Friday, August 14, 2015

Portland Water Bureau

Date of Visit: July 18, Aug 14 2015 
Type of event: Field trips
Organization:Portland Water Bureau
Location: Bull Run, Oregon; Columbia Slough, Oregon
Hosts: Lisa Vieno and Doug Wise / Water Bureau Resource Protection and Planning Group
International Fellows: Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia), Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Qingxin Liu (China), Enkeleda Pjetri (Albania)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Dona Ye / Intern from China

Where does Portland's drinking water come from? 
It comes from two sources: the Bull Run Watershed (BRW) as main source, and as back up a set of water wells located in the Columbia South Well Field.

In 1882 BRW, located about 20 miles from downtown Portland, was designated Portland's drinking water source. BRW and its buffer zone are closed to the public and in 2001 were put under federal protection. BRW water is filtered by the watershed. The only chemicals added to the water are Chlorine, to kill any potential bacteria, and Ammonia, to prevent Chlorine to evaporate while being transported to the faucets.

When there is a water turbidity event in the BRW, Portland Water Bureau switches to its backup well water source. Well water is also used during the summer months to supplement BRW water when water consumption increases and rainfall decreases. During the rainy season Portland relies 100 percent on BRW water. The set of water wells extract water from deep aquifers on the South Shore of the Columbia River and close to Portland.

Portland Water Bureau Resource Protection and Planning Group serves as the outreach arm of the Portland Water Bureau to educate the public on the conservation of the resource.

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