How You Can Help

The mission of storm water and floodplain management is to provide safe, effective and economical storm water drainage systems through planning, engineering, and education. The Public Works department works alongside citizens, contractors, and industry to ensure safe, effective drainage systems and clean, pollutant free bays.

Storm Water Master Plan


Polluted storm water runoff can have many adverse effects on the environment, including plants, fish, animals and people. Some common pollutants and contaminants found in storm water and runoff include:

  • Bacteria and other pathogens from sanitary sewer overflows, pet waste, and other infectious material
  • Debris, such as plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles and cigarette butts
  • Excess nutrients from fertilizers, yard clippings, pet washes, and food litter
  • Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids 
  • Sediments from poorly maintained construction sites

Polluted storm water often affects drinking water sources. This can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.


One way to get involved in protecting water resources is through complaint reporting. City of Portland residents are urged to be watchful of what is going on in the community. If you see excessive erosion or sediment escaping an active construction site, or if you witness an illicit discharge entering the storm sewer system, please call 361.777.4601 so that we can investigate potential problems.