WaterWorks | May 2011 

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In this issue:
Reservoir construction update

 The facts on Portland's open reservoirs

 Senseless damage by vandals

Parking lot and road closures

 Meet the Team:
Jerry Moore

DuffJLAMeet the Team 
Jerry Moore

Jerry Moore has been a Portland Water Bureau employee for 15 years, and it's still the "head scratchers" that he most enjoys.


As Design Project Manager for the PB2 project, Jerry  oversees all the work involving the design of the reservoir and the park structures, as well as all the piping elements that control water flow from the reservoir to customers' taps and wholesalers' facilities.

During construction, Jerry will serve as design liaison and will coordinate shutdowns and connections with PWB Operations.


Jerry says that while the reservoir will require a lot of work and resources, the real complexity of this project is the piping work and the shut-down sequencing.


"That's the fun part for me: stepping through the system and figuring out how to take parts of the system off line when we need to and still keep the water flowing," he says. 

Jerry oversees the work of about a dozen consultants. He says that the project will require the design and construction of several new under-street vaults to house control valves, and installation of an additional control valve in an existing vault.

Learn more
Portland Water Bureau/Powell Butte Reservoir

Portland Parks & Recreation/Powell Butte Nature Park

Friends of Powell Butte

Centennial Neighborhood Association

Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association

Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association

Northwest Trail Alliance

Read past issues
Road Ahead
Visit our archives to read past issues of WaterWorks.

And the winning construction bidder is...

The Portland Water Bureau has selected SSC Construction, Inc. to complete the second phase of the Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project. SSC SSC logoConstruction - based in Corona, California, with new offices in Vancouver, Washington - was determined to be the lowest responsive and qualified bidder. In business since 1978, SSC Construction states it "has built a reputation for delivering innovative solutions in the construction of water and wastewater facilities throughout the Western United States."

The contractor's scope of work includes constructing the new 50-million gallon reservoir as well as connecting pipelines, valves, large vaults (both in and outside of the park), and site electrical and instrumentation improvements. The project also includes building a new interpretive center, a new parking lot, a maintenance facility, and a single-family residence that will serve as the Caretaker's House. Other park improvements include trail upgrades and changes, and new landscaping.

SSC Construction's estimated unit price winning bid was $80.2 million. The company anticipates starting construction in July 2011.

pipesSetting the record straight on open reservoirs

Water ratepayers, community activists, City staff and elected officials share a passionate interest in preserving the quality of Portland's drinking water and ensuring that the Water Bureau is able to move water from "forest to faucet" at a reasonable cost. However, sometimes the information in public conversations and the news media is a bit misleading, or lacks detailed facts.

The Portland Water Bureau wants the public to have correct, verifiable information when discussing these important issues. To this end, the Bureau has created and posted a comprehensive "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) document on the Water Bureau's website at http://www.portlandonline.com/water/index.cfm?c=29344&a=346368.

The FAQ answers the question why Portland must disconnect its five open reservoirs at Mount Tabor Park and Washington Park. In short, the federal Environmental Protection Agency's new Safe Drinking Water Act rules require that water utilities discontinue the use of open finished water reservoirs, or treat such water as it exits the reservoir to kill all water-borne pathogens. There is no waiver or variance option to avoid doing this. Filtration or treatment of any kind at each outlet of the reservoirs would be prohibitively expensive.  

An intensive yearlong water quality monitoring program detected zero Cryptosporidium oocysts in 449 samples totaling over 10,000 liters of water. The results establish that there is a very low risk of Cryptosporidium exposure from Bull Run water.

The FAQ also includes information about the safety of Portland's open and buried reservoirs. Bottom line: The water in Portland's open and underground reservoirs is safe and sampled regularly to ensure its quality, but improvements are necessary.

We hope you'll read the facts and learn more about these issues.

HOASenseless damage by vandals

Last year a bicyclist in the park pointed out a potential safety hazard from posts used to hold up erosion-control fabric fencing used in construction. The Water Bureau quickly installed safety cones atop the posts that line some of the trails. This past fall, vandals removed many of the cones and tossed them over the fence onto the road, or far off the trail. 

Other vandalism included people cutting out portions of the attractive fabric screens (photo below) the Water Bureau installed along some fences to protect trail users from road dust. The Bureau will attempt to secure the safety cones and replace the screens.

cut screen The City is asking for your help. If you see someone tampering with, removing, or destroying the cones, dust screens, or any other park property, please contact Water Bureau Security at 503-823-6084 and provide a description. Thank you for your assistance.

RoseBowlRoad and parking lot closures  

During construction, the Powell Butte Nature Park's main parking lot and the entrance road from SE 162nd Ave. will need to be closed for extended periods of time to allow for the construction of the new park facilities. This construction activity includes a subcontractor laying fiber optic cable for the new buildings on the butte. 

When the main lot in the park is not accessible you can use the parking lot at Rose Bowl parking lotthe nearby Rose Bowling Center, SE 164th Ave. and SE Powell Blvd. The Water Bureau has renewed its lease with the business to use some of its parking spaces.

Once reservoir construction starts, the Water Bureau will open the two new temporary parking lots located on SE Center Street at SE 144th Ave. and at the trailhead at SE Holgate near SE 136th Ave. "Road Closed" signs will be posted when the main parking lot is unavailable. Notices also will be posted at the park entrances and the main parking lot kiosk. 

CONTACT TIM HALL, CITY OF PORTLAND WATER BUREAU | Tim.Hall@portlandoregon.gov | 503.823.6926