Customer Service: 503-823-7770
GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
2,300 miles of pipes. 14,376 fire hydrants. 100 million gallons of water a day.
These are the impressive numbers behind the systems that deliver drinking water to over a million Portlanders every day.
And thanks to 19 students at the Art Institute of Portland, we now have a clearer picture of how these numbers fit into our everyday lives.
Belle Bezdicek is a graphic arts instructor at the Art Institute of Portland in the Pearl District. For an entire semester, Bezdicek’s class of 19 art students took a close look at Portland’s complex network of pipes, fire hydrants, drinking water sources, and other system components. Then Bezdicek challenged her students to take what they learned and create artwork that could be used for a public display.
From whimsical to technical, the students’ work strives to communicate the complexity and detail of Portland’s often-times invisible infrastructure.
What inspired Bezdicek to use Portland’s water system as an exercise in creativity?
Bezdicek credits her neighbor Catherine Howells for the idea to use the city’s water system for her class’s most recent exercise. Catherine is an adjunct professor for Portland State University where she teaches a capstone class about the Water Bureau and Portland’s water. Bezdicek credits Catherine’s enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the water system for getting her art students motivated and creative.
“We are all connected to each other in many levels including water,” says Bezdicek, “Portland’s water systems provided the perfect chance for my students to take vast amounts of complex information, decide what was the most important thing to communicate, then visualize it in a style appropriate for the target audience.”
Bezdicek notes that illustrating a city’s water system can be challenging, and through this challenge the students flexed their creative muscles by learning how to create designs that educate and inspire.
Thank you to the students at the Art Institute of Portland for allowing us to share their creations.
Ready to see the artwork for yourself?
Click through to view large-format versions of the art on our Flickr page.
In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, Portland Water Bureau offices will be closed this Monday, May 28. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 29 at 8 a.m.
This closure includes both the Customer Service Call Center and the Customer Service Walk-In Service Center located on the sixth floor at 111 SW Columbia St., Suite 660, Portland, Oregon.
During the holiday, Water Bureau customers can pay their bill in the following ways:
Have a safe and happy holiday!
To report a water system emergency, contact the 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.
We get this question a lot when customers see our flushing crews working out in the field.
Pete and Andrew are Water Operator Mechanics in our Maintenance and Construction group. They oversee flushing all the hydrants across Portland’s water system.
During the weeks of May 21st and 28th, Pete and Andrew will be flushing water systems at various locations in North, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest Portland.
So why is this water being flushed in the first place?
Flushing is Part of Routine Maintenance
Flushing is sometimes used to improve the water quality in a specific area. This can be either in response to customer calls or as preventative maintenance.
In this specific project, an engineering project is being conducted that may cause customers living in the neighborhoods below to see discolored water. So flushing is being done as a preventative action to prevent you from seeing water discoloration.
The following neighborhoods have a low risk of seeing any effects from our work, but we want to let you know about this work in case you notice a difference in water color or pressure.
What Nearby Residents Can Expect
The discoloration does not pose a health risk.
If you experience some discoloration in your water from nearby flushing, run the water at one tap for two to three minutes to see if it clears. If it does not clear, wait an hour and try again. When the water runs clear, flush any taps where discolored water was present. Learn more about what you should do if you experience “dirty” water.
Find Flushing Projects Near You
Curious to see if there is flushing going on near you?
Visit our new WaterWorks tool, an online mapping application that shows you when, and where, Water Bureau projects are happening in the Portland metro area.
Find WaterWorks at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/waterworks.
If you're interested in joining an award-winning public utility where employees thrive on the pride of delivering a life-essential product with world class customer service, the Portland Water Bureau might be just the place for you.
The Water Bureau is a recognized leader in the utility industry. We've achieved this success by investing in the very best people and empowering them to find new and better ways to meet our customer's needs.
The Water Bureau currently employs approximately 560 people. All current job postings with the City of Portland are posted online, and updated weekly. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
|Position||Emp. Type||Salary||Closing Date/Time||Join Our Team|
|Industrial Painter||Full Time||$29.27–$32.78 Hourly||Mon. 6/4/2018 11:59 PM Pacific||Apply here!|
|Senior Administrative Specialist||Full Time||$3,946.00–$6,075.00 Monthly||Mon. 6/4/2018 11:59 PM Pacific||Apply here!|
For more information regarding career opportunities at the Water Bureau, contact (503) 823-3515 or e-mail.
Join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for a FREE bicycle tour through Portland’s Columbia South Shore Well Field!
Located deep below the Columbia Slough Watershed, the City’s well field is capable of producing close to 100 million gallons of high-quality drinking water per day. The well field is used as an emergency backup for the Bull Run source and to augment our water supply during the summer when demand for water is higher.
Refreshments will be provided. Space is limited so register early!
At several stops along the ride, experts from the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council will reveal the mysteries of groundwater, discuss how groundwater provides flexibility and reliability to the City's water supply, and explain how we can all have a role in protecting this important resource.
The ride will cover approximately 16 miles over relatively flat terrain, at a slow to moderate pace. This event is suitable for advanced, beginner, and intermediate riders due to the length and possible headwinds.
Bring your bike, helmet, water bottle and lunch. This event is rain or shine, please dress for the weather!
Date: Saturday, June 9
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Start/Finish location: Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station; 9920 NE Cascades Pkwy; Portland, OR 97220
Requirements: Age 12 and up are welcome. Helmets and pre-registration are required.
Questions about this event? Contact Susanne Raymond at email@example.com or 503-281-1132.
This event is sponsored by the Portland Water Bureau, Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station, and Columbia Slough Watershed Council