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    City of Portland

    The City of Portland has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within this jurisdiction.  The City of Portland is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Portland will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Portland, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Portland has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.


    Excerpt from Portland Stormwater Management Manual

    1.4 Operations and Maintenance Requirements 

    All stormwater management facilities, conveyance features and related components implemented or protected as per the SWMM must be operated and maintained in a way that preserves intended functionality. Chapter 3 contains the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) standards and specifications that meet these requirements. Chapter 3 also contains the submittal guides that establishes the information and documentation that must be submitted to demonstrate compliance with the standards and specifications of Chapter 3. The O&M submittal requirements vary by design approach and whether the facility or conveyance feature is located on private or public property or in the public right-of-way. An O&M Plan is required for conveyance features on properties undergoing development proposal review, regardless of whether or not it is directly associated with a stormwater management facility. An O&M submittal may consist of forms, standard O&M plans, stormwater facility and conveyance feature site plans, inspection schedules, maintenance triggers and methods, and other information that specifies operations and maintenance activities. 

    Stormwater facilities and conveyance features on property (parcels or tax lots either privately or publicly owned) are the responsibility of the property owner(s). The property owner(s) must submit O&M information to the City for approval and record it with the appropriate County for all required stormwater management facilities, conveyance features and impervious area reduction techniques. 

    • If multiple properties share one onsite private stormwater system, property owner(s) for each property must record and file the O&M submittal. All properties and property owners that are served by the onsite stormwater system jointly own it and are equally responsible for its O&M. 
    • If a property served by an onsite private stormwater system is subsequently divided, a new O&M submittal must be approved at the time of BES review and recorded for each newly created parcel and/or tax lot that was previously part of the original parcel or tax lot. 

    Stormwater facilities in the public right-of-way or in public easements are the responsibility of the permittee until accepted by the City following completion of a 2-year warranty period at the conclusion of the public improvement process or Public Works Permit. The two-year warranty period begins at the time of signing the certificate of completion for the public works project and provides proper establishment before the City assumes ownership and/or maintenance of the stormwater facility. During the warranty period, regular maintenance tasks must be performed; deferred maintenance may result in extension of the warranty period if City inspection determines that the facilities are not established as per the requirements in Chapter 3. 

    For public easements or stormwater tracts, BES maintains the public stormwater facility following acceptance, and the property owners continue to maintain the tract itself and any associated features, such as access ways, additional landscaping, or fencing. Designation of maintenance responsibility will be determined in a maintenance agreement recorded at plat approval as per the approval of both BES and BDS. 

    A Public Works Permit Permittee may enter into an agreement with the Watershed Revegetation Program to maintain the vegetation in the future public stormwater facility during the warranty period, but this does not exempt the permittee from other O&M requirements. See Section 3.2 for more information about establishment of public stormwater facilities. 

    O&M of a stormwater facility or conveyance feature is documented through an inspection and maintenance log. In general, the log must note all inspection dates, the components inspected, and any maintenance or repairs made. The logs must document deficiencies and corrective actions taken to keep structural and vegetative components in good working order. The City may accept work orders, invoices, or receipts in lieu of an inspection and maintenance log. 

    1.4.2 Operations and Maintenance Enforcement

    The City has the right to ensure site compliance with the recorded O&M submittal filed with the City. City Code sections 17.38.040 D, 17.38.043 and 17.38.045 authorize BES right of entry for inspections, the ability to issue a code violation, and the ability to take enforcement actions and levy civil penalties. 

    The Maintenance Inspection Program provides post-construction inspections of stormwater facilities on private property. The administrative rules governing inspections and enforcement are the Maintenance Inspection Program Administrative Rules (ENB-4.31) and the BES Enforcement Program Rules (ENB-4.15). In general, BES inspectors will strive to work with site owners and operators to ensure proper facility O&M. If technical assistance does not yield tangible O&M improvements, BES may take enforcement action. BES staff inspects sites to verify that the property owner is properly operating and maintaining stormwater management facilities. Upon completion of an inspection, the inspector will provide a report addressed to the property owner or designated responsible party that outlines any required corrective action, deadline to correct, and City notification (if needed).

    Unauthorized encroachments into drainage reserves or failure to maintain drainageways, drainage reserves, or encroachments into drainage reserves as per the recorded operations and maintenance plan is a violation of Portland City Code 17.38. BES will respond to, investigate, and resolve complaints about drainageways, drainage reserves, or encroachment to drainage reserves. 

    3.1 Operations and Maintenance Requirements for Private Property 

    Onsite stormwater systems, including stormwater management facilities and conveyance features, must be maintained so they function as intended and limit offsite environmental impacts. Owners are required to check their stormwater systems regularly to determine maintenance needs. Routine inspection and maintenance can help keep overall maintenance costs at a minimum by detecting problems early and avoiding large repair or replacement costs. Per the requirements in Chapter 1, operations and maintenance requirements are laid out in an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Plan.

    The key goals for any O&M plan are to: 

    • Relay information between the designer/engineer and those providing maintenance. 
    • Identify the onsite stormwater system that’s required or impacted by development. Elements include the stormwater management facilities, runoff sources, discharge locations, and stormwater conveyance features such as drainageway and related encroachments, pipes, storm sewers, culverts, and outfalls. 
    • Provide long-term guidance to prevent system deterioration and failure. 
    • Define the visual indicators of diminished performance and maintenance requirements for each stormwater management facility and conveyance feature that comprises the onsite stormwater system. 
    • Provide a schedule for inspection and maintenance to maintain and restore optimal performance. 
    • Designate property owners or other parties responsible for O&M of the onsite stormwater management system. 
    • Require inspection and maintenance logs to be filled out by maintenance personnel and kept by the responsible parties. 

    Stormwater facilities, including associated paths, gates and covers, must be maintained to provide safe, efficient access for maintenance. 

    Every project on private property with one or more stormwater facilities or conveyance features must submit an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Form provided in Section 3.1.4. The O&M Form identifies the site and property owner, the parties responsible for O&M activities, and stormwater facility information. The O&M Form also provides a space for a simple site plan. If the space is not sufficient for a drawing of the stormwater management system, including conveyance features, a site plan must be attached. The Bureau of Environmental Services may require a more detailed site plan for plan review if the simple site plan does not clearly identify stormwater facility location and types. Operations and maintenance requirements will vary, based on how the facility is designed and if there are natural or constructed conveyance features. 

    • The submittal for stormwater management facilities designed with the Simplified or Presumptive Approach must include the standard O&M plan provided in Section 3.1.1. Every facility type used must be represented by the standard O&M plan for that facility type. 
    • The submittal for stormwater management facilities designed with the Performance Approach must include a site-specific O&M Plan as presented in Section 3.1.2. 
    • The submittal for natural or constructed conveyance features such as drainageways, drainage reserves, drainage reserve easements, culverts, or outfalls must include the appropriate O&M plan provided in Section 3.1.3. This is in addition to the stormwater management facility requirements, which are specific to the design approach. 

    Submittal requirements for private property and the O&M Form are found in Section 3.1.4


    State of Oregon Resources

    Stormwater Permit Application Forms and Fees

    Stormwater Contacts

    City of Portland Resources

    City of Portland Stormwater Management Manual, 2016

    City of Portland Municipal Code