Columbia Slough Sediment Program Technical Support

GSI helps the City of Portland identify and evaluate potential contaminant sources in the Columbia Slough watershed.

The Columbia Slough watershed’s long history of multiple land uses—industrial, agricultural, and transportation—resulted in widespread contamination of sediments and fish tissue (e.g., PCBs, DDT, metals). More than 200 City stormwater outfalls drain approximately 13 percent of the Columbia Slough watershed. There are several pathways for contaminants from upland sites and City rights-of-way to enter the stormwater systems and be transported to the Slough. The City’s CSSP focuses on identifying potential sources of contaminants, working collaboratively with DEQ to use appropriate state and/or City authority to control pollutants at the source, conducting long-term sediment and fish tissue monitoring, and constructing stormwater treatment facilities in selected areas.

GSI’s work has included:

  • Preparing a project database that captures 20 years of analytical chemistry data for stormwater, stormwater solids, sediments, fish tissue, and surface water. Database queries automatically screen data against applicable DEQ risk-based levels values and present results in tabular form or can be visualized in map view using Google Earth™.
  • Working with BES to develop project strategies and approaches to identify and evaluate potential contaminant sources discharging via stormwater to the Columbia Slough through City outfalls.
  • Analyzing historical stormwater system as-builts, permits, and geospatial data to assess the system configuration and connections, and identify potential sources of contamination.
  • Preparing focused stormwater basin sampling and analysis plans (SAPs) for submittal to DEQ.
  • Preparing basin characterization and source tracing reports for submittal to DEQ.
  • Supporting the preparation of the 2015 Fish Tissue Sampling Data Report and the 2017 Sediment Analysis Report to comply with long-term monitoring requirements.
  • Conducting research to document potential current and historical contaminant sources.


Portland, Oregon


  • Database development and management
  • Contaminant source evaluation and source control
  • Stormwater management
  • Stomwater sampling and analysis

GSI helped to prepare a project database of 20 years of chemistry data for stormwater, stormwater solids, sediments, fish tissue, and surface water that can be visualized in map view.

Photo Gallery

Industrial debris in the Columbia Slough watershed