This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 9, 2007 6:29 PM. The previous post in this blog was Will wins Survivor immunity!. The next post in this blog is I take it all back. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fun day with the water people

A reader writes:

Several weeks back you had a passing mention and link to information about the water bureau's field day. I went to the site and signed up and just got back from a great day with city employees. So thank you for putting that brief mention in your blog (I am pretty sure it was your blog I read it in).

I got the chance to ride along with city employees who keep the water
system working and also who really like their jobs and are proud of the work the water bureau does. It was a fun day and very educational.

I did write about it, here. Glad it went well.

Comments (4)

Portland's water system is a real treasure among municipal water systems in the U.S. Under Randy Leonard's stewardship the integrity of the Portland Water Bureau has been restored. David Shaff has done a tremendous job of rebuilding morale, that was at a low under the previous management. I hope David wins "Bojack Survivor", he deserves it.

Was field day a full-pay day or did the workers volunteer? Other thing is why did we need a field day? Is their self-image that bad?

Admittedly, the high water rates are more a symptom of mis-management of infrastructure funds and ignoring sewer problems for more than 20 years by our beloved leaders.

Steve, someone PR person at a neighborhood reservoir meeting once told us to go home and look at our bill to see what we paid for just water. I did. He was right. The water rate was low, but the sewer charges were off the chart. I learned the high sewer rates are to fix problems that were caused by a past mayor who convinced the city council to save money on a much cheaper combined sewer system; the same one that today dumps sewage into the river when it rains. Read your bill, water and sewer are two different charges.


Water Bureau staff involved in Field Day were paid as they normally are. They did their regular jobs--and citizens tagged along to get a view "behind the scenes."

This type of community relations--helping Portlanders understand how their water is delivered "from forest to faucet" -- is important to us, as hopefully it is important to them.

Although it seems to many of us that we simply turn on our tap and water magically appears, this "magic" is really the result of 100-plus years of engineering, construction, and maintenance. At Field Day, our staff have the opportunity to show interested individuals just how this is done.

Join us at next year's Field Day!

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