Rain and melting snow wash dirt and chemicals off road and into streams and lakes. Pavement prevents rain and snow-melt water from infiltrating into the ground, so more stormwater flows more quickly into streams. The pollutants and extra flow can damage streams by increasing erosion and harming the aquatic ecosystem.
The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Stormwater Program is dedicated to protecting water resources from the impacts of highway runoff. ODOT and resource agencies work together to develop consistent, effective and practical stormwater management requirements. The Stormwater Program provides technical assistance to highway project teams as they select and design stormwater management facilities.
Successfully managing stormwater requires the environmental and permitting knowledge in the Stormwater Program, the engineering and design skills of the Hydraulics Program, and the expertise of the Erosion and Sediment Control Program. Together these programs work to help ODOT protect and improve the quality of Oregon’s waters.