Category Archives: Public Works

Public Works, Engineering & Drones

Did you know, our Public Works and Engineering teams actively use drones to inspect and improve our city infrastructure? Drones help provide different vantage points, topographical details, as well as keeping our staff safe in areas that are tough to access!

Here are three projects this past year:

💧 Annual Water Reservoir Inspections – To inspect the condition of our elevated reservoirs, they can be dangerous to climb and inspect (our tallest one is 65 feet!). Drone use allows Public Works to safely and quickly inspect our reservoirs.

🔎 Blue Heron Canal Wastewater Rehabilitation – In preparation for this project, our Engineers needed to collect data on topography, land survey, and canal condition. By using the drones, we were able to collect the data without disturbing these natural habitats and spaces, while avoiding entering private properties or causing personal injury on treacherous canal hikes.

📸 Boones Ferry Road Improvements A fantastic way to watch progress of a large-scale road project is to see it by the air. The Boones Ferry Road project is a full transformation with road, streetscape, and utility work reconstruction that is best captured from above. Our team has been documenting every stage to showcase the roadway, pedestrian, and biking improvements!

The best part of all this – we have our own City of Lake Oswego Aerial Imaging Team (AIT) made of highly skilled and trained staff!

Thank You, Frontline Workers!

🚒👨🏻‍🚒🚜👮🏽‍♀️ Not all heroes wear capes! 2020 has brought numerous challenges, but we are grateful to the City’s frontline workers who serve this community every day. The last few weeks, crews from Fire, Police, Parks, Public Works, and the Water Treatment Plant have worked tirelessly to respond to the wildfires and windstorm. Our hearts go out to those that have been affected by the fires, including members of City staff. Let’s give these incredible individuals the gratitude they deserve! THANK YOU 💙🙏🏽❤️

Thank you, LO Fire. Fire not only kept our community safe, they also worked on the frontlines to protect our state, serving on crews at the Clackamas Wildfires, Hwy 242 Fire and others.

Thank you, LO Police. Police had 18 officers help the City of Molalla evacuate. Police also had two officers covering calls for Molalla Police daily through 9/19 so officers in the community were able to rest.

Thank you, LOCOM. Our 9-1-1 dispatchers absorbed increased call volume from Clackamas County to help with evacuation orders and life and safety calls.

Thank you, Parks team.  Parks crews implemented closures due to fire risk and poor air quality.  In one day, our team closed 15 playgrounds, 27 restrooms, 7 parking lots, 4 dog parks/off-leash areas, 9 athletic fields, 22 natural areas, and the golf course. They are also cleaning up damage in parks caused by the windstorm.

Thank you, Public Works. Public Works responded to Monday’s windstorm by clearing 20 down trees and working with PGE to minimize power outages. By Tuesday, over 50% of our team were in Level 2 or higher evacuation. In the midst of evacuating families, they actively repaired fire trucks and cleared streets for travel.

Thank you, Water Treatment Plant operators. These heroes ensured firefighters had water to fight fires and our communities had clean drinking water. The staff worked 12-hour shifts in order to increase water production to aid neighboring water systems with water supply for fire related demands.

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. As we have learned with the COVID-19 pandemic and Oregon Wildfires, emergencies can take many forms and often occur unexpectedly. Lake Oswego was recently under a level one “Be Ready” evacuation notice for the Clackamas Wildfires. While our evacuation level may have been lifted, it is an important lesson for us all to be prepared and get our kits together.

Fortunately, pulling together the needed supplies for an emergency kit isn’t difficult or expensive, and you’re probably already more prepared than you think! Having an emergency supply of water is one of the most important things that you can do to prepare for an emergency. People can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. So, water is a good place to start your preparedness efforts. Here in the PNW, the general rule is one gallon of water per person or pet per day to last you 14 days.

As for the rest of the kit, take stock of what you already have around your home. Pack up your items in an easy-to-carry container and store them in a centralized, accessible location. Finally, add the remaining items to your shopping list and pick up a few things every time to you go to the store.

Learn more about how to store your emergency water supply and other things you can do to get prepared at


Public Works Projects Continue

As much of our community has been “Staying Home to Save Lives”, our staff continue daily operations and City services.

A few highlights from this summer for Public Works:

  • West Bay Road and Virginia Way stormwater gardens upgraded – The stormwater rain gardens, which were some of the first in the city, needed stone work repairs and plant replacement. The major benefits of the new plants include: natural stormwater filtration, year-round color, attracting beneficials (birds & butterflies), and resiliency to seasonal weather changes.
  • Smart Water Meter installs continue – Our installs this year have slowed down due to limited staff, however, we continue to make progress on the replacement of 12,000 residential meters!
  • LED streetlights completed on arterials – We are in the final phase of the LED streetlight conversion project. Through the LED streetlights project, we have been able to save money and energy, while simultaneously increasing safety and visibility along our roads.
  • Wastewater rehabilitation underway– In conjunction with the paving work, our team with Engineering has overseen repairs of ~2,100 linear feet of lining with CIPP, rehabilitation of ~1,500 linear feet by pipe bursting, replacement of ~1,500 linear feet through open cut trenching, and rehabilitation of several miscellaneous assets such as laterals and manholes.

We proudly continue to serve our community and provide essential services to the people of Lake Oswego, all while continuing to comply with the Governor’s Executive Orders and COVID-19 safety precautions.

Fish On the Run, Irrigation Done!

The City of Lake Oswego and Clackamas River Water Providers are asking our customers to participate in our “Fish On the Run, Irrigation Done” annual summer watering campaign. This helps the Clackamas River by reducing or shutting-off outdoor watering in early September for the fall fish migration.

In addition to providing drinking water to over 300,000 people, the river is home to migrating salmon and steelhead virtually year-round. Most of the year there is plenty of water in the river, however summer is also the time of year when the Clackamas River is flowing at its lowest levels and we get the least amount of rain fall.

Water conservation is especially important starting in late August as fall Chinook and Coho Salmon begin returning to the Clackamas on the way to their spawning grounds. As our summers are getting longer and hotter, making sure there is enough water in the river for the fall fish runs is getting more challenging. Whether you use a hose or have an underground watering system to water your yard and garden, and care about protecting our river water for people, and wildlife here’s your chance to be part of our annual “Fish On the Run, Irrigation Done” campaign.

Visit our campaign resources: and find out what kind of changes you can make to your outdoor water use to ensure that you are using your drinking water in the most efficient ways possible.

Take the pledge: and receive a free yard sign letting neighbors know you are doing your part to keep water in the Clackamas River. The more water we can conserve the easier this journey will be for these threatened and endangered salmon species.

Street Sweeper Winning Name: “Sweep Caroline”

Due to COVID-19, the unveiling of “Sweep Caroline” at a Council meeting is postponed until the fall (or a later date that makes sense) once normal operations resume. However, to honor National Public Works Week (May 17-23, 2020), we still wanted to announce our name winner!

Drum roll please… “Sweep Caroline” submitted by Rosella Chapman!

Explanation: Caroline will do such an incredible cleaning job that LO residents will want to break into song as she approaches. Can’t you just hear it now? “Sweep Caroline! BA BA BA! Our streets never looked so clean!” (which is very fitting for this year’s Public Works Week theme – “The Rhythm of Public Works!”)

With over 120 entries, thank you to all those who submitted a name!

Your Drinking Water: There When You Need It

No matter the weather or the emergency, there are hardworking water professionals braving the elements to maintain all the infrastructure needed to ensure high-quality drinking water is There When You Need It for Lake Oswego and Tigard residents. A lot of work takes place behind the scenes to provide customers with clean, safe and reliable drinking water every day.

During Drinking Water Week (May 3-9), let’s recognize and celebrate the tireless work these unsung heroes do, to ensure we all can enjoy nature’s most precious resource. This video shares the story of these heroes who work day and night to deliver the highest quality drinking water available to your home!

A Message from Jason Hoye, Public Works Utility Worker

Jason Hoye is one of our essential Pubic Works employees providing vital city services, keeping Lake Oswego moving forward and the sewer system running smoothly during COVID-19. Most of his work takes place behind-the-scenes. Wastewater management is often out of sight and out of mind – a city service we all take for granted.

To help Jason, our Public Works team, and your pipes, please do not flush disposable or “flushable” wipes. These can cause expensive – and time consuming – repairs for both you and us!

When Jason isn’t maintain essential infrastructure, he is staying positive and healthy by going on bike rides. He encourages everyone to explore your neighborhood parks and trails during #StayHomeSaveLives.

Remember, we are #LOtogether.

Thank you, Public Works Staff!

Ever wonder who keeps your streets maintained, water running, toilets flushing, and streetlights on? These are just some of the faces providing vital city services required to keep Lake Oswego moving and working smoothly during COVID-19. Our Public Works department manages everything from the roadside flower beds and the City fleet, to streetlights, sewer and water pipes, plus everything in between.

We are here for you, #LakeOswego. We are all in this together – #LOtogether

Kari Duncan: A Leader Among Leaders

Earlier this week, our very own Kari Duncan, Lake Oswego Tigard Water Treatment Plant Manager, was awarded the George Warren Fuller Award by the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Waterworks Association (AWWA). This award recognizes distinguished service in the water supply field, diplomatic and constructive leadership, and creativity and innovation.

The AWWA is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, our most important resource.

While Kari was unable to receive the award in a typical ceremony, her colleagues and family organized a surprise physically distanced ceremony. The plaques were hand delivered to the treatment plant, her husband and sons joined in the festivities, and a video conference was held with all the past recipients to congratulate her via great distances.

Part of the inscription on the plaque reads: “Her volunteerism, plus many years of providing service to her community and the next generation of water operators, thus ensuring the world’s most precious commodity of clean drinking water, makes her of receiving this highest honor in the Water Works industry.”

She is a tremendous asset to our city, and we are very fortunate to have her managing Lake Oswego and Tigard’s water supply and treatment! Thank you, Kari!

For more information about the Pacific Northwest Section of AWWA, visit