The Portland Water Bureau completed construction of the original reservoirs in 1894, and in 2012 the Portland Water Bureau began planning for their reconstruction. The goal of the of the project is to provide increased reliability of stored water for drinking, fire suppression, and business uses at the Washington Park site and to help ensure the public health and economic viability of the city. After nearly five years of studies, design, and extensive community input, construction began in the summer of 2016, and will not be completed until 2024.
The project will build a new, underground reservoir in the footprint of Reservoir 3, the upper one, complete with a reflecting pool on top. Reservoir 4, the lower reservoir, will be disconnected from the drinking water system, and another reflecting pool along with a lowland wildlife habitat area, and stormwater bioswale, will be constructed in the basin. Many historic features of the original reservoirs are being preserved and incorporated into the project, including both dams and gatehouses, the pump station between the two reservoirs, and many other features.
When completed, this project will provide the highest quality water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, five hospital complexes, and more than 60 parks.
Watch the video below for instructions. We hope you enjoy this virtual tour, and check back in, we will add more videos and information as the project progresses.
Visit the project website for more information: www.portlandoregon.gov/water/wpreservoirs
When the Washington Park Reservoirs were constructed in the late 1800’s excavation of soil exacerbated an ancient, active landslide. The slide is still moving today and continues to damage the existing reservoirs and infrastructure.
Annually, the Portland Water Bureau monitors the landslide and removes water from beneath it to slow movement. This project will not stop the landslide but will help slow the movement and isolate the new reservoir from the moving soil.
LT2 is a 2006 federal regulation that requires the City of Portland to protect its stored drinking water against contamination as part of the water quality requirements for safe drinking water.
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