Clean Water & Wastewater

The City of Springfield is responsible for providing administration services to the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC). For more information on the MWMC please visit and view the MWMC video series at

The City’s Operations Division maintains the wastewater collection system. To keep our collection system and the regional wastewater treatment facility operating properly, please remeber the wastewater system is designed to convey and treat human waste and toilet paper, nothing else.

Picasso of the Pipes

Sitting in Springfield City Hall is an art installation that’s been enjoyed by community members for decades. It’s a mosaic of 5,200 items pieced together to create a city seal, and they all came from Springfield’s wastewater system. Artist Russell Ziolkowski created the piece in the early 1970s, using items he found cleaning wastewater pipes as a Springfield Public Works employee. Russell’s artwork received national media attention and has become a beloved piece of Springfield’s history.

Watch the video below to learn more about Russell’s art and his story. Video credit to former KEZI reporter Heather Hintze.

Trash It, Don’t Flush It

Wipes clogging a wastewater pipeOregon Becomes Second State to Require ‘Do Not Flush’ Labeling on Disposable Wipes
On June 8, Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 2344 into law, making Oregon only the second U.S. state to require “Do Not Flush” labeling on disposable wipes. This labeling standard will ensure that product packaging for baby wipes, makeup wipes, cleaning wipes, and other personal care wipes sold in Oregon clearly indicates that such products should not be flushed down toilets.

The MWMC supported HB 2344 by sending a letter of support to Oregon House District 11 Representative Marty Wilde, as well as providing testimony on several occasions.

The flushing of disposable wipes causes clogs in wastewater pipes and pumps, as well as damage to equipment at wastewater treatment plants. To remove these blockages, wastewater operators must use cutting tools and other heavy industrial tools, which increases both labor and equipment costs. Additionally, accumulation of wipes in pipes can lead to backup of wastewater into homes and public spaces, creating a public health hazard and environmental damage.

While “Do Not Flush” labeling will make a positive impact, everyone has a role to play in the pollution prevention effort. Help keep our environment and local waterways healthy by only flushing the three Ps (pee, poop, and toilet paper). To learn more, visit the MWMC’s Pollution Prevention webpage.

Freeze FOG – To Keep Your Wastewater Flowing

What is FOG? It is the presence of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from food that have built up in wastewater pipes when flushed or rinsed down kitchen drains. Here are examples of each type of FOG:

Fats – Butter, margarine, shortening, peanut butter, meat trimmings, cheese, milk, sour cream, and ice cream.

Oils – Cooking oils and salad dressings.

Grease – Gravy, mayonnaise, fat from meats, lard, sauces, and soups.

When FOG is flushed or rinsed down the sink, it sticks to the insides of wastewater pipes that connect your home or business to the local and regional wastewater system. Built up FOG can clog pipes and cause problems such as costly repair and cleanup at your expense, wastewater backing up into your home or your neighbor’s home, or wastewater overflowing into neighborhood parks, yards, and streets.

How can you help out at home?


  • Scrape food scraps into the trash.
  • Pour grease into metal cans, let it harden and throw in the trash.
  • Stop using your garbage disposal, or try to minimize its use.
  • Wipe pots, pans and dishes with a paper towel before washing them.


  • Pour grease down the sink or toilet.
  • Don’t use cloth towels or rags to scrape oil or grease off plates and utensils because grease will drain to the sewer when you wash the towels.
  • Don’t run water over dishes, pans, fryers or griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.

Drug Take Back

Unwanted or expired prescription drugs around the house?  Drop them off at a MedReturn Box. A box is located in the lobby of the Springfield Justice Center at 230 4th Street, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

The box accepts:

  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter medications
  • Vitamins and nutritional supplements
  • Samples
  • Pet Medications

No needles, sharps, liquid medications, ointments/lotions, thermometers, or aerosol cans/inhalers. Private clinics or hospitals may not deposit medications/prescriptions in the box.

Why use the MedReturn Box?

  • Reduce prescription drug abuse, especially among kids and teens.
  • Avoid accidental consumption of drugs by pets and children.
  • Keep our waterways clean! Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sampling has found trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in some Oregon streams and rivers, and even groundwater. Do NOT flush unwanted medications down the toilet. This leads to the regional wastewater treatment plant, and eventually, our waterways.