On Wednesday, July 10, the Portland Water Bureau will begin using our groundwater wells in the Columbia South Shore Well Field to ensure adequate water supply to our customers. As a result of careful planning, Portland is fortunate to have access to two excellent water sources that allow us to be prepared to meet the range of supply and demand conditions that occur in the Portland water system. The Bull Run watershed, in combination with the Columbia South Shore Well Field, is capable of meeting Portland’s water needs throughout the summer.
Due to the dry spring weather, above average temperatures, and in consideration of available long-term weather forecasts, the Portland Water Bureau will use the Columbia South Shore Well Field to supplement supply until the return of significant fall rains.
The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards. It is anticipated that groundwater will contribute approximately 35 percent of supply and may be increased if above average demands and dry weather continue. Customers may notice a slight increase in hardness as a result of blending groundwater.
“We deliver safe and reliable drinking water to almost one million customers,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Michael Stuhr. “At the end of a dry spring, it’s tremendously comforting to know that we can turn to our Columbia South Shore Well Field and supply all our customers’ needs with high-quality drinking water.”
As part of our ongoing seasonal supply planning, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to ensure adequate, clean water for all of our customers. The Portland Water Bureau will be managing our water supply carefully until the return of fall rains, so that we continue to meet our obligations.
Depending on location, it may take up to two weeks for groundwater to move through the distribution system and reach customers. Supply updates will be posted to portlandoregon.gov/water/seasonalsupply. The media and customers will again be notified when the Portland Water Bureau returns to 100 percent Bull Run water. For more information about Portland’s drinking water quality, call the Water Line at 503-823-7525.