The City of Portland created a separate stormwater utility fee in 1977 to help pay for the increasing cost of managing stormwater runoff. City Council approved the Clean River Rewards stormwater utility discount program in 2006 to reward ratepayers who manage stormwater on their property.
The discount program is divided into two categories for registration purposes:
- Residential includes single-family and duplex properties.
- Commercial includes commercial, multi-family residential (3 units or greater), industrial, and institutional properties.
If you are unsure which of these categories you are in, check your utility bill and look at your billing type.
- You must register to receive a discount.
- For residential properties, the discount is based on managing stormwater runoff from roof areas only.
- For commercial properties, the discount is based on managing stormwater runoff from both roof and paved areas.
- How you manage stormwater cannot threaten or damage property or the environment.
- The maximum discount is 100% of the on-site stormwater charge.
- The discount remains in effect through June 2017. To maintain the discount, the utility account must remain active, stormwater facilities must be properly maintained and operated, and the city must be granted access to the property for limited inspections of stormwater facilities.
- The city will charge penalties and retract awarded discounts if a ratepayer files a fraudulent registration.
Ratepayers that are able to manage only a portion of their stormwater runoff are encouraged to apply for the discount. Partial credit is available on a sliding scale for properties that manage any portion of stormwater on their site, including partial credits for tree coverage and a credit for residential properties that have less than 1,000 square feet of total impervious area (roofs, driveways and paved areas).
If you currently manage stormwater on your property, then you already qualify for Clean River Rewards. If you would like further assistance on stormwater management, the online technical assistance page provides ratepayers with information about retrofitting properties with safe and effective stormwater management techniques. Options range from disconnecting your downspouts and directing roof drainage to landscaped areas or rain gardens, to installing drywells and soakage trenches. The technical assistance page also has tools to help calculate your discount.
The city processes single-family Clean River Rewards registrations without conducting a site visit to verify the accuracy of ratepayer registrations. However, city staff will randomly visit sites to verify private stormwater facilities. The city may impose civil penalties and recover stormwater discounts in cases where the ratepayer has filed a fraudulent application or failed to keep their private stormwater facilities in good operating condition.
See the Clean River Rewards administrative rules for more information.