Sewer & Stormwater Services

Flood Facts in Washington County

Clean Water Services often receives inquiries about flooding because we protect water resources and help maintain the public drainage system. This information is a quick reference to help answer your questions.

Be Prepared

Individuals, especially those who live in a floodplain, need to be prepared to protect themselves and their property. From flood insurance to clearing yard debris, these tools and tasks can help protect your home and neighborhood from rising water and flooding.

Washington County and individual cities regulate development in the floodplain to minimize flood risk and to enable residents to qualify for flood insurance. The county and cities administer the national flood insurance program for FEMA. Unfortunately, some floodplains were developed before existing land use regulations and floodplain delineations and are therefore more prone to flooding.

When it floods, authorities are focused on protecting public safety and the public infrastructure (roads, bridges, utility lines, etc.).

An Aerial image of a residential area completely flooded, leaving everything but the rooftops, trees, and cars underwater.

Flood Insurance

The best way to protect yourself from financial loss is to have flood insurance. Should you pay for flood insurance if you don’t live in a designated flood hazard area? Check out the cost-benefit analysis. Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover flooding. You don’t need to live in a floodplain to buy flood insurance. To find flood insurance, visit or call toll-free 1.888.435.6637.

Get Your Home Ready for Rain

Help prevent neighborhood flooding and protect your home:

  • Clear leaves and yard debris off streets and storm drains.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts.
  • Keep yard debris and leaf piles away from drainage ditches and streams so that rising water does not carry material downstream and block a culvert.

The first big rain after a long stretch of dry weather washes any pollution that has accumulated on the ground into storm drains. In Washington County, whatever goes into our storm drains goes straight to the nearest stream, wetland, and our Tualatin River — not a treatment facility. Prevent the build-up of pollutants on the ground by using stream-friendly solutions in your yard year-round.