Clean Water News & Stories

Public Works: Connecting Communities Worldwide 

How often do you consider where water (and everything you flush along with it) goes after you “go,” or where it flows when it falls as rain, melts as snow, or runs down your driveway from a hose? You may not think about it much, because the public works staff who maintain miles of pipe, operate treatment facilities, monitor water quality, and respond to threats to public health and the environment are working to keep those essential services flowing 24 hours a day for you. 

Clean Water Services employees are among the thousands of public works employees in our community helping provide an infrastructure of services in transportation; water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment; public buildings and spaces; parks and grounds; emergency management and first response; solid waste; and right-of-way management. These workers strive to create and maintain a livable community for all of us. 

A CWS employee holds a long poll with a cup at the end used to collect samples for water quality testing.

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The water that leaves your home or falls on the ground returns to a far healthier Tualatin River thanks to Washington County voters supporting our formation over 50 years ago, and thanks to the efforts of the public works professionals at CWS as well as our 12 partners cities, Washington County, and many other partners who contribute year-round to the health of the people, animals, plants, and waterways of the Tualatin River Watershed. 

“Although our efforts are often unseen and can be taken for granted, each of us, our families, our communities, our nation, and the planet benefit daily from those efforts,” said Logan Olds, CWS interim managing director of utility operations, as the Washington County Board of Commissioners joined public agencies across the country in proclaiming May 21-27, 2023, as National Public Works Week. This year’s theme is “Connecting the World Through Public Works.” 

 “It is with duty and pride that we serve,” Olds added, “and we thank you for this recognition of our service.” 

Workers fill a trench in the street where pipe work was completed. A piece of heavy machinery, houses, and cars are in the background.