Archive | Water quality or quantity

The Water Quality and Quantity category covers protecting and restoring the quality of surface and ground water, and assuring future supplies of water for people, plants, and animals. District programs include water quality monitoring and many conservation practices. Rain gardens and bioswales help clean water before it infiltrates into ground water. Rainwater harvesting and irrigation system improvements are good examples of water quantity practices.

Dispose of Pesticides at No Cost

Bring in your old, unusable pesticides for safe disposal!

Bring in your old, unusable pesticides for safe disposal!

Take advantage of this opportunity to safely and anonymously dispose of old and unusable pesticides.

Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with Clackamas River Water Providers to offer a 2016 Pesticide Round-up! This collection event is for waste agricultural pesticides, from producers in Clackamas County. We focus on the Clackamas River watershed, but all producers in the county are eligible and encouraged to participate.


You must pre-register with the disposal service so they are prepared to receive your chemicals. Due to limited funding this event is first reserved, first served. Complete and send application by mail, fax, or e-mail to Clean Harbors Environmental by October 28, 2016. After that date, call Clean Harbors for any open reservations.

Download Application/Registration Forms:

Pesticide Round-up Application
Pesticide Round-up Application
Version: November 2016
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or call Clean Harbors Environmental Services 360-607-5434

Submit Registration Forms to:
Clean Harbors Environmental Services
16540 SE 130th Ave. Clackamas OR 97015
E-mail  or FAX: (503) 655-3952

Taylor Simpson at Clean Harbors Environmental Services will answer questions about pre-registration and disposal.
Call: Taylor at (360) 607-5434

Pesticide Status

If you need to check the status of a pesticide, call: Oregon Department of Agriculture at 503-986-4635

If you are having trouble identifying the active ingredient of a pesticide, or are concerned about leaking or degraded containers, please contact Lisa Kilders at 503-210-6002 so she will direct you to a resource for technical assistance.

Plastic Container Recycle

We will also collect clean, “dirt and residue free”, triple rinsed plastic containers.

Check this website for information on preparing containers to recycle.

All size containers up to 55-gallon capacity plastic drums can be accepted. Containers need to be made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) and embossed with recycling symbol #2.

No pre-registration is needed for dropping off empty, triple-rinsed pesticide containers. This is a free service.

Questions on plastic container recycling contact Agri-Plas Inc. at 503-390-2381 or send them a message.

Use Sunny Fall Days to Prepare for Winter

As those rainy days of winter loom on the horizon, take advantage of the sunny, warm fall days to prepare your farm for winter! Tackling maintenance and good management practices now may help you avoid hours of cold, wet emergency repairs this winter.


Take actions now for a healthy pasture next spring!

Take actions now for a healthy pasture next spring!

During the busy days of summer, routine maintenance of fence lines and scouting for trouble spots may have landed on the back burner. Look for broken or sagging wire, unstable posts, and gate problems. If you have electric fences, make sure to mow surrounding weeds and grasses that may short out the system. Clean solar panels to collect as much sunlight as possible. Repost any missing or damaged “no trespassing” or “no hunting” signs. Avoid hunters tragically mistaking livestock for deer or elk.


Fall management of pastures has a great deal to do with the health of your pastures next year. This is the time of year for new root growth and storage of carbohydrates in the lower 3-4 inches of the stem. Any management of a pasture that hinders these two processes will mean problems for your pasture in the spring.

The following advice is from Gene Pirelli, Extension Animal Scientist, Oregon State University, and Steve Fransen, Extension Forage Agronomist, Washington State University taken from their article, PASTURE MANAGEMENT: UNDERSTANDING PLANT AND ROOT GROWTH IN THE FALL.

Grass plants can be grazed down to a minimum height as shown in Table 1, but not grazed below that height. These recommended minimum stubble heights allow the plants the ability to store carbohydrates for vigorous re-growth in the fall. Grazing below this height will decrease your fall feed and subsequent spring growth.

Table 1. Recommended residual heights for some grasses during dormant periods

Grass MinimumStubble Height
Tall Fescue3-4 inches
Smooth Brome3-4 inches
Perennial Rye Grass2 inches
Orchard Grass3-4 inches
Meadow Brome3-4 inches
Bluegrass3-4 inches
Timothy4-6 inches

Fall is a great time to take soil samples to test the fertility of the pasture soil. Soil tests should be taken during the same month each year for consistency. Early fall is also a good time to apply nutrients based on your soil test. Oregon State University Extension Fertilizer Guides can help you decide the type and proper amount of nutrients. Manure or other sources of nitrogen can be applied based on plant nutrient needs, but just make sure that you do not apply too much nitrogen. Vigorously growing plants, resulting from high nitrogen applications late in the fall, are more susceptible to winter damage because the growth retards winter dormancy. An excessive nitrogen application will inhibit the plant from starting into its over-wintering response. High nitrogen tends to reduce sugar concentrations so the plant tries to refill its depleted stubble sugar bank account. If plants are not allowed to rest and prepare for winter, they are very susceptible to winter injury or death from the first major cold winter event. As temperatures change in the fall, plants protect themselves by producing a type of “antifreeze” called “Proline”. This “antifreeze” will accumulate in every living plant cell during the winter period only if excessive nitrogen is not available.
Eastern and western Oregon grass hay growers should follow the same recommendations as folks with pastures. Many grass hay growers with cattle like to move the animals onto the hay field after the last cutting has been removed. This long held practice may do more damage than you realize. The remaining hay stubble is high in storage sugars, just like in the pasture. Livestock tend to readily eat this plant portion because it tastes good. Without adequate storage of basal sugars prior to winter, those plants will have a distinct disadvantage in the spring. If you must graze hay fields in the fall, make sure you’ve given the field adequate time for regrowth to occur and to follow the same guidelines of stubble height minimums as for pastures.
For long-term survival of pastures and hayfields, remember to keep an eye on stubble heights and don’t graze below them. Allow roots to rebuild and shoots to develop by not grazing hard in the fall. Make plans to get on a soil testing schedule, which is usually a test every three to five years. Use that information to make the most economical fertilizer applications. By following some of these management tips, your pasture should be productive for many years.

To read the full text of this autumn pasture management article, click on the link below.

Late Summer-Fall Pastures
Late Summer-Fall Pastures
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Energy Trust Irrigation Rebate Deadlines Approach

PressureGauge (Medium) for irrigation by Jeremy Baker

Upgrading irrigation equipment can result in water and financial savings!

Energy Trust of Oregon has asked us to help get the word out to all local agricultural producers who have made irrigation purchases since the beginning of the year.

Purchasers are reminded that they only have 180 days from time of purchase to submit their rebate forms for equipment purchased since January 1, 2016. These rebates can be quite valuable (in addition to the savings one will have on their power bills year after year). Take a look at this example:

Rotating Sprinklers:

  • Equipment Cost $9,700
  • Energy Trust Cost Incentive $3,060
  • Net Project Cost $6,640
  • Yearly Energy Savings $3,640

If you purchased irrigation equipment, you may be eligible for these incentives if you live in Oregon and purchase the power for your agriculture pump from either Pacific Power or PGE.

Please see this attached rebate form for additional information, and send in your rebate forms.

For more information, please contact Ulrike Mengelberg, Outreach Manager, Cascade Energy, Inc. at 971-244.8193 or by email at



Local Rain Garden Receives National Attention

photo by CSWCD

Rain garden installation in 2014

Earlier this month the Clackamas United Church of Christ (CUCC) was awarded first place in a national “Be the Church of the Month” contest with the theme “Protect the Environment.” This honor highlighted two urban conservation practices the church installed on their property in 2014.

It was March of 2014 when CUCC partnered with Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District to implement on-site stormwater management practices at the church. With funding from a Water Environment Services RiverHealth Stewardship grant and with volunteer labor from the CUCC congregation, two conservation practices were installed:

  1. an infiltration rain garden, and
  2. a habitat hedgerow (including 25 native trees along the parking lot perimeter).

Both projects are accessible to the public and demonstrate low-impact landscaping practices that landowners can easily replicate on their own property to help manage stormwater runoff. Interpretive signage explains how the rain garden works and how it protects water quality and improves pollinator habitat. Plants for both rain garden and hedgerow were specifically chosen to support native wildlife and pollinator communities.

You may view these projects at the Clackamas United Church of Christ located at 15303 SE Webster Road in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District provides technical assistance for conservation practices free of charge to Clackamas County landowners.

Saving Water for Other Uses

percent of ave precip - National weather serviceIt is official; this was a very wet winter! According the National Weather Service, totals for the “meteorological” winter (December-

January-February) were 25 to 35 inches throughout the Portland metro area and northern Willamette Valley, about 175 percent of average. Much of this precipitation fell as rain, even in the Cascades, although some periods of colder weather and mountain snow have kept the seasonal snowpack near average.

Heat Around the Corner

We expect above average spring and summer temperatures. With the potential for another hot summer, water demand will likely be high. Conservation practices will be important tools to help us use our precious water resource wisely.

Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is working with agricultural producers to reduce water usage. Producers have

Drip irrigation in hazelnut orchard Jeremy Baker

Drip irrigation in hazelnut field Jeremy Baker

implemented irrigation-water-management practices and installed efficient irrigation systems. For example, a Clackamas County berry grower converted from big gun to drip irrigation and realized a total water savings of 304,128 gallons per acre for the season. Additional benefits of these projects include reduced energy use, increased water availability for wildlife, and reduced irrigation-induced erosion. All this with no decrease in production!

We Can Help

If you need technical assistance to improve your irrigation system contact Clackamas SWCD at 503-210-6000 or send us a message.

Special thanks to Andy Bryant, National Weather Service for assisting with this post!