Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Clean Rivers Education – Resources about Water Quality

Photo is a close up of two students with a test tube and pipette doing water testing by the river
How do we know if our watersheds are healthy? Monitoring conditions in Portland’s rivers and streams helps us understand the health of our watersheds and track changes over time. Check out these education resources about water quality.

Local Resources


Willamette River before the Clean Water Act (2 min, no audio)
From Oregon State University Archives. Check out what the Willamette River looked like in the 1930s and 1940s when sewage, stormwater, industrial, and agricultural waste ran freely into the river.

Freshwater Mussels of the Willamette (9 min)
From Oregon Public Broadcasting. Learn how freshwater mussels can help us understand the health of the Willamette River.

Background Information on Portland Water Quality

Portland Watershed Report Cards — These report cards give an at-a-glance view of conditions in Portland’s rivers, streams and watersheds, and will help track changes over time. To understand the health of our rivers and streams, we study four important factors that contribute to healthy watersheds: water quality, hydrology, habitat, and fish and wildlife.

Explore the Watershed Report Cards with an interactive map and case studies.

Remote Media URL

Check the Rec: Willamette River Recreation Index — Environmental Services collects weekly samples from late May through September to measure for E. coli and temperature at five popular public access points.

Portland Rainfall Data — Look for the rain gauge closest to you to see how much rainfall your area receives over time.

US Geological Survey National Water Dashboard —  Explore water data from Portland and all over the United States. Find out stream flow, water quality data (pH, turbidity, temperature), rainfall data, and much more!

More Resources

Stroud™ Water Research Center, has lots of education resources for online learning. Students can analyze real data on water quality using the Monitor my Watershed application and practice modeling watershed properties with the Model my Watershed tool. Teacher and student curriculum are available for download.

Water Quality Mobile App
From the Stroud Water Research Center, this app, for purchase from the Apple Store or Google Play, includes data entry, identification, and learning features about chemical (e.g. dissolved oxygen, E. coli, pH, nitrate, turbidity), physical (e.g. water temperature, turbidity), and biological (digital field guide to macroinvertebrates) water-quality parameters.


A Study in Stream Ecology (7 min)
From the US Geological Survey. Explore how scientists for the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program investigate the ecological health of rivers and streams across the United States

Listen to a short (11 min) podcast episode by the USGS about Portland’s own Johnson Creek. Learn about the history, challenges, and restoration efforts going on in one of Portland’s main watersheds.

Listen to podcast episodes about Ocean and Coastal Science talks with researchers working with NOAA.