Students from Timber Lake Job Corps joined us for TWO days last week to help clean up Phillips Creek. Phillips Creek flows beside 82nd Ave and the Clackamas Town Center and is surrounded by a sea of roads, parking lots and buildings; also known as impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces do not allow rainwater to filter through them causing stormwater to run right off the surface into storm drains. Timber Lake students saw the very real effects of stormwater in the form of litter in Phillips Creek.
Question: Do you know where stormwater goes once it enters a storm drain?
Answer: A lot of the time the nearest neighborhood stream, untreated and unfiltered.
From Tualatin Riverkeepers:
When it rains, everything that falls in streets or parking lots is washed into the nearest stream through the storm drain. For most of the Tualatin Valley, stormwater runoff from streets gets no treatment or filtering at all. All sorts of harmful things end up in our streams:
- Oil and other fluids that drips off of cars
- Fertilizers that feed harmful algae
- Brake dust with heavy metals that harm fish
- Cigarette butts and other garbage
- Pesticides poisonous to aquatic life
- Sediments that consume dissolved oxygen
- Pet poop loaded with pathogens
- Dirt and soap from car washing