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Sep-27-2007 18:03printcomments

Portland Water Bureau Supplements Bull Run Supply‏ With Groundwater

The Bull Run watershed is Oregon's largest municipal water supply.
Bull Run watershed
Courtesy: Tualitan Valley Water District

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Today the Portland Water Bureau is turning on two of six main pumps at the Columbia South Shore Well Field to deliver approximately 36 million gallons of water a day to the City of Portland and some of its wholesale customers.

The bureau will blend this groundwater with the water flowing by gravity from the Bull Run watershed. Groundwater will be approximately 1/3 of the blend. Currently the regional demand for drinking water is averaging 115 to 120 million gallons a day.

"This is a prudent step on our part. Forecasts had called for more rain in September than we actually received," said Administrator David Shaff. "While the reservoirs are not empty, we need to maintain water levels that allow us to avoid potential water quality and turbidity problems. Once we have determined that refill has begun, we will go back to relying completely on our primary Bull Run source."

Shaff adds, "Last year the fall rains didn't bring refill until the end of October. The wise thing to do is supplement the low Bull Run supply now to ensure that we have plenty of water for as long as we need it. We are very fortunate to have the flexibility that two high quality water resources provide."

The Water Bureau turned on the well field earlier this season on June 25th. With predictions for September rains, the bureau turned off the wells on August 28th. During that time the well field provided an average of 24 million gallons of water per day.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is Oregon's second largest municipal water supply. The Bull Run watershed is the first.

For information on daily Water Bureau operations, visit -or subscribe for email news updates through the link on the Portland Water Bureau's home page at

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