by: Eric Norberg

For 18 years, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services has been paying homeowners and businesses $53 each to disconnect their downspouts from city drains, to keep rainwater out of the sewers in wet weather.

After more than 56,000 disconnected downspouts, 1.2 billion gallons of stormwater is now kept out of the sewers each year.

On May 31, the program ended, and the very last downspout disconnected for $53 was at Sellwood's 'Sock Dreams', S.E. 13th and Nehalem.

The City Commissioner overseeing BES, Dan Saltzman, was there with a gold hacksaw to complete the disconnection (shown).

The city still urges downspouts be disconnected from the sewers, but will no longer pay for it.

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