failure of the existing culvert. The project will help to ensure continuous, reliable, and safe access to all facilities. It also helps to maintain reliable access for monitoring and fire protection in the watershed.
  • Location:  MP 12.5 on Road 10 in the Bull Run Watershed
  • Land Ownership:  Forest Service
  • Schedule and status:  The City has hired a contractor to complete the work during the summer of 2022.
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements: Project is located on land the City will acquire from the Forest Service when the land exchange is officially complete.  Design was substantially complete prior to adoption of the administrative rules in December 2021.  The work would, in any case, be excluded from the administrative rules’ requirements under section IV.C (3) Repair or replacement of road culverts consistent with PCC 21.36.050 Section J requirements for aquatic organism passage.

7. Hydrographic Survey of Bull Run Reservoirs 1 and 2

A small team of consultants will collect high resolution data that will describe the bottom elevation contours of Bull Run Reservoirs 1 and 2.   A 24-foot aluminum survey vessel equipped with a multibeam echosounder will be used to collect the data in accordance with the US Army Corps of Engineers Hydrographic Survey Manual.

  • Purpose:  The survey results will be used for a variety of purposes including planning, hazard awareness, refining reservoir modeling, and long-term monitoring.
  • Location:  Bull Run Reservoirs 1 and 2
  • Land Ownership:  Forest Service and City
  • Schedule/status:  The survey was completed in Spring 2022. 
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements:   The project involves elevation data collection only.  The techniques are similar to routine surveys conducted for hydroacoustic and water quality sampling, and are not expected to have any environmental impacts, and the project, therefore, is not subject to the administrative rules.

8. Road 10 Improvement (“10E”)

A 2.0-mile section of Road 10 will be reconstructed and repaved to improve pavement condition, widen where needed to improve safety, replace aging ditch and stream culverts, create better ditch lines to improve drainage, and address slumping and slides.      

  • Purpose:  To ensure continuous, reliable, and safe access to all facilities. Also provides reliable access for monitoring and fire protection in the watershed.
  • Location: Road 10 in the Bull Run Watershed, from approximately MP 6.2 to the intersection with Road 1008
  • Land Ownership:  20% Forest Service and 80% City
  • Schedule/status: Project construction began in Summer 2020 and continued through October 2021. Project construction stopped for the winter and will commence again in mid-June and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2022.
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements:   Project is in the final stages of the construction phase.  Planning and design were completed prior to the City code updates in 2020 and 2021 adoption of the administrative rules. The project would, in any case, be excluded from the administrative rules’ requirements under section IV.C (2) Repair or reconstruction of road segments within existing road corridors if the total area of new ground disturbance or vegetation removal is less than 0.5 acres, and section IV.C (3). Repair or replacement of road culverts consistent with PCC 21.36.050 Section J requirements for aquatic organism passage.

9. Road 10 Improvement (“10I/J”)

A 1.9-mile section of Road 10 will be reconstructed and repaved to improve pavement condition, widen where needed to improve safety, replace aging ditch and stream culverts, create better ditch lines to improve drainage, and address slumping and slides.

  • Purpose: To ensure continuous, reliable, and safe access to all facilities. Also provides reliable access for monitoring and fire protection in the watershed.
  • Location: Road 10 in the Bull Run Watershed, from approximately MP 12.6 to 14.4 to the intersection with Road 20
  • Land Ownership:  Forest Service (includes some land that the City will acquire from the Forest Service when the land exchange is officially complete)
  • Schedule/status:  Project planning and design began in 2020 and will continue through 2022. Project construction is currently expected to occur during the summers of 2023 and 2024.
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements:   Project is excluded from the administrative rule requirements under section IV.C (2) Repair or reconstruction of road segments within existing road corridors if the total area of new ground disturbance or vegetation removal is less than 0.5 acres, and section IV.C (3) Repair or replacement of road culverts consistent with PCC 21.36.050 Section J requirements for aquatic organism passage.

10. Spillway Gate and Hoist Equipment Replacement Project

The spillway on Dam 1 has three vertical slide gates each with a cable-hoist system used individually to raise and lower the gate. All three gates and cable and hoist systems will be replaced.  Many of the construction details, including equipment and staging needs, are still being worked out.  The new gates will be replaced using either a helicopter crane or barge crane.           

  • Purpose:  To address the results of a 2017 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Dam Safety Inspection
  • Location:  Dam 1 Spillway
  • Land Ownership:  Forest Service
  • Schedule and status:  The project is in the early design phase. Construction is planned to commence in the fall of 2024.  The City plans to address the 2017 FERC inspection comment by March 1, 2025. 
  • Project impact assessment and mitigation summary requirements:  Project is located on land the City will acquire from the Forest Service when the land exchange is officially complete. Project is excluded from the administrative rule requirements under section IV.C (7) Safety-related repairs of dams and hydropower facilities resulting from orders from the FERC Regional Engineer pursuant to CFR Title 18 Section 12.4.

On-going activities

The on-going activities listed below are excluded from requirements of the administrative rule under section IV.C (4) Routine projects listed on the quarterly Bull Run Project List prepared to comply with PCC 21.36.050 Section E, including road and powerline maintenance and hazard tree removal.

  1. Annual Overhauls of the two PHP Powerhouses

Energy Northwest schedules annual individual two-week long power generation outages at each of the Portland Hydroelectric Project’s (PHP) powerhouses, during which time they have a variety of its maintenance and repair crews visit and do work at both of the powerhouses.

  • Purpose: To accomplish a range of testing, measuring, repair and maintenance work that cannot be accomplished while the units are in operation.
  • Location: Dam 1 and Dam 2 
  • Schedule/status: Annually – for usually two weeks at each powerhouse - in the summer / fall period
  1. Bilateral Compliance Agreement Interim Measures: Monitoring and Inspections

The Water Bureau staff conduct routine Cryptosporidium monitoring at the intake as well as watershed inspections and environmental sampling as required by the December 2017 Bilateral Compliance Agreement with Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

Environmental samples include tributary water and wildlife scat. Inspection categories include security, diversion pool, soil erosion areas, and sanitary facilities.

Supplementary wildlife monitoring activities may include (1) using live traps for collecting small mammal scat near the diversion pool and reservoirs and (2) deer surveys around Headworks.

  • Purpose: The Water Bureau is currently operating under the interim measures of the Bilateral Compliance Agreement until Cryptosporidium treatment facilities are operational, no later than September 30, 2027. Additional information on Cryptosporidium and the Bilateral Compliance Agreement can be found on Portland’s Cryptosporidium website.
  • Location: Water sampling at Headworks and Key Stations. Inspections and scat collection throughout the watershed.
  • Schedule/status: The Water Bureau samples at the intake two days per week. If Cryptosporidium is detected, sampling increases to four days per week for at least three weeks. Portland posts intake Cryptosporidium results online.
  1. Bull Run Lake Special Use Authorization Monitoring

The Water Bureau is required to conduct various wildlife and fish monitoring activities, periodic dam safety inspections, and annual outlet gate testing to maintain its special use authorization with the Forest Service for Bull Run Lake.  Planned activities for 2022 include: avian surveys, spawning surveys, fish population estimates, limnological monitoring, and amphibian surveys.

  • Purpose: To comply with mitigation and monitoring requirements of the Bull Run Lake Special Use Authorization.
  • Location:  Bull Run Lake
  • Schedule/status: Ongoing during field season (late spring through late fall)
  1. Conduit Maintenance 

Brushing, mowing, and tree-fall removal on conduit rights-of-way; leak repair; blow-off and air valve maintenance; bridge inspection; and intertie operations

  • Purpose: To provide access on right-of-way as required to maintain operation of conduits.
  • Location: Conduit rights-of-way between Headworks and main gate
  • Schedule/status: Year-round, as required
  1. Dam Maintenance 

Perform various tasks associated with routine and ongoing dam maintenance, including weekly piezometer readings in Dams 1 and 2; operation and maintenance of gates; replacement of aging or failed instrumentation and equipment; and brushing on dam abutments.

  • Purpose: To maintain operational and structural integrity of dams and satisfy FERC requirements.
  • Location: Dam 1 and Dam 2 
  • Schedule/status: Year-round, as required
  1. Dam Safety Inspections

Bureau of Hydropower staff periodically visit and inspect the two Bull Run dams and powerhouses as required by state and federal regulation, and the Portland Hydroelectric Project (PHP) license.

  • Purpose: To ensure the stability and safety of the hydroelectric facilities and to ensure any changing conditions at the dams and powerhouses can be monitored and addressed.
  • Location: Dam 1 and Dam 2
  • Schedule/status: Monthly 
  1. Danger/Hazard Tree Removal 

Removal of danger and hazard trees that pose a risk to life, property, and infrastructure, as required by federal and state laws. Identification of danger and hazard trees is performed by a certified danger tree specialist.

  • Purpose: To keep workers and visitors safe while traveling and working in the watershed; to protect water system property and infrastructure.
  • Location: Locations vary throughout the watershed; need assessed periodically
  • Schedule/status: Year-round, as required
  1. Deliveries to and Removals from Headworks and PHP Powerhouses 

On a regular and “as-needed” basis, supplies such as chlorine, diesel fuel and supplies are delivered to Headworks and both of the Portland Hydroelectric Project’s (PHP) powerhouses.

  • Purpose:  Chlorine is used at Headworks for use in water treatment operations.  Fuel is for emergency backup generators and other supplies as needed. Headworks and both PHP powerhouses have diesel generators that provide emergency power during electricity outages. 
  • Location: Headworks,Dam 1, and Dam 2 
  • Schedule/status:  Weekly for chlorine and infrequent for other supplies. 
  1. EWEB and ENW Normal Ongoing PHP Operations

As contract operators for the City, Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) routinely starts and stops the two Portland Hydroelectric Project’s (PHP) powerhouses remotely from their control room in Eugene.  A second contractor, Energy Northwest (ENW), has operating personnel operating from the City’s Headworks facility. They work in both PHP powerhouses every day conducting the daily preventive checks and maintenance procedures to maintain both power plants at a fully operational capability.

  • Purpose: To verify the proper functioning of powerhouse equipment; and perform regular operation and maintenance functions.
  • Location: Dam 1 and Dam 2 
  • Schedule/status: Daily 
  1. Facilities Maintenance 

Mowing, painting, and general maintenance activities at Headworks, Bear Creek house, Key stations, and boat houses; storm damage monitoring, clean-up, and repair.

  • Purpose: To maintain structural integrity, upkeep, and access to facilities.
  • Location: Facilities located throughout the watershed 
  • Schedule/status: Year-round, as required
  1. Fish Surveys - Bull Run Reservoirs 

Estimate of fish populations in reservoirs using hydroacoustic surveys

  • Purpose: To estimate the size of each reservoir’s fish population and maintain a record of changes through time in preparation for FERC relicensing.
  • Location: Reservoirs 1 and 2
  • Schedule/status: Surveys began in 2008 and occur annually, alternating each year between reservoirs.
  1. FERC Annual Operations Inspections

Hydropower staff accompanies representatives from FERC and the Oregon Water Resources Department on periodic inspections of Bull Run Dams 1 and 2.

  • Purpose: To inspect and assess the physical condition of the two Bull Run dams and comply with FERC regulations.
  • Location: Dam 1 and Dam 2 
  • Schedule/status: Annually 
  1. FERC Part 12 Inspection and Report

Inspection of the Portland Hydroelectric Project (PHP).

  • Purpose: Required reoccurring five-year extensive review of the PHP Dam Safety program and facility infrastructure. Inspection is conducted by an outside independent consultant to report back to FERC on the status of the project and associated programs to protect the Bull Run River and downstream population.
  • Location: Dam 1 and Dam 2 
  • Schedule/status: Completed in 2017; reoccurring every five years; next review scheduled for 2022
  1. Fish Distribution Surveys - Various small streams 

The Water Bureau occasionally surveys small streams throughout the watershed above and below potential fish barriers such as road crossings or waterfalls to determine the presence or absence of fish.

  • Purpose: To determine the presence or absence of fish in streams potentially affected by The Water Bureau activities such as road maintenance.
  • Location: Various streams tributary to the Bull Run River or its tributaries
  • Schedule/status: None to several locations per year, as required
  1. Fish Habitat Surveys - ODFW 

The City provides  access to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in order to conduct fish habitat surveys on select short stream segments to support the agency’s ongoing monitoring and research for salmon and steelhead recovery and conservation.

  • Purpose: To provide reference data for salmon and steelhead recovery and conservation monitoring and research efforts. Data on stream habitat in the Bull Run is provided to the City upon request.  
  • Location: Randomly selected stream segments throughout the watershed. Segments are typically 500 meters in length.
  • Schedule/status: Sampling in the Bull Run began in 2015. Usually, two to three segments are surveyed per year.
  1. PHP Power Line Repairs

Portland General Distribution Service’s (PGDS is a branch of Portland General Electric) power line repair crews periodically visit the Portland Hydroelectric Project’s (PHP) transmission line corridor to repair any storm caused damage that may have occurred.

  • Purpose: To ensure continued operation of powerhouses and minimize the duration of power outages.
  • Location: Power line right of way between Dam 1 and main gate
  • Schedule/status: As needed, following events causing damage to the PHP transmission lines.
  1. PHP Power Transmission Line Assessment and Maintenance

PGDS designated forester periodically conducts site visits to assess the condition of the Portland Hydroelectric Project’s (PHP) power transmission line corridor. In consultation with the City and U.S. Forest Service (if on federal land), decisions are made on brushing and hazard tree removal or trimming.

  • Purpose: To protect the safety and integrity of the transmission line. 
  • Location: Power line right of way between Dam 1 and main gate
  • Schedule/status: Assessment: annually. Maintenance: on average, once every two years.
  1. Reed Canary Grass Removal/ Toad Monitoring 

Based on monitoring conducted since 2010, the City has discontinued the practice of cutting and removing invasive reed canary grass along the north bank of the upper Reservoir 1. This activity is included as Measure R-3 of the City’s Bull Run Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The practice was intended to benefit reproduction of western toads. Monitoring data, however, did not support the assumption that better habitat would be created by cutting the grass. The City will continue annual toad monitoring to gain additional information relevant to the conservation goal of Measure R-3. Cutting of reed canary grass may be resumed in the future as additional information is gathered. 

  • Purpose: To meet the conservation intent of HCP Measure R-3 by monitoring toads in order to (1) determine that toad breeding at the site is self-sustaining, or (2) find a way to improve productivity.
  • Location: Reservoir 1 
  • Schedule/status: HCP Years 1–50 (2010-2059). Toad monitoring is performed annually, typically weekly from May to June. Reed canary grass removal, when conducted, is performed annually. 
  1. Reservoir Monitoring 

Collect water quality data and temperature profiles from the reservoirs.

  • Purpose: To monitor conditions, physical processes, and water quality in source water reservoirs.
  • Location: Reservoirs 1 and 2
  • Schedule/status: Bi-weekly
  1. Road Inclinometer Monitoring 

Measure angles of slope, elevation, or inclination. Inclinometer locations are all in close proximity to the conduits. 

  • Purpose: To determine presence of ground movements that could affect conduits. The locations are either in areas of historic slides or in areas that were determined to have a potential to slide.
  • Location: Road 10 between main gate and Headworks
  • Schedule/status: Readings are made twice a year (spring and fall)
  1. Road Maintenance 

Brushing, mowing, tree-fall removal, slide removal, ditch maintenance, culvert cleaning and repair, sub-grade repair, snow plowing, chip-seal, and bridge inspections.

  • Purpose: To ensure continuous, reliable, and safe access to all facilities, as well as maintenance of other City-owned infrastructure within the watershed.
  • Location: Entire Watershed 
  • Schedule/status: Year-round 
  1. Road Piezometer Monitoring

Use piezometer to measure water levels in porous surfaces and near potential slide areas.

  • Purpose: To assess potential for slope failure  to protect critical water system infrastructure.
  • Location: Road 10 between main gate and Headworks
  • Schedule/status: Readings are made twice a year (spring and fall)
  1. Salmon Monitoring - Little Sandy River and lower Bull Run River 

The Water Bureau continues to do two activities in the Little Sandy River: 1) maintenance of a smolt trap; and 2) fish habitat surveys and snorkel surveys. Snorkel surveys are also conducted in the lower Bull Run River.  

  • Purpose: The purpose of the smolt trap is to monitor juvenile salmon and steelhead production. Habitat surveys monitor the effectiveness of fish habitat restoration measures. Habitat and smolt surveys comply with terms of the Bull Run HCP. Snorkel surveys monitor juvenile salmon and steelhead populations, these surveys support HCP fish management activities.
  • Location: 

Smolt trap: just upstream of the former Little Sandy Dam site

Little Sandy fish habitat and snorkel surveys: from the mouth of the Little Sandy River to RM 2.7, and from the mouth to the former dam site, respectively

Lower Bull Run River snorkel surveys: from the mouth of the Bull Run River to the lamprey weir (just below the diversion dam)

  • Schedule/status: The smolt trap is operated from roughly early-March through early-June annually (2009 – 2059). Habitat surveys are conducted seven times over a 20-year period (2007-2027). Snorkel surveys have been performed annually since 2009 and are expected to continue indefinitely.
  1. Security 

Two full-time Watershed Rangers conduct vehicle and foot patrols for trespass; monitor a private-vehicle identification system; deploy and maintain a camera system for remote area monitoring; and coordinate emergency access in an emergency event. Security staff conduct fire patrols during the summer months and conduct security site surveys of all water system facilities and infrastructure sites throughout the year.

  • Purpose: To enforce the public closure of and maintain an effective security program for the Closure Area.
  • Location: Entire Watershed 
  • Schedule/status: Year-round 
  1. Snow Gauging 

Cooperative program with the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service to monitor snow depth, snow water equivalent, precipitation, and temperature at three monitoring stations.

  • Purpose: To monitor snow levels and hydrologic conditions
  • Location: Selected locations throughout watershed
  • Schedule/status: Continuous automated monitoring. Validation by on-site inspection performed annually or as needed.
  1. Spawning Gravel Placement and Monitoring 

The City augments spawning gravel in the lower Bull Run River and monitors the effects of the gravel placements. Project constitutes Measure H-1 of the Bull Run HCP.

  • Purpose: To mitigate the effects of Dam 1 and Dam 2 on transport of natural spawning gravel to the lower Bull Run River and comply with the terms of the City’s Incidental Take Permit.
  • Location: Lower Bull Run River
  • Schedule/status: HCP Years 1–50 (2010-2059)

Gravel is placed at three locations in the river each year.

Surface area of spawning gravel patches in the lower Bull Run River is estimated every five years. The next survey is scheduled for 2024.  

Depth of the spawning gravel scour by high flows is monitored periodically. The next monitoring of scour depth has not been scheduled but is not occurring in 2021-2022. 

  1.  Spawning Surveys  

Collect adult Chinook salmon information for the lower Bull Run River.

  • Purpose:  To monitor adult salmon numbers and comply with terms of the City’s Incidental Take Permit
  • Location: Lower Bull Run River
  • Schedule/status:  HCP Years 1–20 (2010-2029).  Takes place annually from late-August through mid-December.  
  1. Stream Flow and Temperature Gauging and Reservoir Level Monitoring

Cooperative program with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to monitor flow and water quality measurements at selected stream stations. Measure water levels at Bull Run Lake and Bull Run reservoirs.

  • Purpose: To monitor volume of water entering the reservoirs for summer supply planning and flow and temperature management in lower Bull Run River.
  • Location: Selected locations throughout watershed
  • Schedule/status: Continuous automated monitoring. Validation by on-site inspection performed at regularly scheduled intervals or as needed.
  1. Stream Key-Station Monitoring

Collect water quality data at the mouths of the four main tributaries that flow into the reservoirs.

  • Purpose: To monitor water quality at the four main tributaries.
  • Location: North Fork, South Fork, Main Stem, and Fir Creek key stations
  • Schedule/status: Scheduled: monthly: Storm events: 6-8 times per year
  1. Trail Maintenance 

Brushing, debris removal, and safety-related maintenance on trails that provide access to water monitoring stations.

  • Purpose: To provide access to facilities.
  • Location: Trails associated with USGS gauging stations located throughout watershed
  • Schedule/status: Year-round, as required
  1. Vegetation Stewardship 

Ongoing monitoring, removal, and control of invasive species occurs regularly. Surveys for invasive plant species occur along active and decommissioned roads, trails, reservoirs, and near infrastructure, as well as sites of recent road and other construction projects.  Aquatic surveys of the Bull Run reservoirs and rare plant surveys of prairies adjacent to the road network are also conducted to monitor potential impacts of invasive plant species on these habitats and populations. Occasionally, tree planting is performed in various locations to mitigate tree removal per the Bull Run Tree Protection Standard Operation Protocol (SOP) and to support healthy forest conditions.  

  • Purpose: To comply with the Bull Run Tree Protection SOP and to protect native vegetation and retain ecological function that helps to protect water quality.
  • Location: Selected locations throughout watershed
  • Schedule/status: Annually or as needed
  1. Waterway Debris Removal and Disposal 

Removal of logs and debris captured by upper log boom in Reservoir 1. Inspection and repair of log booms in Reservoirs 1 and 2 and Bull Run Lake.

  • Purpose: To protect dams and dikes, and other water system infrastructure. 
  • Location: Reservoir 1, Reservoir 2, and Bull Run Lake
  • Schedule/status: Late spring and summer, and as required
  1. Water Education Program 

Supervised Bull Run tours are administered by the Water Bureau’s education staff. 

  • Purpose: To educate participants about the Bull Run watershed and Portland’s water system. Topics include history, ecology, source water protection, water quality, system operations, and stewardship.
  • Location: Selected locations throughout watershed
  • Schedule/status:  Due to pandemic precautions and operational constraints such as road repairs, the typical pre-pandemic schedule of Bull Run tour program activities will continue to be on hold for spring/summer 2022.  A small number of smaller scale tours might occur in 2022 as conditions allow. 
  1. Water Treatment Operations

Disinfect drinking water with chlorine and monitor for chlorine residuals in finished water quality as required by regulation. Monitor and control river flow below Dam 2 to meet Habitat Conservation Plan fish flow requirements. Control conduit flows to meet customer demand.

  • Purpose: To disinfect water to protect public health and meet all state and federal water quality standards for unfiltered water system; create beneficial fish habitat conditions in lower Bull Run River; supply potable water to Portland metro area.
  • Location: Headworks 
  • Schedule/status: Year-round
  1. Winter-Season Facility Maintenance Surveys 

Use of snow cat to conduct snow survey measurements at Bull Run Lake; assess condition of outlet structures at Bull Run and Boody lakes; assess condition of gauging flumes at Upper and Lower Springs; and provide access to Hiyu Mountain telecommunications tower for ComNet staff. ComNet provides microwave communication service to the city.

  • Purpose: To maintain seasonal access to facilities; monitor condition of resources; repair failed infrastructure.
  • Location: Selected locations throughout watershed
  • Schedule/status: Winter months (generally November – May)