Community Information

Annual Leaf Pickup

Clean Water Services is a government agency responsible for maintaining sewers and flood drains in the greater Portland area. They are charged with a number of responsibilities including keeping gutters and filtration ponds clean and have a regular sweeping schedule that includes Parc Bethany.
 It came to our attention recently that they were periodically doing much more than gutter sweeping in Oak Hills (and a few other older communities). They pick up leaves piled in the gutter by residents at no additional cost. We wondered if they could perform the same service in Parc Bethany. 
It turns out that the reason they offered to do leaf pickup in several older neighborhoods is because it is less expensive for them to pick up leaves in the area than to respond to calls for flooded streets and clogged drains.  Unlike Parc Bethany, these neighborhoods were built before there were codes for storm drains and thus the drains often got clogged and Clean Water was responsible for the clean-up.  This became such a problem in these areas due to developer installed, undersize drains and small sewer grates, that Clean Water spent all their time resolving flood problems rather than doing their normally scheduled work.  Oak Hills is a special problem because of all the tall, beautiful Oak trees along the streets. There is a periodic overabundance of leaves in the street.  Thus, Clean Water contacted these areas to schedule the leaf pickups on a regular basis a few years ago.  This was not to help the homeowners but to minimize Clean Water’s expenses and help them manage the areas.  There are some other smaller areas that could use this as well, but at this time they don't have the manpower or equipment to handle the work and the problems are not severe enough to be cost effective, so there is no possibility that Clean Water Services would do this in our neighborhood.
Although they do sweep the streets once per month in our area, the normal street sweepers are so low to the ground that they cannot pick up piles of leaves.  If they raise the intakes, they just end up blowing the leaves around, so if there are piles of leaves, they just go around them. 
The city of Portland used to have Clean Water pickup leaves, however, that service has been terminated. If there are leaves piled in the street, they can be called to come collect them, but will charge the homeowner for the service.

Any problems or concerns regarding clean streets, storm drainage, clogged street drains, call Clean Water Services at (503)681-3600. For direct numbers to different departments go here . Clean Water Services seems very responsive and helpful.  Their website is filled with useful information.