Plus: Stress less with TSA PreCheck
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Today's Note
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Out-of-this-world water conservation
A graphic of a satellite above earth with a face made of emojis and other random objects like a hose and shark floating around it.
ASTERRA’s Recover program won the inaugural AWWA Innovation Award in 2021. | Graphic by @portlandwaterbureau
Running beneath our feet are 2,200 miles of pipes that bring water to nearly a million customers across Portland. Over such a large footprint, there are bound to be subterranean leaks every now and then.

Locating and fixing them in a timely manner is critical. Even small trickles can cause sizable issues, like potholes and damage to sidewalks. Of course, minimizing waste is also vital to sustainability.

Traditionally, the Portland Water Bureau has searched for areas of water loss using acoustic equipment, shooting sound waves into the ground to listen for certain indicators of pooling water.

But in the summer of 2021, it partnered with ASTERRA to conduct a satellite leak detection pilot program. By firing ground-penetrating radar from 390 miles above Earth, the company can search for signatures unique to treated drinking water, like conductivity and traces of chlorine. It’s similar to the technology used to look for water on Mars.

A bent fire hydrant is surrounded by a large pool of water by the side of a forested street.

You can report leaks at the 24/7 emergency line by calling 503-823-4874.


Photo by @portlandwaterbureau

During the four-month trial, 160 leaks were found — three times what the leak detection team normally finds in an entire year. Of those breaks, 95% were not actually visible from street level.

All told, the Water Bureau estimates that 338 million gallons could be conserved per year. That’s like turning on your tap for almost 22 minutes, with the entire Willamette River flowing out of it.

To be sure, the utility manager will conduct a phase-two test this summer; if the results are again convincing, it will consider adding this emerging technology to its tool belt in order to save customers money.

Wednesday, March 15
  • Helium Presents: Monica Nevi | Wednesday, Mar. 15 | 8 p.m. | Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE Ninth Ave., Portland | $10-$28 | Get ready to laugh with the hilarious stand-up comedian and host of the weekly podcast “Dumb Pitches.”
Thursday, March 16
  • Carrie Underwood | Thursday, Mar. 16 | 7:30 p.m. | Moda Center, 1 N. Center Court St., Portland | $35.50-$146 | Portland, take the wheel, the country singing queen from Muskogee is in town on “The Denim & Rhinestones Tour.”
  • Drag Show | Thursday, Mar. 16 | 9 p.m.-12 a.m. | Triple Nickel Pub, 3646 SE Belmont St. #4326, Portland | $6 | Bring your friends and good vibes.
Friday, March 17
  • Portland Trail Blazers vs. Boston Celtics | Friday, Mar. 17 | 7 p.m. | Moda Center, 1 N. Center Court St., Portland | $76+ | We’re playing the team with a leprechaun as its mascot on Saint Patrick’s Day — what could go wrong?
Saturday, March 18
  • Abby’s Closet 2023 Prom Dress Giveaway | Saturday, Mar. 18-Sunday, Mar. 19 | Times vary | Oregon Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland | Free | Shop through more than 7,000 free vintage and brand new dresses to make sure you’re stylin’ at the dance; people of all gender identities, abilities, sizes, and socioeconomic status are welcome.
  • Owl Fest 2023 | Saturday, Mar. 18 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Tryon Creek State Natural Area, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland | Free | Do you know “hoo” might be living in your backyard? Learn about these wise feathered friends by taking a guided hike, dissecting pellets, and learning about their habitat.
Sunday, March 19
  • Yoga + Beer | Sunday, Mar. 19 | 10:45-11:45 a.m. | Living Haus Beer Company, 628 SE Belmont St., Portland | $17-$23 | Find your inner zen and then namaste and have a drink.
We have a calendar filled with events and activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.

Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes

  • 50º | Partly cloudy | 24% chance of rain
Sunrise + Sunset
  • Rise: 7:22 a.m.
  • Set: 7:16 p.m.
  • At the corner of Northwest Fourth Avenue and Glisan Street, demolition is underway. The historic Yamaguchi Hotel stood there for 130 years, a vestige of Japanese heritage in Portland, but the unreinforced brick structure was eventually deemed unsafe. Now, Blanchet House will build a health clinic for people experiencing homelessness on the site. (OPB)
  • Twelve thousand attendees and 35,000 booked room nights: The National Education Association’s annual conference, planned for July 2025, will be the largest event of its kind to ever come to the Oregon Convention Center and Portland. Still two years out, it’s being praised as an “absolute boon to the regional economy.” (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
  • Last year, the Portland Thorns left a permanent mark in the record books, winning an unprecedented third NWSL championship. The team will keep that same energy this season, thanks to a unique away kit inspired by the city’s tattoo culture. You can look sharp too — fittingly, it will hurt your wallet.
  • Tune in to ESPNU this Saturday, March 18 at 6 p.m. to watch the 12-seed Portland Pilots take on the 5-seed Oklahoma Sooners in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. With a 23-8 record and WCC tournament championship, the team now seeks its first-ever win in the “big dance.”
Plan Ahead
  • Ready to level up your family fun? Thankfully, you don’t have to dodge rolling barrels thrown by a gorilla to get to the SideQuest Expo. The two-day retro video game and collectible show is coming to the DoubleTree Hotel across from the Lloyd Center, Saturday, March 18-Sunday, March 19. (KOIN)
  • Putting pan-Asian cuisine on a pie — that’s Hapa Pizza’s specialty. The Beaverton-based outfit has long been a mainstay at local farmers markets, but now, fans can visit its new brick-and-mortar location to dig into the banh mi, pho, and tom yum-inspired recipes. (Eater Portland)
  • Dawnbringer, a breakfast food cart in North Portland, is ready to change your opinion of English muffins. Owner Chaz O’Neil uses olive oil, caramelized cornmeal, and about eight other techniques to craft the bread for his creative sandwiches. Soon, he plans to introduce a hybrid pita pocket designed to keep the fillings from spilling. (Eater Portland)
  • Craving a healthy and delicious snack that also supports a good cause? So are we. PDXPOP! gourmet popcorn is available in flavors like bourbon eggnog, chocolate peppermint, and spiced chai. Each bag is individually packaged and can be shipped all over the US. Bonus: All proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels People. Add to cart. 🍿 *
  • AG1 by Athletic Greens is so much more than “greens.” With one scoop, AG1 empowers the gut for whole-body health. (And, ICYMI, we can’t achieve a healthier everything else without a healthy gut.) Try it and receive a free one-year supply of vitamin D and 5 free travel packs. *
  • Did you know our online store Six & Main features Sourhouse, a company that creates simple tools for sourdough bakers to care for their starters? The Goldie by Sourhouse + Cooling Puck is one of the most popular items. Let’s start baking. 🍞
  • It’s time for biscuits with the boss. Season three of “Ted Lasso” premieres today only on Apple TV+, which means AFC Richmond is hitting the pitch and Jason Sudeikis will surely have some feel-good life advice for us. Bonus: Get your first week free when you sign up to stream.
  • This Princeton grad’s startup raised $161 million to help people plan for retirement — and its free tool can match you with up to three vetted financial advisors serving your area who can help you work towards a more comfortable retirement. Try it out for yourself. *
Stress less with TSA PreCheck
Cut down your travel time with TSA PreCheck. | Photo via Pexels
Planning a spring getaway? Don’t forget to add TSA PreCheck enrollment to your pre-vacay to-do list.

The government program provides an expedited security lane at 200+ airports for travelers who pass a security screening — which includes a short application and a 10-minute in-person enrollment appointment — and are given a Known Traveler Number. Bonus: The screening is good for five years and costs $78.

The main benefit of enrolling? Save time when traveling. Recent data found that 96% of TSA PreCheck passengers spent less than five minutes at airport security checkpoints.

To apply, find out if you are eligible, then fill out an application and schedule an appointment at a nearby enrollment center. Most people will know if their application has been approved within three to five days.

Psst — don’t forget to read our airport guide before heading to PDX, and grab these airport essentials: a memory foam travel pillow, this smart luggage carry-on set, and an AirFly wireless headphones transmitter.
The Wrap
Ben McBee headshot Today’s Edition By:
Ben McBee
From the Editor
I finally watched the season finale of HBO’s “The Last of Us.” If you haven’t seen it yet, the show is based on a popular video game, where a parasitic fungus (inspired by a real natural phenomenon) spreads to humans, causing a worldwide zombie apocalypse.

Cordyceps is an actual genus of fungi with about 600 species, but they are not a threat to humans. In fact, you can even eat some, like the Cordyceps militaris, at restaurants around Portland.
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