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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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Introducing Field Guide: Maintaining Rain Gardens, Swales and Stormwater Planters

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Rain gardens, swales, and stormwater planters are important tools in the stormwater management toolkit, soaking up runoff from streets, parking lots, and buildings. Proper maintenance of these facilities is integral to keep them operating effectively. With so many of them now installed across the Portland metro area, a lot has been learned by municipalities and organizations involved with this work. 

The stormwater facility maintenance Field Guide provides much of the information landscape contractors and others will need in order to properly maintain rain gardens, swales, stormwater planters, and other facilities. Topics covered include erosion, sedimentation, vegetation and weeds, structures, trash and debris, safety. The field manual covers the most common maintenance activities that workers will need to remedy and provides lots of photos as a guide.  

The Field Guide was created by Clackamas County Water Environment Services, Clean Water Services, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Green Girl LDS, Metro, City of Portland Environmental Services, Pacific Landscape Management, and Pacific Sports Turf.

See the document online at:

1 Comment


Jake Jay

May 28, 2022 at 3:16 PM

Someone has filled the bioswale at 4273 Ne Hazelfern Pl with piles of compost and fertilizer. This blocks the storm/rain water from entering the system and causes the street in front of the house to backup/flood. What should I do and can you stop this as it has recurred four times this year?

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