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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1000, Portland, OR 97204

Environmental Services News

2014 News Releases


Table of Contents

(Printable Version)

Sewer construction starting Monday will delay N Greeley traffic

A sewer project that starts Monday, April 14, will delay traffic on N Greeley Avenue between N Sumner and N Emerson streets during daytime construction hours.

Motorists and bicyclists should expect delays in the construction zone from 7:00 am. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The project will take about one week to complete.

This work is part of the $6.5 million dollar Overlook Sewer Replacement Project to replace or repair about 17,000 feet of sewer pipes in poor condition.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

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Sewage release to the Willamette River

Sewage Release Advisory

City maintenance crews responding to reports of a missing manhole cover on the evening of March 31, 2014 discovered sewage flowing out of a manhole along Interstate 84 near NE 22nd Avenue. Sewage was flowing over the ground to a stormwater catch basin that discharges to the Willamette River near the interchange of Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 between the Steel and Burnside bridges.

http://bit.ly/1myPf1J

Someone had removed the manhole cover and had apparently been disposing of garbage in the manhole. The debris eventually blocked the sewer pipe, which caused sewage to flow out of the manhole. A vactor truck removed the debris and stopped the sewage release at about 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 1.

From the time crews confirmed the sewage release until the time they stopped it, they estimated about 6,000 gallons of sewage had drained into the catch basin and drained into the Willamette.

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public should avoid contact with the river between the Burnside and Steel bridges until Thursday, April 3.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

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Combined sewer overflow to the Willamette River

Heavy rain on the afternoon of Friday, March 28, 2014 caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River. The public should avoid contact with the river from the Milwaukie Boat Ramp (just south of the Sellwood Bridge) downstream to the Willamette’s confluence with the Columbia River near Kelley Point Park.

The combined sewer overflow (CSO) event began at about 5:20 p.m. on March 28. As a precaution, the public should avoid contact with river water until Sunday afternoon, March 30.

It is especially important to avoid recreational activities, such as jet skiing or swimming, during which water could be swallowed. CSOs are contaminated with bacteria from untreated sewage. Environmental Services recommends these precautions to protect public health.

People who fish for 48 hours after a CSO event should wash their hands following contact with river water. Those who choose to eat fish caught in the Willamette River for 48 hours after a CSO event should cook the fish thoroughly to kill bacteria.

Portland’s combined sewer system carries sewage and stormwater runoff in the same pipes. During very heavy rainstorms, the increased stormwater runoff can cause combined sewers to overflow into the Willamette River.

In December 2011, Portland completed a 20-year program to improve the sewer system and reduce Willamette River CSO events from an average of 50 per year to no more than four per winter and one every third summer.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

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Sewage release in Macleay Park near NW Thurman

City maintenance crews stopped a sewage release in Macleay Park near the NW Thurman Street bridge on Friday afternoon, March 28.

http://bit.ly/1rMawbZ

Sewage was leaking from a damaged sewer pipe near the west end of the bridge and draining into a sewer catch basin near the Macleay Park entrance. Maintenance crews completed temporary repairs today to stop the release. The city will design a project to permanently repair the damaged sewer pipe.

Maintenance crews have cleaned up the spill but warning signs are posted at the site of the leak. The public should use caution entering Macleay Park and walking on the Lower Macleay Trail near the NW Thurman Street Bridge.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

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Sewer construction will delay N Killingsworth traffic

A sewer project that starts on Monday, March 24 will delay traffic on N Killingsworth Street between N Interstate and N Concord avenues during daytime construction hours. Killingsworth will be a one-way eastbound street between Interstate and Concord. The westbound traffic lane of Killingsworth will be closed at Interstate. Westbound traffic will detour around the construction area.

http://bit.ly/1oGZcvl

Motorists and bicyclists should expect delays in the work zone on N Killingsworth during construction hours, 7:00 am. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The project will close the north and south side of Killingsworth Street at Concord to all traffic. This phase of the project will take one to two weeks to complete.

This work is part of the $6.5 million dollar Overlook Sewer Replacement Project to replace or repair about 17,000 feet of sewer pipes in poor condition.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with Clean River programs including, water quality protection, wastewater collection and treatment, and sewer installation.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328,


Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Facilities Plan Update

The citizen advisory committee (CAC) updating the Tryon Creek plant facilities plan has scheduled a meeting to finalize its recommendations. The public is invited to attend.

Tryon Creek CAC Meeting
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Portland Building, Pine Rooms, 10th floor
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Portland

After its next meeting, the CAC will hold a public open house to share its recommended facilities plan update and hear community feedback.

Facilities Plan Open House
Thursday, April 24
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Oswego Pointe Condominiums, Riverside Room
5065 Foothills Drive, Lake Oswego

For more information contact Becky Tillson at 503-823-2827.


Sewage release to the Columbia Slough

City field crews noticed water leaking from a pipe under the Columbia Slough Trail footbridge into the Columbia Slough yesterday afternoon. City maintenance crews determined this morning that the leaking pipe was the 30-inch Inverness Force Main, a pressure sewer that carries wastewater pumped from east Portland.

The pipe was leaking intermittently each time the Inverness pump station was activated. The city took the 30-inch line out of service to stop the leak and is planning a repair project.

Maintenance crews posted sewage spill warning signs near the location of the spill. The Columbia Slough Trail footbridge crosses the slough just east of N Portland Road on the north side of the city’s Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant.

http://bit.ly/1jA9ESZ

The public should avoid contact with the slough in that area for the next 48 hours because of increased bacteria in the water.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

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Sewer construction starting Friday will delay N Greeley traffic

A sewer project that starts Friday, February 21 will delay traffic on N Greeley Avenue between N Jessup and N Holman during daytime construction hours. The project will also close the west side of Greeley at Ainsworth to all traffic. Vehicles using Ainsworth west of Greeley will detour around the construction area.

http://goo.gl/kxWKBH

Motorists and bicyclists should expect delays in the construction zone on N Greeley during construction hours, 7:00 am. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The west side of Greeley will be closed at Ainsworth all days and all hours until construction is finished. The project will take two to three weeks to complete.

This work is part of the $6.5 million dollar Overlook Sewer Replacement Project to replace or repair about 17,000 feet of sewer pipes in poor condition.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with Clean River programs including, water quality protection, wastewater collection and treatment, and sewer installation.

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Heavy rain but no sewage overflows or Johnson Creek flooding

More than three inches of rain have fallen in Portland since Friday, but it hasn’t been enough to cause overflows from Portland’s combined sewer system. Before the city completed the $1.4-billion combined sewer overflow (CSO) control program in November 2011, only one-tenth of an inch of rain in 24 hours caused a CSO. In those days, the recent rainfall would have filled combined sewers to capacity and millions of gallons of combined sewage to would have overflowed to the Willamette River.

Today, Portland’s east side and west side big pipes collect combined sewage that once overflowed during rain storms. The tunnel system filled to about half-full on Friday and Saturday and was 83% full on Monday.

“Portland’s ratepayers made a significant investment in the Big Pipe to keep sewage out of our river,” said Commissioner in charge Nick Fish. “The last few days of heavy rains tested our system, and I’m pleased that it worked exactly as it was designed to.”

Portland’s green stormwater management infrastructure works with the CSO control system by keeping stormwater runoff out of the combined sewers. Green infrastructure facilities, including green streets and ecoroofs, manage an estimated two-billion gallons of stormwater annually in neighborhoods with combined sewers.

The CSO control program included expanding treatment capacity at Portland’s Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant successfully treated recent high flows the heavy rains created, despite periods of wastewater entering the plant at a rate of 400 million gallons per day.

This kind of wet weather also once caused flooding along Johnson Creek about every other year. But the creek stayed within its banks during the recent heavy rains.

The city finished work on the Foster Floodplain Natural Area in 2013 along Foster Road between SE 104th and SE 111th avenues to add 120 acre-feet of flood storage. That’s enough to cover the 63-acre site with about two feet of water. The floodplain project reduces Johnson Creek flood frequency to about every six to eight years.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with Clean River programs including, water quality protection, wastewater collection and treatment, and sewer installation.

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Free public presentation on adapting to climate change

University of Virginia Professor Dr. Timothy Beatley will visit Portland on Tuesday, February 11 for a free, public presentation on community strategies for adapting to a changing climate. Beatley’s work focuses on creating sustainable communities and reducing urban ecological footprints.

  • Who: University of Virginia Sustainable Communities Professor, Dr. Timothy Beatley
    What: Free presentation, “The Promise of Nature in Cities,” on connecting with nature and adapting to climate change
    When: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Noon – 1:00 p.m.
    Where: 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500 (2nd floor)

The public is invited to this free presentation sponsored by Environmental Services, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Audubon Society of Portland, Friends of Trees, The Intertwine and Urban Greenspaces Institute.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with Clean River programs including, water quality protection, wastewater collection and treatment, and sewer installation.

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Ash Creek Sewage Leak

City maintenance crews are investigating a sewage leak into Ash Creek in southwest Portland near the intersection of SW Knightsbridge Drive and SW Orchid Drive.

http://goo.gl/maps/WSwHS

Maintenance crews repaired an exposed sewer pipe at this location to stop a previous sewage leak in December 2013. City field crews taking water samples this week found higher than normal bacteria levels in Ash Creek downstream from the pipe.

On Thursday, January 30, crews again temporarily repaired the pipe to stop the new leak. The city is designing a project to permanently repair the pipe. That work has not yet been scheduled.

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public should avoid contact with Ash Creek in this area through Saturday, February 1.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

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Up to $10,000 available for community projects, pre-applications due February 14

Environmental Services is accepting proposals for community-based projects that will benefit neighborhoods and communities and improve watershed health in Portland. The Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) provides grants of up to $10,000. CWSP encourages applications for projects led by people of color, immigrants, elders, youth, people with disabilities, low-income residents and other underrepresented groups.

Last year, CWSP grants funded 12 community projects. Past projects improved neighborhood livability and developed community leadership by constructing rain gardens to manage stormwater runoff, restoring native plants to improve wildlife habitat, and cleaning up and restoring natural areas.

“Through environmental education and the practical implementation of green solutions to manage stormwater, Community Watershed Stewardship grants have inspired groups to action across the city,” said City Commissioner Nick Fish. “The impact of these grants is multiplied many times over by the sweat equity of volunteers who take personal ownership of their neighborhood projects.”

This year, applicants will propose projects by submitting a one-page pre-application form. The pre-application deadline is 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 14. Staff will review the project proposals and invite selected applicants to submit a full application form.

Program information and application forms are available at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/stewardship. For help developing project ideas and putting together an application, contact Rosa Lehman at 503-823-7917.

2014 Grant Workshops

Environmental Services has scheduled three grant workshops to answer questions and help with applications:

  1. Saturday, January 18
    2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    Holgate Library,7905 SE Holgate Boulevard
  2. Thursday, January 23
    7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th
  3. Monday, January 27
    6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Kenton Library, 8226 N Denver

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with Clean River programs including, water quality protection, wastewater collection and treatment, and sewer installation.

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New Portland stormwater manual in effect

The City of Portland has adopted an updated version of its Stormwater Management Manual (SWMM). The manual details stormwater management requirements for all Portland development, redevelopment, and improvement projects on private and public property and in the public right-of-way. The revised manual is consistent with current regulatory requirements and policies.

The City of Portland requires development and improvement projects to manage stormwater runoff on-site. The manual shows developers and property owners a variety of methods to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on sewer systems, groundwater, rivers and streams. Examples of approved stormwater management facilities include landscaped swales, stormwater planters, vegetative filters, and landscape or underground infiltration.

The city adopted the original Stormwater Management Manual in 1999 to reduce stormwater impacts and guide stormwater management at development and redevelopment sites. The city issued revised versions in 2002, 2004 and 2008.

Project designers have the option of using the 2008 Stormwater Management Manual or the 2014 manual until April. After April 2, 2014, designers must use the 2014 manual.

The 2014 manual, and the 2008 version, are available for download at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/SWMM. Free compact disc versions are available at the Development Services Center,1900 SW 4th Avenue in Portland or by calling 503-823-7103.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with Clean River programs including, water quality protection, wastewater collection and treatment, and sewer installation.

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Heartbleed Security Notice

A serious security vulnerability known as "Heartbleed" was recently discovered in OpenSSL, a popular software library commonly used by many websites on the internet to encrypt communication between a user's computer and a web server.

PortlandOregon.gov is NOT affected by this vulnerability as it does not use the OpenSSL software library. Please rest assured we are dedicated to protecting your security on this website.