Turner, Oregon - the good neighbor town
Storm Drains collect rain water and discharge to water bodies
Storm Drains collect rain water and discharge to water bodies

Turner operates and maintains a municipal Stormwater Collection System which collects rainwater runoff throughout the community and then discharges it to Mill Creek.

The City supports this system through a Stormwater fee charged in city utility bills. Currently, that fee is set at $2/month and it raises about $16,000/year. The money goes to provide funds for street sweeping, catch basin cleaning and personnel support for administering the two stormwater permits the City must adhere to. 


Because the City is located within the City of Salem's metropolitan planning boundary, in 2006 the City was issued an MS4 Phase II Storm Water Permit. The first permit cycle ended in 2011. A new permit has not been issued due to attempts by the DEQ to rewrite the rules of the program. However, the existing permit remains in place until such time as a new permit is issued.

This permit required the establishment of a five year Best Management Practices Plan & Work Program. This program has six guiding areas: public education, public involvement, illicit discharge, construction sites, post-construction and municipal operations. The City must track and report on these activities every year.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has set Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for water bodies located within the Willamette Basin. The TMDL was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and issued as an Order by DEQ in September of 2006. TMDLs limit the total amount of specific pollutants that may be discharged into a given waterbody.  As per the Willamette Basin TMDL, the City must develop a non-point source (NPS) TMDL implementation plan to address the waterbodies and parameters outlined in Table 1 below.

 Table 1: Basins and Parameters                       


Basin Name


 Water bodies

   within the        

 City of Turner



Middle Willamette

  Perrin Lateral

     Mill Creek

   By-Pass Canal



For the City of Turner, the TMDL Program, requires a plan which incorporates all of the MS4. This portion of the plan tries to address pollution produced by sediment and mercury running into the Creek. But the TMDL plan also but adds activities that specifically address concerns over temperature increases in Mill Creek. Temperature is directly related to fish habitat health, and any activity that preserve stream side vegetation and shade canopy helps keep temperature rises in check. 

This plan focuses attention on development activities which occur within 50 feet of the stream corridor, the "Riparian Corridor". No vegetation is allowed to be removed from this area without review and allowance by the City.Riparian Corridor