Water Bureau crews cleared out discolored water in Southeast Portland after a pressure surge event

News Article
Residents in Sellwood, Westmoreland, and Brooklyn experienced discolored water on 6/11. This was due to a pressure issue in Sellwood that stirred up organic sediments that are always present in our water main pipes. Water Bureau crews flushed hydrants to resolve the issue.

Update: 6/14/24

This event is now resolved, previously impacted residents and businesses are reporting clear water. We appreciate everyone's reports and patience through this event. 

Update: 6/12/24 9:00 am

Good morning. One of our overnight staff continued flushing last night to clear out any remaining color. We hear from folks this morning that the water has generally cleared for everyone, which is great news! We are still keeping an eye on the situation and want to hear from you if you are still seeing some color in your cold water at the kitchen or bathroom sink, you can give us a call at 503-823-7525. We recognize the impact that discolored water has on residents and businesses and appreciate everyone's patience as we investigated the cause and dispatched staff to resolve it.

Update: 6/11/24 4:45 pm

Our hydrant flushing crews are done for the day. We are getting reports from some people that their water is now clear. Some people are still experiencing water that has a light tint or looks hazy or foggy. This remaining color will clear overnight as sediments settle in the water main. Color may linger longer in toilets or water heater tanks. Check kitchen or bathroom sinks to determine if the cold water is still discolored. Check our What to do during a discolored water event page for more tips. If you still have discolored water on Wednesday morning, please contact the Water Quality Line

Update: 6/11/24 2:30 pm

Our hydrant flushing crews have been working in the area since this morning to move the discolored water out of the water mains and to bring clear, fresh water into the area. Residents and businesses have reported the water looks better than this morning but color still lingers for some. Our flushing crews will continue to work into this afternoon to try to clear up the remaining color. If you experienced discolored water today and see it clearing at kitchen or bathroom sinks, please note that color will linger longest in toilets since the toilet tank doesn't completely empty with each flush.

Update: 6/11/24 9:30 am

The part of the water system that created the pressure fluctuation has been fixed. The discolored water remains in the area. We are assessing the impacted area and making a plan to flush hydrants throughout Brooklyn, Sellwood, and Westmoreland. This hydrant flushing will move the discolored water out of the pipes and bring in clear, fresh water into the area. We plan to start north in Brooklyn and move south as we clear the water. People experiencing discolored water will see their water clear later today as flushing crews move through the area.

Update: 6/11/24 8:20 am

Residents in Brooklyn are now reporting discolored water. The discoloration from a pressure fluctuation in Sellwood is moving through the water system. We appreciate your reports so that we know where the discolored water is located and can dispatch our flushing crews to all impacted areas. We also appreciate your patience as we respond to this issue and work to resolve this issue.

Original Post: June 11, 2024, 7:50 am

What happened

Residents in Sellwood and Westmoreland are reporting discolored water. This is due to a pressure fluctuation in the area that has stirred up organic sediments that are always present in our water main pipes. Portland Water Bureau crews are responding to the area to investigate. Residents and businesses in the area should prepare to see discolored water throughout the day while crews fix the issue.

If you are seeing color in your tap water, it should be temporary and clear up within a day. 

We will post updates on this page throughout the day, please check back here later for updated information.

What to do if you are seeing discolored water

If you are seeing discolored drinking water, go to our What to do during a discolored water event page and follow the instructions in the Wait, After,and Prepare sections.

Is the water safe to drink? 

Discolored water is not consistent with the quality of water that the Portland Water Bureau intends to serve to its customers. While discolored water is present, customers may choose to use other sources of water, such as bottled water or water from your emergency stores, until the water clears.


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.