In December, the Portland Water Bureau granted final approval to an estimated $27.5 million-$29.5 million project that involves modifications to a water intake tower in the Bull Run Reservoir, the Oregon city’s primary supply. The project is designed to regulate water flow and maintain cooler water temperatures in the lower Bull Run River. The 150-ft tower, one of two, collects water that is either conveyed to the city’s water distribution system or released into the river. However, in its current capacity, the tower is limited to drawing water only from the bottom of the reservoir.
The improvements, designed by engineering consultant Black & Veatch, are needed to comply with Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act requirements and include the installation of a 15-story, 385-ton steel wet well at the front of the existing tower. The structure will contain slide gates at multiple levels, enabling water to be extracted from three distinct elevations in the reservoir.