Q. The catch basin in my parking lot is full of pine needles. Can the city unplug it?
A. No, more than likely the catch basins located in a parking lot are on private property and the City does not clean them.
Q. Who is responsible for cleaning the catch basins in the street in front of my home?
A. The City cleans about half of the catch basins annually on a set schedule. If a catch basin is full or is not draining after a rain event it may have been covered with leaves or road debris that needs to be removed from the grate. If, as a customer, you can rake the material off the catch basin into the street it would be greatly appreciated. If the catch basin is not blocked and is not draining, please call the Storm Division and we will have a crew respond as soon as possible.
Q. Why are the catch basins painted blue and white in front of my house?
A. The City paints blue and white stencils in front of the basin each year to educate the public and bring the stream awareness to the residents.
Q. Why does water sometimes come out of the catch basin when it rains?
A. It could be what we call a "bubbler" or it may be plugged. Bubblers are designed to outfall water from the catch basin. If it is raining severely it is likely an overload of the system.
Q. Somebody dumped oil in the catch basin. What can the city do about it?
A. Please call us immediately (503-786-7600). We have a Municipal Code Compliance Program officer who will deal with the violation. The maintenance section will need to investigate the downstream effects and clean up if the responsible party is not willing to deal with the problem immediately.
Q. Baby ducklings fell into the drain/catch basin. Can the city cover the catch basins so they can't fall in?
A. No, we can't cover catch basins to protect ducklings from falling in. In the spring this is a big concern. Telephone us and we will attempt to retrieve them (503-786-7600).
Q. How can I tell if my house is hooked up to the storm drain?
A. You may be able to determine if your house is connected. If you have curbs with holes in them at the street level, dump water into your gutters on a dry day, then watch in the street for the water to flow out onto the curb/street.
Q. I think there is a break in one of the drainage systems in my yard. Can the city check it out?
A. Yes, we may be able to investigate. However, it will be the property owner's responsibility to repair the drainage system.
Q. Why can't I wash out my painting equipment in the storm drain? Its water-based paint and I've been doing it for years.
A. As all of us become more aware of potential water pollution problems, we recognize that we can all do our part to eliminate water contamination. The storm drain system is designed for rainwater that falls from the clouds not contaminated material. Remember, the storm water flows into our creeks and rivers and eventually into the ocean.
Q. Can the City do anything about all the water in my backyard?
A. No, the City is not responsible for private property issues, but will assist you if an adjacent property is purposely dumping water onto your property.
Q. Who is in charge of cleaning up the creeks?
A. For a spill, emergency personnel are called to assist when the maintenance people determine it to be severe. If it is a small minor spill, the control or containment is the first priority of the City's storm division maintenance staff. It is our job to determine who is responsible for the spill and get them to take care of the clean up work. General creek maintenance is the responsibility of the abutting property owners. The City has minimal maintenance areas on the creeks.
Q. Does the City maintain the detention pond in my neighborhood?
A. It depends on whether the detention pond is private or public. The City maintains all public detention ponds which are located at Roswell and Rock Vorst (Roswell detention pond), Willow and 55th (Willow detention pond).
Q. What is storm detention?
A. It is the holding back of rainwater in the conveyance system and then releasing it at a slower rate into the storm drain.
Q. What is this manhole for in my back yard?
A. The manhole is used for access to the system for maintenance and possibly for direction of flow change, grade change or other pipe connections to the system.
Q. Where do my tax dollars go?
A. The Storm Division’s responsibilities include: flood control and response; 24-hour emergency response and repair; reconstruction, maintenance, mowing and weeding of storm water detention and water quality facilities; removing siltation from above ground drainage systems; constructing and replacing storm system pipes and facilities; sweeping all improved public streets and cleaning of the public catch basins, main lines and drywells.
Call the Stormwater Maintenance Division at (503) 786-7615 to report a problem or obtain additional information.
Things to remember...