Help Keep Storm Drains Clear

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Most of us are all too familiar with the rain in Oregon and everything affected by it. That includes clogged storm drains and street flooding caused by leaves, ice, rocks and other debris.

Storm drains are the metal grates on streets connecting to underground pipes that carry rain and snowmelt to nearby rivers, streams or groundwater. There are over 1,200 storm drain inlets in the City of Troutdale. Although City crews do sweep the streets and clean the storm drains on a routine maintenance schedule, there are times when strong wind and heavy rain can quickly cause drains to become covered and clogged. 

What can you do? 

Residents who have a storm drain grate near their property are encouraged to keep leaves and other debris cleared away from the drain. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you can, clear the drain before it starts raining.
  • Use a rake or pitch fork to clear leaves and debris from the storm drain. 
  • Do not try to remove the grate, only the debris on top of the grate.
  • Dispose of leaves in your yard debris container or compost bin. 
  • Please do not rake leaves into the street. Troutdale does not have a leaf pick-up program. 
  • If snow or ice is blocking the drain, try clearing a channel along the curb for the melting snow and ice
  • Always wear gloves, beware of sharp objects and watch out for traffic!

If you notice street flooding due to a clogged storm drain and it is not possible for you clear it, please call Public Works at 503-674-3300.

Now that the drain is clear, ever wonder where all that water is going?

The unseen pipes hidden beneath those metal grates on your street drain runoff to a nearby river or creek. In some parts of the City, storm drains send water underground instead of to a river, and underground aquifers are even harder to clean up than streams. That’s why storm drains are only for the rain and snowmelt. You can help keep our rivers and drinking water sources clean by keeping pollution out of neighborhood storm drains.

Keep hazardous waste out of our storm drains

Household chemicals like oil, anti-freeze, pesticides, paints and solvents cause significant harm to humans and animal life when they enter storm drains (the grated metal slots in the street.) Once in the storm drains, water and anything dumped into it, travels WITHOUT TREATMENT, to the creeks and rivers that we swim in, and fish and other aquatic animals thrive in. Each one of us can make a difference! Be aware of the kinds of chemical products you use outdoors. Don't dump any hazardous products down the storm drains and don't change the oil in your car or repair your car near a storm drain. If you see anyone dumping anything that could be potentially hazardous down the storm drain, please call the Environmental Specialist at the City of Troutdale, 503-674-7241.

Together, let's work to keep Troutdale clean and safe!