Completed Carli Creek Water Quality Project protects Clackamas River from pollutants


From: Edward Nieto, Clackamas County Public and Government Affairs, 503-742-4371

Media and Interested Parties

Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES) hosted a tree-planting ceremony on Friday, March 22 to commemorate the completion of the Carli Creek Water Quality Project, which filters pollutants from stormwater runoff before it reaches the Clackamas River, the source of drinking water for nearly 400,000 people.

The 15-acre water quality facility is located between industrial properties and the Clackamas River in unincorporated Clackamas County.

The project includes the restoration of 1700 feet of Carli Creek and installation of two pipe systems that funnel stormwater runoff through a series of wetland basins and other features. 70,000 new native plants (54 different species) work with reshaped soil to capture and treat pollutants. The installation of 83 wood structures provides habitat protection for wildlife.

Named after the family that once owned and farmed the land for generations, Carli Creek had become a repository for much of the stormwater runoff from surrounding industrial areas. WES recognized how important the property is to water quality and acquired the land in 2012 in order to establish the facility.

“Today is World Water Day, which focuses attention on the importance of clean water in our lives,” said WES Director Greg Geist. “It is an appropriate day to celebrate how the functioning Carli Creek facility results in a cleaner Clackamas River, a more efficient stormwater management system and an enhanced environment for wildlife.”

Portland General Electric (PGE) provided a $380,000 grant for stream restoration efforts. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted fish rescue operations prior to construction.

“I’ll never forget the first time I saw runoff being treated by this facility during a recent storm,” said WES Environmental Services Manager Ron Wierenga. “It was an emotional moment to see it working according to design and proof that a balance between nature and industry is possible.”

To learn more about the Carli Creek project, visit

For more information, members of the media and public may contact Community Relations Specialist Edward Nieto at 503-742-4371 or 971-284-7094.