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MEDIA ADVISORY: Portland Water Bureau to Begin Annual Groundwater Maintenance Run

Public Notice

Starting today, Aug. 4, the Portland Water Bureau will begin blending a portion of water from its Columbia South Shore Well Field with water from the Bull Run Watershed as an annual maintenance operation.

During the groundwater maintenance run, the Portland Water Bureau will operate the well field for approximately 10 hours a day Monday through Friday. The operation is estimated to be last 25 days, unless additional groundwater is needed to supplement supply. The Portland Water Bureau anticipates returning to 100 percent Bull Run water upon completion.

As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations.

The city’s groundwater supply is a complex system composed of groundwater wells, pumps, treatment systems, electronic controls, and other equipment that must be operated regularly to identify maintenance needs. By doing this operation routinely, the bureau will ensure the reliability of the system when needed, either in an emergency or to meet seasonal supply demands.

The average contribution of groundwater to the system will vary between zero and 40 percent of the total daily water demand. It can take up to two weeks, depending on location and overall water demand, for the blended water to make its way through the distribution system to all homes and businesses.

The Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users, as a practice, when it activates groundwater and when it has significant operational changes. Sensitive water users can sign up to be directly notified by the Portland Water Bureau at

Customers with questions should call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.


The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,200 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day.