Groundwater: Here When We Need It.

Press Release
Portland Water Bureau to begin groundwater augmentation.

Today, Aug. 3, the Portland Water Bureau will begin blending water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field into the distribution system for supply augmentation. It can take up to two weeks, depending on location, for the blended water to make its way through the distribution system to all homes and businesses.

Due to the warm and dry spring and summer weather, along with available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau will supplement approximately 50 percent Bull Run water with 50 percent of groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

“Thanks to careful planning and investment, groundwater is here when we need it,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Gabriel Solmer. “Portland’s access to two excellent water sources allows us to be prepared for a range of conditions. Because of groundwater, we expect to have enough water for everyone in Portland through this dry season ahead.”

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 of groundwater wells, pumps, treatment systems, electronic controls, and other equipment that must be operated regularly to identify maintenance needs. By doing operational and augmentation activations routinely, the bureau ensures the reliability of the system when needed, either in an emergency or to meet seasonal supply needs.

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. We will issue a notification when we return to 100 percent Bull Run water. Sensitive water users can sign up to be directly notified by the Portland Water Bureau.

Customers with questions should call the Water Quality Line at 503-823-7525. For information on Water Bureau operations and summer supply updates visit

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.


Water Quality Line

Ask drinking water quality and pressure questions.
phone number503-823-7525Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Interpretation services available.