Portland Starts Using Well Water

On Thursday, the Portland Water Bureau will begin adding groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field to augment Portland’s main drinking water source, the Bull Run Watershed. 

This year’s dry spring and early start to summer weather, along with long-term weather forecasts, have resulted in the need for additional drinking water supply until the return of the fall rains

“Thanks to careful planning, groundwater is here to help us fully meet our regional water needs,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Gabriel Solmer. “This critical supplemental water source will help us be prepared for the known and unknown risks of climate change on our water supply.”

Most customers can expect to receive a blend of 40 percent Bull Run water and 60 percent groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field. It can take up to two weeks, depending on location, for the blended water to make its way through the distribution system to homes and businesses.

Supply augmentation is also an opportunity to identify maintenance needs and ensure that groundwater equipment is operational. 

“Our water system’s resilience depends on having two high-quality drinking water sources,” Director Solmer added. “I want to extend my thanks to the community for continued support of water system investments that make it possible to deliver safe, clean water every day.” 

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is a high-quality water supply that meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water regulations. The well field is supplied by deep aquifers that store rain that falls in the Portland Basin. Learn more about our groundwater here. 

The Portland Water Bureau informs the media and sensitive water users when we activate groundwater or make significant operational changes. We will issue a notification when we return to 100 percent Bull Run water. Sensitive water users can sign up to be directly notified by the Portland Water Bureau at portlandoregon.gov/water/notification.

Customers with questions should call the Water Quality Line at 503-823-7525.

Source: Portland Water Bureau

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