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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Blog: Scenes from a Willamette River Summer

(August 30, 2019) - Each Friday during the summer, Environmental Services posts our Willamette River test results for bacteria and temperature at five popular recreation spots. Each week’s results this season were GOOD. And each week, you show what a river clean enough for swimming and playing means to you.

Here are scenes from a summer of play on the river - a river that is cleaner thanks in large part to your investment in the Big Pipe Project. 

PHoto - BES testing the water

What did our Willamette River test results show this season? All results were GOOD - showing bacteria levels well within state health guidelines. We sample at five locations each Wednesday and post results on Fridays.

Photos: willamette park

How do I find test results? Check the Rec at

Has the Willamette River always been clean enough to swim and play? No. Many longtime residents remember a polluted river but that’s changed. Thanks to the Clean Water Act, a variety of pollution prevention efforts and your investment in the Big Pipe Project, the river is cleaner than it’s been in decades. Your investment in the $1.4 billion Big Pipe project – the largest public works project in Portland history  – has eliminated almost all combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River and the resulting bacteria. Today, the river is almost always clean enough to swim and play.

 Photo: bike to the river

How can you continue to protect the river we all love?

* Get there by bike - bicycling, walking, rolling and taking TriMet  help prevent air and water pollution. Plus, biking is fun and bike parking is free.

* Please prevent dogs and pets from pooping near the river and clean up after your pet waste. Dog poop is raw sewage. Whether from people, pets or wildlife, bacteria from sewage can make people sick. 

* Pack up all your trash (we don’t have to say that, right?) See our other clean river tips

Photo: Big Float

For more photos, check out Flickr. For more info, Check the Rec for test results, safety tips and links to where to swim at Enjoy your river! 

Contact info: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636