top of page


The largest body of water in Washington County is the Tualatin River, a tributary of the Willamette River. The Tualatin River supplies 15% of its water to around 500,000 of its residents with the other 85% for agriculture and farming

What people are talking about

Washington County is one of 36 counties in the Oregon area, with a population of 600,176 (United States Census Bureau, 2022). While Hillsboro is the County’s largest city, other cities include Tigard, Beaverton, Forest Grove, and many more. Originally named Tuality County, the county was renamed to Washington County to honor American President George Washington. The County remains one of the fastest- growing populations and sizes in Oregon. Washington County comprises a majority white population with a percentage of 78.6%, and an 8.6% impoverished population (USCB, 2022). The Tualatin River is 84 miles long and is the largest river running through the Tualatin Valley. The Tualatin River has a multitude of Tributaries that drain into it. The major tributaries include Dairy, Fanno Creeks, Gales, and many other major and minor tributaries. Major tributaries include Dairy, Fanno Creeks, Gales, and many other major and minor tributaries (Knudsen, 2018). While the quality of the river has greatly improved since the 1980s, it was once known to be called Oregon’s “Most Polluted River”. (Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District, 2023) It was the first-ever river in the state to fail pollution standards set by the Clean Water Act that was established in 1972 (The Oregonian, 2015). According to a resident Berlyn Bankhardt who has lived in Washington County for the majority of their life, the Tualatin River has always been “gross and green”. The resident says, “It’s filled with sewage and it’s not clean.” They continue on to say, “It smells awful, and you can’t catch too many fish John Fervia, an expert on the history of the Tualatin River and a volunteer for the "Tualatin Riverkeepers says that "When people hear about the Tualatin River, it has a bad connotation. They don't realize the work we've done to clean up the river. They also don't know the history of the river." (The Oregonian, 2015).

bottom of page