Why do water utilities issue boil water orders?

The Portland Water District invests millions of dollars each year to replace old water pipes and upgrade infrastructure, but unfortunately water mains still break. This presents a potential pathway for contaminants to enter the drinking water system.


How does PWD know how much water our customers use?

We measure water use in hundred cubic feet, or HCF. One HCF is equal to 748 gallons. How much water is that? An average eight-person hot tub holds only about 500 gallons, so less than one HCF. It would take about 20 full bathtubs to equal 1 HCF.