The Stormwater Management (SWM) program improves water quality, protects fish habitat and manages drainage by operating and maintaining the stormwater conveyance system, establishing design and construction standards, regulating activities that can impact the watershed and enhancing streams and floodplains. Clean Water Services is the regional SWM utility for urban Washington County. In cooperation with Washington County and our 12 member cities, we build, maintain and enhance the public drainage system to meet public needs and to comply with strict water quality regulations set for the Tualatin River drainage area by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Surface waters consist of streams, wetlands, rivers and springs. Surface waters can be impacted by activities in the watershed. Improving their health involves addressing water flows (high and low), vegetation conditions, habitats, invasive species, human encroachment and sources of pollution. Activities such as tree planting, enhancement, culvert repairs, stormwater outfall improvements and flow restoration are prioritized through watershed planning conducted by Clean Water Services. Refinement of regulations, educational opportunities, incentives and other program activities that improve surface waters are an ongoing aspect of the SWM Program. Clean Water Services, our 12 partner Cities, Washington County, Friends groups and other watershed partners all pitch in to help improve our water resources.
Within the Urban Growth Boundary in Washington County, we all pay. Each resident of the community contributes to the cost of the SWM program because we all use the buildings, streets, parking lots and sidewalks that contribute to the potential impacts on water quality resulting from stormwater runoff. The SWM utility monthly service charge is based on the amount of impervious area on a piece of property. The average residential property owner pays $7.75 per month, and larger properties pay more. Developers also pay fees for the cost of building the drainage systems and water quality facilities serving their developments.
Protecting our neighborhood streams, wetlands and the Tualatin River begins at home. We all play a role in maintaining a healthy environment and a livable community.
Clean Water Services is working hard to protect water quality in our streams, but we need your help. Here are some tips to help you protect local creeks and the Tualatin River.