Carli Creek Water Quality Project

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


SE 120th and Capps Road area of Clackamas County

The problem

This area is currently served by stormwater infrastructure that conveys runoff to three 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 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 and filter pollutants before the runoff enters the Clackamas River.

The project also 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 the planting of diverse 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, please contact Leah Johanson at or 503-742-4620.


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