Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

Water quality in large buildings

Maintaining water quality all the way to your tap is a shared responsibility. We deliver safe and reliable drinking water to your property. As a building owner or property manager, you're responsible for maintaining water quality once the water enters your building.
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Water-related health risks in large buildings

Owners and managers of buildings are responsible for properly managing water quality within their building in order to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. Legionella, if inhaled through small water droplets or mist, can cause a severe form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ Disease.

Learn more about Legionella and Portland’s drinking water

Preventing the growth of Legionella is achievable with the proper management of water once it enters your building. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that all public buildings take steps to protect water quality in buildings. The CDC also recommends that the following types of buildings, or buildings with specific devices, develop water management programs in order to reduce the risk associated with Legionella:

  • Healthcare facilities
  • Buildings that primarily house people over 65 years of age
  • Buildings with multiple housing units and a central hot water system (such as hotels and high-rise apartment buildings)
  • Buildings with 10 or more stories
  • Cooling towers
  • Hot tubs
  • Decorative fountains
  • Centrally installed misters, atomizers, air washers, or humidifiers

Water management planning resources

If you're a building owner or manager, you should develop and implement a water management program. Water management programs help you maintain your building water quality to reduce the risk of Legionella growth and spread. Use the following industry-standard resources when developing your water management program:

Sign up to receive water quality notifications from us about changes in water treatment, source water, and other water quality issues.

Steps to take after losing water pressure

When water pressure is lost in a building, it may increase the risk of the growth and spread of Legionella. If your building loses pressure due to Portland Water Bureau activities, we will notify you with a printed notice delivered to your property. Once pressure has been restored, we recommend you take steps to assess and restore water quality in your building.

Certain buildings, like long-term care facilities or hospitals, may have an increased risk associated with Legionella during a pressure loss. Ensure you review your water management programs to determine what actions you need to take.

If you do not have a water management program for your building, thoroughly flush all plumbing and check that that all mechanical systems that use water, including boilers and cooling towers, are clean and working properly. We also recommend you create a water management program for your building. You can find instructions and resources on how to develop this in the Water management planning resources section above.