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.
If you would like more information about this project, contact Stormwater Project Manager Aaron Guffey by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at (971) 380-3790.
The Grattix boxes being offered were built in collaboration with Oregon State University. Thank you students!
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.
The Port of Vancouver offers step-by-step instructions on how to build a Grattix box.