Portland is known for the rain -- we receive 37 inches of rain in an average year. In a natural environment, soil and plants would absorb most of that. But in the city, streets, buildings and parking lots cover the ground. Rain washes over these hard surfaces and becomes stormwater. Stormwater runoff carries dirt, oil and other pollutants to rivers and streams. It can also cause erosion and flooding that harm properties and wildlife habitat.
Environmental Services manages the city’s stormwater system and works with residents, businesses and property owners to reduce stormwater pollution, promote private stormwater management and protect our rivers, streams and groundwater. Portland manages stormwater as a valuable resource through green infrastructure, along with pipes, sumps and the wastewater treatment plant, to improve watershed health.
This is part of our mission to protect public health, water quality and the environment. Portland finances stormwater management services by collecting public utility fees on developed property, and system development charges (SDCs) on new development.
Creating a new stormwater infrastructure plan for Portland