Many people think storm drains carry water to treatment facilities for cleanup. This is not true in Washington County; storm drains carry rainwater (and pollutants) directly to the nearest stream, wetland and our Tualatin River.
Unfortunately, some people use the storm drains to dump waste like soap, paint, pesticides, antifreeze, and used motor oil. Dumping these hazardous wastes into storm drains pollutes our water, kills fish, vegetation, and wildlife, and can even harm our drinking water supply. When it rains water washes over streets, roofs, lawns, and parking lots picking up oil, sediment, bacteria, grease, and chemicals that can pollute our streams and our river.
We Need Your Help
Marking storm drains helps educate people and reduces dumping. By installing bilingual storm drain markers next to storm drains with the message, “No Dumping, Drains to River” in Spanish and English, you can help our community realize that what goes on the ground goes in our water. Contact Ely O’Connor at 503.681.4463 to schedule your storm drain marking project. We will provide storm drain markers, glue, informational doorhangers, and safety vests to anyone in the Tualatin River Watershed who would like to participate in this important public education project.
Clean Water Tips
- Reduce your lawn by planting Northwest natives
- Use organic or slow-release fertilizer
- Wash your vehicle at a car wash or on your lawn
- Use mulch to improve soil and help retain water
- Pick up your pet waste (put it in the trash)
- Leave your streambank natural (don’t mow to the edge)
- Keep pets out of streams
- Fix your car’s oil leaks or catch drips with a pan
- Remove English ivy and Himalayan blackberry bushes
- Volunteer with your local stream restoration group