The River Starts Here

“The River Starts Here” is a public education campaign being undertaken by most of the stormwater utilities in the Portland Metro area, including the City of Lake Oswego. The goal of the campaign is to help all of us recognize our role in protecting water quality, and give us some simple ideas on how we can help with this effort. Because our connections to rivers are so strong here in Oregon, our daily actions collectively make a difference – for good or bad.  So what can you do to make the river that starts here cleaner for all of us?

  • Use slow release fertilizers sparingly and only if needed.  Test your soil first.
  • Sweep up rather than hose off driveways, sidewalks, and gutters.
  • Vegetate bare spots in your yard; compost your yard waste.
  • Use the least toxic pesticides needed, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems.
  • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider starting a rain garden.
  • Protect our streamside corridors – maintain them with native trees and shrubs.
  • Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams (including water drained from pools or spas).
  • Take your car to the car wash or wash it on the lawn instead of washing it in the driveway.
  • Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil.
  • Pick up after your pet.
  • Don’t litter.
  • If you have a septic system, keep the tank pumped and the system inspected regularly.

For more ideas to improve water quality, check out or Clean Water Partners.