Grattix Box Project

The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership gave away Grattix boxes—a sort of rain garden in a box—to businesses along the Columbia River to remove pollution from roof runoff. 

Grattix boxes are a simple, innovative stormwater solution to reduce zinc and copper from roof runoff. Designed by the Port of Vancouver, the Grattix box is essentially an above-ground rain garden in a box. 

In 2023 and 2024, the Estuary Partnership provided free Grattix boxes to businesses located along the lower Columbia River to help them meet state requirements for stormwater discharge. In tests, the Grattix box has shown it can reduce zinc runoff by up to 95% and copper by 85%.

Grattix box installation is as simple as shortening a downspout and sliding the box underneath. They are movable with a forklift. The only maintenance required is to replace the 3-inch mulch layer at the top.

The Grattix boxes that were offered were built in collaboration with Oregon State University and with additional support from community volunteers. Thank you students and volunteers!

The costs of the fully assembled Grattix boxes and shipping were funded by a grant from the U.S. EPA through the Columbia River Basin Restoration Program. 



A Grattix box
If you would like more information about the Grattix, the Port of Vancouver has a step-by-step guide on how to build a Grattix box. 
Grattix cross section

Keep an eye out for our Grattix boxes out in the community! Thanks to these businesses and agencies who worked with us to install Grattixes:

City of Vancouver Water Resources Education Center
City of Woodland - Horseshoe Lake Park
Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District
Next Adventure Scappoose Bay Paddling Center
Northwest Packing Company
Rruff House
University of Portland
Vigor Industrial
A Grattix box connected to a building just a few meters from Horseshoe Lake
Two people pose with a Grattix box, which reads "This Grattix Box filteres stormwater. It removes up to 85% + 95% of zinc from runoff to protect the health of the river"

Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District (at left)

Special thanks to ANC Movers who helped deliver a dozen of the Grattix boxes, like the one that went to the Vancouver Water Resources Education Center (below).

three men pose with a Grattix

City of Woodland Horseshoe Lake Park (below)

Grattix box with stylized salmon just feet from the water's edge