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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

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From your Neighborhood to the River

Portland is known for its rainy weather. Rain replenishes our rivers, streams, and groundwater. It helps keep our neighborhoods green.

But too much rain can create problems, especially in our urban neighborhoods. Rain runs off hard surfaces in your neighborhood such as rooftops, parking lots, streets, and driveways picking up pollution along the way. This stormwater runoff carries the pollution into the public sewer system or sometimes directly into a river or stream. Heavy rains can cause flooding or sewage overflows into basements, streets, or rivers and streams.

Graphic showing neighborhood street without green infrastructure

Managing rain more naturally

In many neighborhoods across Portland, sewer projects to repair or replace aging or failing pipes also include options to manage stormwater in a more natural way. Trees, green street planters, and rain gardens are just some of the tools we can use to slow or reduce the flow of stormwater into the public sewer system or to keep stormwater out of our rivers and streams.

Graphic showing neighborhood street with green infrastructure

Graphic: Have an idea for a community project that will help improve watershed health? Contact us.Partnerships with residents and businesses in neighborhoods across Portland are key to identifying opportunities to manage stormwater runoff more naturally and help improve the health of our rivers and streams. We are working with neighborhoods around Portland to:

  • Plant trees and other vegetation
  • Install green street planters
  • Remove stormwater from the sewer system
  • Build rain gardens on private property
  • Provide resources for watershed health
  • Create partnerships with the community

Green solutions provide multiple benefits

Combining pipe repair and replacement projects with green solutions that manage stormwater more naturally is a cost-effective approach. This approach provides multiple benefits for neighborhoods, including improved air and water quality, reduced urban temperatures, increased wildlife habitat, and safer streets.

Learn more

Current projects

Building rain gardens on private property

Upcoming events and activities

What you can do at home