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

Harmful Effects
Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on the environment, including plants, fish, animals and people. Some common pollutants and contaminants found in stormwater and run off include the following:
  • Bacteria and other pathogens come from sanitary sewer overflows, pet wastes and other inappropriately dumped infectious material
  • Debris, such as plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles and cigarette butts, washed into the bays can choke, suffocate or disable aquatic life
  • Excess nutrients are from materials like fertilizers, yard clippings, pet washes and food litter
  • Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life
  • Sediments are often from poorly maintained construction sites and include dirt and soil

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

What Can You Do?
One way to get involved in protecting our water resources is through complaint reporting. City of Portland residents are urged to be aware of what is going on in the community surrounding them. 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.