Carli Creek Water Quality Project

The Carli Creek project is a 15-acre water quality facility along the Clackamas River. The project reduces surface water pollutants originating from the surrounding industrial area.


  • 120th and Capps Road area

The problem

This area is currently served by stormwater infrastructure that conveys runoff to 3 outfalls. Two of these outfalls drain directly to Carli creek. Very little of the runoff is treated to remove pollutants before it enters the storm drainage system.

Stormwater data have revealed the presence of pollutants in this heavily developed watershed. In 2013-14, water quality monitoring showed pollution levels exceeded standards for:

  • E. coli
  • copper
  • lead
  • zinc

The solution

The project includes the construction of channels, ponds, wetlands, and permeable berms to treat stormwater, filtering pollutants before the runoff enters the Clackamas River.

The project includes erosion control and habitat structures for the benefit of fish and aquatic wildlife.

Project features

  • a meandering channel with pools in and along nearly 1,700 linear feet of Carli Creek
  • 61 large wood habitat structures for fish and other aquatic wildlife
  • a backwater channel
  • floodplain enhancements through grading, invasive, and non-native species removal, and planting a diversity of native species
  • enhanced wetlands and an additional 1.36 acre of wetland

Project funding

The total project budget including land acquisition is $4 million. WES is supported by key partnerships, such as Portland General Electric (PGE) who awarded WES $380,000 for the stream restoration elements of the project. In addition to the PGE grant, funding for the project comes from surface water fees paid by property owners within the WES service area.


For more information, contact Leah Johanson at or 503-742-4620.

Project Completed: December 2018


Aerial of Project Aerial of the project
step pool From one of the outfalls to step pools
Habitat Structures Habitat structures for wildlife
Ground Breaking Project’s wetland groundbreaking
Birdseye View of Site Birdseye view of project site
Site Preperation Site preparation to protect from erosion
Project's proximity to the river Project's proximity to the river
Working on naturalize creek channel Work to naturalize creek channel
Native fish protected Native fish protected during construction
Extensive restoration Extensive restoration efforts to improve habitat
WES staff WES staff helping to protect wildlife
Carli Creek Large wood installation stabilizes streambanks
Fish salvage protected Fish salvage protected existing species
Stream Small schools of fish have returned post instream work
Evidence of Beaver activity Evidence of recent beaver activity at the site