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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Balch Creek Trash Rack Replacement and Repair


Environmental Services works throughout the city to protect water quality and the environment. Balch Creek, in northwest Portland, runs above ground for approximately 3 ¼ miles and then enters a pipe in Macleay Park. From that point on, the creek flows underground through the pipe until it reaches the Willamette River.

At the point in Macleay Park where Balch Creek flows into the underground pipe, a trash rack catches large debris to protect the pipe from backing up or clogging (see photo). 

The Balch Creek Trash Rack collects sediment, large logs, and other woody debris that is carried down from the steep forested drainage area surrounding the Lower Macleay Trailhead in Forest Park.  This large structure keeps the majority of sediment, rock, and floating debris from entering the low-pressure storm sewer that carries Balch Creek from Forest Park to the Willamette River.  The Balch Creek Trash Rack is aging and many of its components are in need of replacement and upgrading.  Repairing or replacing the trash rack will help reduce the chance of future clogs, backups and floods.

Next Steps

The Bureau is designing a replacement of the existing trash rack that will include repair and access upgrades so that the facility can be maintained more easily. It is expected that construction will begin in the summer of 2020.

For More Information

With questions, comments or for more information, please contact Aaron Abrams at 503-823-2827 or