Stormwater

When it rains, stormwater washes over streets, roofs, lawns and parking lots picking up oil, sediment, bacteria, grease and chemicals that can pollute our streams and the Tualatin River.

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).

Clean Water Services and City staff are responsible for the stormwater conveyance system and provide the following services:

  • Maintenance of the public stormwater conveyance system including 670 miles of storm sewers and pipelines, open ditches, stormwater detention ponds and water quality facilities. 
  • Sweeping curbed, public streets monthly and cleaning storm drains and catch basins.
  • 24-hour emergency response to flooding and water pollution complaints.
  • Water quality investigation and spill response.
  • Monitoring of water quality in the Tualatin River and its tributaries.
  • Development of design and construction standards.
  • Implementation and enforcement of construction site erosion control regulations.
  • Enforcement of buffer zones between new development and creeks and wetlands.
  • Construction of regional water quality, stream enhancement and flood management projects.
  • Watershed planning for the long-term health of our urban streams.
  • Public education, outreach and partnerships for pollution prevention and watershed health.
  • Private Water Quality Facility Management Program.
  • Clean Water Services does not maintain private drainage systems or have the authority to intervene in private lot-to-lot drainage disputes.
Surface Waters

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.

Who pays?

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.

What can you do to prevent water pollution?

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.

  • Mark storm drains in your neighborhood with the "No Dumping, Drains to River" message. 
  • Properly dispose of or recycle motor oil, antifreeze, paint, solvents and other toxic materials.
  • Keep leaves, grass clippings, dirt and litter out of storm drains, ditches, creeks, ponds and wetlands.
  • Clean up after your pets to avoid stream contamination from bacteria and parasitic organisms.
  • Use non-toxic alternatives or the least toxic pesticides and herbicides. Learn more about herbicide use in our Herbicide Fact Sheet (PDF, 3MB).
  • Do not over-fertilize lawns and your landscape.
  • Disconnect roof drain downspouts when applying moss control products on roof.
  • Don’t allow soaps and detergents from car washing to flow down the street or into catch basins.
  • Plant native groundcover and shrubs to cover bare earth and prevent erosion.
  • Report flooding or other serious problems to Clean Water Services.

The Tualatin River is the only river in Washington County.



The Tualatin River

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