Monitoring Green Infrastructure Performance in the City of Portland

Sustainable Stormwater Management Program provides leadership in demonstrating rainwater capture, where it falls

In September 2006, the City of Portland’s Sustainable Stormwater Management Program released a report on performance monitoring results for five types of green infrastructure facilities:

  • Ecoroofs
  • Green Streets
  • Vegetated Infiltration Basins
  • Stormwater Planters
  • Flow Restrictors.

“Information on how well facilities perform is critical to quantify their benefits, lower maintenance costs, ensure public safety, and improve overall design and function,” stated Tim Kurtz, an engineer with the City of Portland.

“In particular, information was desired on how well the facilities could reduce peak flows and total flow volume, which have implications for watershed health and regulatory compliance in the combined sewer system.”

“Water quality monitoring is limited but will be increased in the future as budget allows. Sampling of facility soils was also begun to determine if there are any long-term issues with pollutant accumulation.”

To download a copy of the Summary Report, click on 2006 Stormwater Management Monitoring Report.

About  Portland’s Sustainable Stormwater Management Program

The City recognized a need for both internal coordination and promotion of sustainable stormwater management systems Citywide. In 2001 the Sustainable Infrastructure Committee was formed to coordinate efforts by City staff to investigate such options as porous pavement, enhanced street landscape, and rainwater/stormwater reuse to limit the impacts of City projects on water quality.

Shortly thereafter the Sustainable Stormwater Management Program was formed within the Bureau of Environmental Services. The group’s functions are many. They monitor and test the performance and design of pilot facilities, and they provide technical assistance to developers and designers who are incorporating rainwater/stormwater measures into site designs.

The group partners with property owners (commercial, industrial, and institutional), other local public agencies, and the federal government with project design, funding and implementation. They develop supporting policy and implement specific program areas, including Green Streets, ecoroofs, and monitoring. The group also provides project documentation, outreach, and public education.

Posted December 2009