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Portland returns to Bull Run Water in less than 36 hours

News Article
Groundwater system, skilled staff prevent water service disruption

Today, Nov. 17, the Water Bureau returned to serving water from the Bull Run Watershed. Thanks to our groundwater system and the rapid response of skilled staff, Portlanders experienced no service interruptions when a storm damaged our Lusted Hill treatment facility on Monday, Nov. 15. The damage required a transition to groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field. Emergency repairs to the Lusted Hill treatment facility have been completed, allowing us to return to the Bull Run source. 

No action is needed by the public. Your water remains safe to drink.  

“Portlanders benefitted from the long-term planning and investment of their funds in a resilient water system. This is what you're paying for—reliable water service in uncertain times,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Gabriel Solmer. “Every unexpected incident is an opportunity for us to learn and better prepare for the future.” 

Portlanders continue to invest in their water system for a sustainable future. These investments include the new, seismically resilient reservoir at Washington Park, the Bull Run Treatment Projects and our distribution mains replacement program.  

Groundwater is here when we need it 

The Columbia South Shore Well Field performed as intended, meeting our community’s drinking water needs. Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that meet or surpass all federal and state drinking water regulations. This allows us to be prepared for the range of conditions, including damage from storms. It may take up to two weeks, depending on your location, for the change in source water to make its way through the distribution system to homes and businesses. 

Anyone with water quality questions is encouraged to visit, email or call the Water Line at 503-823-7525 with questions. 

About the Portland Water Bureau 

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.