Stormwater runoff occurs on dispersed land surfaces including pavements, yards, driveways, and roofs. Runoff picks up pollutants that are then transported down curb and gutters, pipes, and ditches to our streams and Oswego Lake. Improving water quality requires that we are careful about what we allow onto the land surface, either intentionally or unintentionally. It also helps when we break the pathway between the pollutants and the receiving waters, for example, with streamside (riparian) vegetated areas that don’t require extra water, fertilizer, or pesticides. It takes individual behavior changes and proper practices to control stormwater pollution. That’s why we say, “Only rain down the drain.”
The City of Lake Oswego engages the community around ways to reduce stormwater pollution in many ways. Awareness of the issue is the first step to reducing stormwater pollution: the City provides information about stormwater quality in a wide range of places, including this website, brochure racks in City Hall, watershed and stormwater curriculum in Lake Oswego middle schools, volunteer activities with local watershed councils, and events such as periodic Farmers Market booths. The City supports the regional awareness campaign, The River Starts Here, to help get messages out about reducing stormwater pollution. We hope that with awareness comes changes in behavior, which we help to facilitate through ongoing programs like those below.