Outstanding Agency: City of Gresham Water Resources Division.
The City of Gresham was recognized as an outstanding member agency for its Stormdrain Cleaning Assistance Program, developed and implemented by the City’s Water Resources Division.
This innovative and highly successful program offers steeply discounted cleaning of privately-owned storm drains to businesses and other property owners by partnering with a competitively selected local service provider. The program offers catch basin cleaning at a flat fee of $45 per drain. The program has expanded since its inception in 2004, and the City now coordinates and administers the program on behalf of the cities of Troutdale, Fairview, and Wood Village, and for four Clackamas County agencies.
Several initiatives were undertaken in 2016 and 2017, including direct outreach to businesses and mapping, marking and inspecting private storm drains, have resulted in dramatic increases in participation in the SCAP program, and numerous other benefits to Gresham’s water quality protection efforts. Gresham accomplished widespread mapping, marking and inspections by deploying 11 summer interns ages 15-19. Not only did the interns gain valuable skills from the project, but the benefits of their work to the city were also numerous. In all, about 3,400 drains were marked and mapped on about 1,000 tax lots. About 400 additional drains were cleaned in response to City requirements, which prevented an estimated 30-70 additional cubic yards of debris and pollutants from entering the stormwater system. The interns identified damaged catch basins and outlet pipes, and in some cases, code violations.
Bill Gaffi, long time General Manager of Clean Water Services, was recognized with the Individual Special Recognition award.
Retiring in August of 2018, Gaffi dedicated his professional career at Clean Water Services to advocating for regulatory tools and water quality improvement strategies that are legally defensible, scientifically sound, environmentally beneficial, and affordable to ratepayers. He helped form ACWA’s predecessor association in 1987, and dedicated much of his generous spirit and creativity to ACWA endeavors for over 30 years, including serving as Board Chair.
Gaffi has gained a national reputation as a leader for transforming Clean Water Services into a recognized leader in competitive business practices while retaining a long-held reputation for technical excellence. Closer to home, he has served as a powerful example of “Washington County way,” which involves working in partnership for thriving cities, rural areas and working lands. Gaffi’s commitment to focusing on green infrastructure that benefits watersheds and ecosystem health and that fosters thriving, healthy communities, has never wavered.