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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Environmental Services News

2018 News Releases

News Media Contact:
Diane Dulken  (503)823-5328 c:(503)457-7636  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

For breaking news and other announcements, please see our Twitter feed: @BESPortland.


Table of Contents

(Printable Version)

Sewage Advisory: Valve failure leads to sewage release to ground along NE Marine Drive, traffic not affected

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(October 3, 2018) - A valve failure on a sewer line led to a sewage release along NE Marine Drive this morning. Neither the roadway nor a nearby bike path were affected. 

The release of an unknown volume occurred on the 4300 block of NE Marine Drive around 7 a.m. with sewage collecting in a field along the roadway. Crews stopped the flow around 9:15 a.m. and are on-site for cleanup. A certain amount is soaking into the ground and warning signs will be in place for about 72 hours. Environmental Services is investigating the cause and determining necessary repairs. 

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are common causes of sewage overflows.

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. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

 Media contact: Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328,  mailto:diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 


Sewage Advisory: Grease in sewer pipes leads to overflow on SE Foster Road

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory) 

(October 2, 2018) - A sewer line clogged with grease overflowed this morning on the 11600 block of SE Foster Road.

Crews directed the flow to two street planters on either side of the road where it was contained, preventing further discharge to the street or nearby Johnson Creek. The creek was NOT affected.

City crews cleaned up the release, which as estimated at about 1,000 gallons. The incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. and crews completed cleanup around 9:45 a.m. They posted warning signs around the street planters, also known as bioswales. The signs will remain in place for about 48 hours. 

Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public to protect public health, property and our environment by following these tips:

* Place grease in a container and then in the trash, not down kitchen drains. Food establishments are required to take additional measures to prevent grease from entering sewer lines. 

* Avoid flushing rags or wipes or anything other than toilet paper and human waste.

* Outside the home, avoid pouring anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.  

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

 Media contact: Diane Dulken, 503-457-7636,  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Traffic Advisory: Emergency sewer construction closes one lane at N Alberta, affecting travel on the I-5 ramps for up to two months

(September 26) - The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the traveling public that an emergency sewer construction project involves a lane closure at N Alberta Street at the on-and off-ramps to I-5 beginning this week and lasting for about two months.

Construction will occur during day and some night hours.  One lane will be maintained at all times. The traveling public is required to follow signage and directions of flaggers when present.

map

People using the I-5 ramps at N Alberta Street should expect delays during construction, share the road and travel with caution.

The work is part of the N Alberta-Missouri Emergency Sewer Project to replace a 66-foot section of pipe that is failing under the intersection of N Alberta Street and N Missouri Avenue. Replacing the sewer will allow for continued dependable sewer service and protect the public and our environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets.

 

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.

Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Sewage Advisory: Rags and other debris lead to sewage spill in NE Portland

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory (this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(September 14, 2018) - A sewer line clogged with rags and other debris overflowed yesterday afternoon on the 5200 block of NE Glisan Street. 

The sewage was largely contained in a street planter, preventing a further discharge to the street. The release of about 1,700 gallons began around 4 p.m. and sewer maintenance crews stopped the flow about 5:45 p.m.  Crews cleaned up the release and posted warning signs around the affected area. The signs will remain in place for about 48 hours. 

Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public not to flush rags or wipes or anything other than toilet paper and human waste. Place grease in a container and then in the trash, not down kitchen drains. Outside the home, do  not pour anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

 Media contact: Diane Dulken, 503-457-7636,  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


CSO Advisory Cancelled: Overflow did not occur to the Willamette River today

UPDATE 4 P.M. SEPTEMBER 14, 2018 - This advisory is cancelled. Environmental Services' inspection determined that there was no combined sewer overflow to the Willamette River last night. The original advisory, issued early this morning, was based on an automated monitoring system but field inspectors today determined that  all stormwater and sewage was contained. There is no overflow. Enjoy your river.

Original headline: CSO Alert: 5-minute combined sewer overflow (CSO) occurs to Willamette River near Cathedral Park; avoid contact downstream for 48 hours

(September 14, 2018) – An isolated rain burst last night near the east end of the St. Johns Bridge led to a short combined sewer overflow (CSO) from an outfall near Cathedral Park.

The rain burst dumped four-tenths of an inch within 15 minutes.  The overflow lasted about five minutes and led to an estimated 2,500 gallons of combined stormwater and sewage to overflow to the river. 

The majority of the discharge is stormwater, mixed with about 20 percent sewage. 

CSOs are rare. But when they occur the public is advised to avoid contact with the river water for 48 hours due to increased bacteria. In this case, the area affected is at Cathedral Park and downstream.

Since completing the Big Pipe project in 2011, a 20-year $1.4 billion program to reduce overflows, the number of CSOs have been reduced by 94 percent to the Willamette River and 99 percent to the Columbia Slough.  Before the project, CSOs occurred to the Willamette River from multiple outfalls an average of 50 times a year, with some instances lasting days.

For more information about CSO events, what they are and why they occur, visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/565061.

Media contact: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Advisory: Partially treated sewage and stormwater overflowed to Columbia Slough from city wastewater treatment plant last night

(September 13, 2018) - A combination of partially treated sewage and stormwater overflowed for about 20 minutes last night from the City’s wastewater treatment plant to the Columbia Slough.

The public is advised to avoid contact with the slough for 48 hours in the vicinity of North Portland Road where the overflow occurred.  Warning signs are posted in the area. Other parts of the slough are unaffected.map

The cause was an automatic gate within the treatment plant that malfunctioned. The overflow occurred for about 20 minutes before the gate was repaired. The effluent received primary treatment, which removes solids and other contaminants, but it was not disinfected. The volume is unknown and this incident is being investigated further.

 The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant is located at 5001 N Columbia Boulevard and operates 24 hours a day every day to manage and treat wastewater from Portland’s more than 600,000 residents and businesses. 

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

Media contact: Diane Dulken (503)823-5328. diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Updated Advisory: Sewage release occurs from city manhole on SE 134th Drive

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory (this is not a Combined Sewer Overflow [CSO] Advisory)

(August 29) – Crews responded yesterday to a sewage release from a city manhole on the 8400 block of SE 134th Drive. The release was the second from this location within the week.

Crews cleared a blockage of grease and are continuing their investigation and assessment of measures to prevent a recurrence.

An estimated 1,750 gallons of sewage flowed down the residential street and to a storm drain that led to a detention pond at SE 138th & SE Deardorff Road. The release began around 5:15 p.m. yesterday and crews stopped it at 5:50 p.m/  Crews are cleaning up the area and no other water body is affected.

On August 23, crews cleaned up an overflow of 3,000 gallons from the same location.

The City has placed caution signs along Deardorf Road and at the impacted property on SE 134th. The public is advised to obey the warning signs in the area.

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, wipes and other debris are the most common causes of sewage overflows.

This sewage release is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system, which prevents overflows of stormwater and sewage to the Willamette River and Columbia Slough during rainy periods.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503-457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Advisory: Sewage release from city manhole on SE 134th Drive

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory (this is not a Combined Sewer Overflow [CSO] Advisory)

(August 24) – Sewage overflowed from a city manhole located in the backyard of a property on the 8400 block of SE 134th Drive on August 23. Sewage overflowed to a neighboring property and behind the property onto SE Deardorf Road. The cause of the release is being investigated. 

The sewage release entered the City storm drainage system but does not appear to have impacted surface waters. 

The volume of the release is estimated at approximately 3,000 gallons. The release began around 9 a.m. on August 23. Crews stopped the release at about 8 p.m. and began cleanup. 

The City placed caution signs along Deardorf Road and at the impacted property on SE 134th

The public should obey the warning signs in the area.

This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system, which prevents overflows of stormwater and sewage to the Willamette River and Columbia Slough during rainy periods.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

Media Contact: Taffy Spencer (503) 823-8601, taffy.spencer@portlandoregon.gov


Traffic Advisory: Sewer construction to periodically close lanes on NE Killingsworth St between MLK Blvd and 8th Ave for September and October

(August 23) - The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the traveling public that a sewer construction project will involve periodic lane closures on NE Killingsworth Street between Martin Luther King Boulevard and NE 8th Avenue for about two months beginning August 27, 2018.    

Construction will occur during day and night hours, but not during evening rush hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. or on Sundays or holidays.  

One lane will be maintained at all times. The traveling public is required to follow signage and directions of flaggers when present.  

People traveling by motor vehicle or bicycle should expect delays during construction, share the road and travel with caution.  

The work is part of the Woodlawn-King Streets Sewer Repair project to repair or replace over 16,000 feet (more than three miles) of public sewer pipes that are on average 90 years old and in deteriorating condition. This project will protect the public and environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/wokistreets

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.

Media Contact: Taffy Spencer, 503-823-8601, taffy.spencer@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: Salmon habitat restoration at Oaks Bottom reaches key milestone as culvert sections are put into place

(August 22, 2018) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Portland reached a major milestone in the Oaks Bottom habitat restoration project this week as site preparation is complete and construction of the culvert begins.

The Corps is working with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation to bring salmon back to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. The project’s focus is to replace a small pipe culvert that blocks fish access with a large, open bottom passage that will allow juvenile salmon to reach the wildlife refuge for food and rest as they migrate toward the ocean. Work crews are also re-grading the tidal slough channels within the wetland to improve water flow and enhance habitat for salmon and other wildlife, including otter, beaver and 175 bird species.

Up to this point, construction crews have focused on preparing the site—installing temporary coffer dams to isolate the site from the river, salvaging fish and mussels, diverting water from the construction site—and excavating through the berm that supports the Springwater Corridor and railroad tracks.

“The project has reached a critical milestone, and the work is proceeding on schedule,” said Jim Adams, project manager for the Corps. “Our construction crews have worked hard to prepare the site, and now they’re piecing it all together. It’s exciting to see the culvert itself take shape.”

This week, prefabricated sections of the larger open-bottom culvert arrived by barge, and construction crews are using a barge-mounted crane to deliver those sections to the site. Crews will then assemble the culvert sections like puzzle pieces to form the new passage. After assembly, crews will refill the berm, and replace the railroad tracks. Crews will also remove the existing water control structure, which is no longer serving its intended purpose, finish re-grading the channels, and replace the Springwater Corridor in October. In the spring, project partners will replant the area with 8,500 native trees and shrubs.

The construction team must complete the majority of the work during the “in-water work window” between July 1 and October 31, which is the timeframe allowed by law to minimize impacts on federally-protected salmon.

The Corps is paying $4.9 million, or 65 percent, and the Bureau of Environmental Services is paying just more than $3.1 million, or 35 percent, of the total project cost of $8.8 million.

During the project, the Springwater Corridor trail is open to the wildlife refuge, Oaks Amusement Park and the Oregon Yacht Club, but closed as a through trail. Partner agencies released a bicycle map showing two newly improved routes that prioritize non-motorized travel on each side of the river: the Willamette Greenway on the west side, and the new SE 19th Avenue neighborhood greenway on the east side. The Springwater Corridor will remain closed through Oct. 31, 2018.

Environmental Services is project lead for the City. Oaks Bottom, managed by Portland Parks & Recreation, is one of only two wildlife refuges in Portland and is the largest remaining natural area in the lower Willamette River floodplain.

This habitat restoration project is one of a series of collaborative restoration projects between the City and Corps. Earlier this decade, the three agencies restored Westmoreland Park and Crystal Springs Creek, which is now designated a City salmon sanctuary. Next, Environmental Services and the Corps plan a Tryon Creek restoration project. The agencies have received authorization from Congress and are awaiting funding to remove a culvert that is blocking salmon access to that area’s prime habitat.

The Portland District works with non-federal partners, like the City of Portland, to plan, design and build projects to restore aquatic ecosystems, while meeting other missions. Often, these projects aim to naturally restore floodwaters or tidal connections, which improves water quality and enhances habitat for fish and wildlife.

For more information:

Media contact: Diane Dulken diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov 503-457-7636

Project website: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/oaksbottom

Additional photos: Environmental Services' Flickr albums.


Advisory: Sewage overflows to Cedar Mill Creek, avoid contact with creek for 48 hours

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory (this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(July 26, 2018) -  Sewage overflowed from a manhole in the 9700 block of NW Caxton Lane this morning and reached an unnamed tributary of Cedar Mill Creek.

Maintenance crews stopped the overflow around 11 a.m., estimating that about 340 gallons was released to the environment in a period of less than two hours. Crews identified the cause as tree roots blocking the main sewer line and cleared the blockage. 

As a precaution against exposure to bacteria, the public is advised to avoid contact with Cedar Mill Creek for 48 hours. 

This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system, which prevents overflows of stormwater and sewage to the Willamette River and Columbia Slough during rainy periods.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

 Media Contact: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Traffic Advisory: Springwater Corridor closure takes effect today; travel safely and be aware of additional bicycle traffic on city streets

(July 9, 2018) The City of Portland and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advise the traveling public to be aware of additional bicycle traffic through the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhoods and the South Waterfront as the closure of a popular segment of the Springwater Corridor takes effect this morning.  

A major restoration project to benefit salmon and other wildlife will close a section of the trail around Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge starting 7 a.m. Monday, July 9, and is scheduled to continue through October 31.  This is a hard closure – all hours, all days.

Upwards of 2,000 people use that corridor daily and now will choose from an array of alternate routes along neighborhood streets and trails and along the city’s network of bicycle lanes, adding to the usual summer uptick in bicycle travel. The traveling public is asked to be alert, respectful and patient as travel patterns adjust during the closure.

As with all construction projects, people are asked to use caution, obey traffic laws and expect some delays.

In particular these alternate routes and intersections are expected to experience additional bicycle travel:

  • SE McLoughlin Boulevard and SE Harold Street - a major intersection where bicycle travelers will cross. The intersection has a marked crosswalk and push-button signal.
  • SE Bybee and 19th Avenue – the Portland Bureau of Transportation has improved this crossing with  white and green striping for people walking and bicycling as well as a new rapid flash beacon.  When the beacon’s flashing lights are activated, drivers are required to stop to allow people bicycling and walking to cross safely.
  • SE Tacoma Street- also has a flashing beacon to alert drivers to stop for people crossing.
  • The SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway – the Portland Bureau of Transportation has created a new north-south connection in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhoods, connecting to the SE 17th Avenue bicycle lane. The new greenway is designed to be a low stress bicycle and walking route with reduced motor vehicle travel. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/75551
  • On the westside, people bicycling along the Willamette Greenway Trail between the Sellwood Bridge and South Waterfront are asked to watch for pedestrians, especially on narrow portions of the trail and adjust their speed accordingly.
  • South Waterfront streets also are expected to see additional bicycle travel from the greenway to downtown.

For additional information view the June 28 traffic advisory as well as project page and map of alternate routes: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/oaksbottom

 -          30 –

 Media Contacts:

 US Army Corps of Engineers:

Sarah Bennett (503)808-4510 Sarah.P.Bennett@usace.army.mil

City of Portland

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

John Brady, Bureau of Transportation (503) 577-8236 john.brady@portlandoregon.gov

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation (503)823-6634 mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov


Traffic Advisory: Oaks Bottom restoration begins July 1; Springwater Corridor open through holiday weekend; new closure date July 9

(June 28, 2018) –  While a major restoration project at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge will start as scheduled on July 1, project partners are keeping the Springwater Corridor trail open another week to accommodate the busy Fourth of July holiday and Waterfront Blues Festival weekend.

The Springwater Corridor trail closure will now begin July 9 and continue as planned through October 31.

 “I’m pleased that through creative scheduling, project partners are keeping the project moving forward on time and keeping the trail open an extra week for holiday festivities and one of Portland’s signature summer events,” said Mike Jordan, Environmental Services director.  “A big reason for the flexibility in scheduling is that the contractor has already begun moving materials and equipment into the site before the construction start date. That early mobilization keeps the project moving and the trail open.”

Travelers are advised that between July 9 and October 31:

  • The Springwater Corridor trail will be OPEN to the wildlife refuge but CLOSED as a through route.
  • Alternate routes include (see map):
  •     Westside option: The new Sellwood Bridge provides a connection to the newly paved Willamette Greenway Trail – a good option for commuters traveling to South Waterfront and downtown. Please note that the Greenway is popular with pedestrians. People on bicycles are advised to adjust their speed and expectations of travel time.
  •     Eastside option: The SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway connects to the SE 17th Avenue bike lane on the east side. This is a route that has been newly improved by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
  • In addition to those routes, many other options exist in the city’s extensive bicycle network.
  • Walking trails will remain open within the wildlife refuge. Bicycles are not allowed on unpaved trails.
  • Access to the Oaks Amusement Park and Oregon Yacht Club will be maintained from the south throughout the project. 
  • As with all construction projects, the traveling public is advised to adjust expectations about travel times and travel cautiously and considerately.

The Oaks Bottom restoration project is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which has provided a portion of the funding and will manage construction.  The project is taking place during the summer “in water work window,” as required by state law, to minimize impacts to salmon.

Crews will replace a small pipe culvert under the trail that blocks salmon passage into the refuge and install a large open bottom concrete culvert to improve salmon access and water flow between the refuge and Willamette River.

To protect and preserve the condition of the Springwater Corridor, heavy construction equipment and materials will be transported to the site by barge and along the railroad tracks.  Crews will cut through the berm that holds the Springwater Corridor trail and adjacent railroad track, install the culvert, backfill the berm, and then replace the trail. Crews also will deepen channels to improve water flow for all resident wildlife, including bats, frogs, reptiles and the 175 species of birds that use the protected area. In spring, project partners will plant thousands of native trees and shrubs.  A new overlook and a viewing platform will also be built as part of the project.

More information may be found at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/oaksbottom

 

Media Contacts:

Please note that beginning July 1, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be the lead media contact.

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (primary contact through June 30)

(503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Sarah Bennett, US Army Corps of Engineers (503)808-4510 (primary contact after July 1

Sarah.P.Bennett@usace.army.mil

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation (503)823-6634 mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov

 

 

 

 


News Release: City Council Approves $126,000 in grants to community groups for watershed restoration

(June 27, 2018) – Today, the Portland City Council unanimously approved $126,930 in Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grants to 14 community projects.

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program is a partnership between Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland State University (PSU).

 

“Portland is proud to be a city where nature is celebrated and honored,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “The Community Watershed Stewardship Program supports partnerships with community organizations who make sure everyone, regardless of where they live and work, has access to nature in their daily lives.”

 

This year’s grants include projects to help remove trash from houseless camps and minimize the impacts of camping in natural areas, to engage youth in restoring natural areas, and to convert paved areas into gardens.

 

Since its inception in 1995, the program has granted more than $1.4 million to 286 community projects. The grant funds were matched by $4.8 million in community support through donations of services, material and volunteer time. More than 51,000 people have donated over 369,000 volunteer hours to date.

 

This year’s grant recipients are:  

  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors PDX ($10,000) will collect trash from unhoused Portlanders and provide ecological education to minimize negative impacts of camping. This Kenton neighborhood project is led by Spirit of Portland award winner Terrance Moses and long-time neighborhood activist Patt Opdyke.  
  • Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership’s Vernon School ($10,000) project will remove asphalt and replace it with a rain garden.
  • Friends of Zenger Farm’s Farm School ($8,285) will deliver watershed and outdoor programs for children of East Portland.
  • Depave’s Project Enhancement & Education ($10,000) will engage new Green Thumb volunteers to maintain newly created natural areas that used to be parking lots and pavement.
  • Lent School PTA Garden Committee’s Lent School Watershed Studies ($7,400) sponsors projects along Johnson Creek to underserved students in East Portland.
  • Spring Mountain Christian Academy’s Springwater Corridor Bike and Clean Up ($1,000) will clean up Johnson Creek with East Portland youth, including many whose families have immigrated from Slavic nations.
  • Johnson Creek Watershed Council ($5,819) will help fund its 11th Annual Johnson Creek Clean-Up
  • Camp ELSO (Experience Life Science Outdoors) Adventurers Program- Summer 2018 ($10,000) will offer educational field opportunities to underrepresented youth to increase watershed engagement.
  • Wilshire NatureScape Group ($9,125) will create a native species ‘nature room’ in Wilshire Park in Northeast Portland and provide a valuable educational opportunity for local schools.
  • Friends of Tryon Creek’s Tryon Field Ecology Internship ($5,000) will help to reestablish   native species and enhance understory planting.
  • Portland State University’s Native American Student and Community Center ($10,000) to help restore its rooftop garden and provide access to culturally significant species.
  • Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s Watershed 101 Mobile Training Program ($8,400) will provide educational workshops and hands-on restoration opportunities.
  • Verde’s Cully Community Rain Gardens ($10,000) will help low-income residents in the Cully neighborhood to plan, install and maintain nine rain gardens.
  • Columbia Slough Watershed Council ($9,930) will restore the natural buffer along the Columbia Slough by removing invasive species and installing native plants.

 You can find more information at portlandoregon.gov/bes/CWSP.

 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. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.

Media Contact: Diane Dulken, (503)457-7636, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: Environmental Services issues Oregon Oils over $670,000 in fines and sewer charges for repeat wastewater violations; revokes discharge permit

(June 21, 2018) -  The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services has issued $671,128 in penalties and charges to Oregon Oils for repeated violations of its industrial wastewater discharge permit and causing clogs to a pump station in Northwest Portland.

 Environmental Services issued 104 Notices of Violations against the company, located at 2515 NW 29th Avenue in Portland, and assessed civil penalties totaling $238,500. The violations include:

  • Discharging fats, oils and grease at concentrations and volumes that could obstruct the City’s sewer system;
  • Discharging wastewater at higher temperatures than allowed, which can damage the City’s sewer pipes, pump stations and treatment plant;
  • Repeatedly clogging a nearby pump station;
  • Failing to notify the City when discharges occurred as required by permit;
  • Falsifying records; and
  • Falsifying submeter reports.

 In addition to the civil penalties, Environmental Services has billed the company $432,628 in sewer and extra strength charges for the amount of unreported wastewater discharged to the system.

 These civil enforcement actions resulted from an Environmental Services investigation that began in January of repeated interference to a City sanitary pump station just downstream of the Oregon Oils discharge point. As a result, Environmental Services also revoked Oregon Oils’ industrial pretreatment permit, and Oregon Oils is not authorized to discharge until treatment technology and sampling structures are installed and Environmental Services verifies compliance.

In addition, Oregon State Police, with assistance from the US Environmental Protection Agency and Environmental Services, executed a criminal search warrant at the business in April. That criminal investigation is ongoing.

 Oregon Oils has the opportunity to appeal the civil penalties and has indicated that it will.

 View:

* the Notice of Violation letter to Oregon Oils 

* the Sewer and Extra Strength charges letter to Oregon Oils

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. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.

 30 

Media Contact: Diane Dulken, 503-457-7636, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: Ready for Willamette River swimming, boating and playing? “Check the Rec” to see water quality test results

graphic saying view sampling results

(June 20, 2018) - At the start of summer, the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is announcing the return of its weekly water quality testing on the Willamette River.

Thanks to the Big Pipe project, the Willamette River is largely free of sewer overflows and resulting bacteria, making the river clean for swimming, boating and other recreation.

How clean? Each week during summer months, Environmental Services tests for E. coli bacteria as well as water temperature at five popular public recreation spots. The tests reflect E. coli from all sources – people, pets and wildlife. They are conducted on Wednesdays and posted by Friday morning – in time for weekend activity. The public is invited to  “Check the Rec” to view test results.

Last year, 100 percent of test results were well within state health guidelines.graphic saying view sampling results

“The Big Pipe has made a big difference. As sewage overflows have dropped, interest in recreation has increased and through Environmental Services’ testing program, people can see test results for themselves,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan.

“Environmental Services’ testing program began because people asked: Is the river water clean enough to swim and play? The testing program shows that the answer is ‘yes.’”

Environmental Services and Portland Fire & Rescue offer these additional river tips: Many factors affect safety on the river, including temperature, currents, and debris, as well as people’s ability in the water. Cold water is good for migrating salmon and other fish, but water below 70 degrees can be uncomfortable and unsafe for people.  People can find out river temperature in addition to bacteria levels through www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/checktherec.  

While bacteria levels are the biggest health concern for swimming and other direct recreation, the public also is advised to be alert for trash, or any discoloration such as a blue-green sheen, which could indicate toxic blue-green algae. Those instances are rare as well. The state issues algae advisories. Environmental Services issues advisories in case of bad bacteria readings or sewage releases.

Check the Rec at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/ChecktheRec.  View test results for this season as well as last year’s complete test results and other Willamette River information.

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 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. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.

 Media contact: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov 


News Release: Critter cameras and street teams: Plan ahead for Springwater Trail Closure at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

 Critter cameras and street teams: 

Plan ahead for Springwater Trail Closure at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

(June 4, 2018) – It’s time to plan ahead for this summer’s Springwater Corridor closure. From July 1 to October 31, a section of the popular trail will be closed around Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge as contractors replace an undersized culvert to bring salmon back to the refuge and restore habitat for about 175 species of wildlife.

Starting this week, people entering the Springwater Corridor from two major trail gateways will see these series of signs:

Summer Springwater Closure / Oh yes, it’s true / But don’t be too blue / There are options for you / www.Tinyurl.com/OaksBottomProject.

And a second series:

Springwater closure in July / If you ask: Why, oh why? / Oaks Bottom project is bringing salmon back!  / Keep your journey on track / www.Tinyurl.com/OaksBottomProject.

The sequential signage comes with information delivered by street teams – Environmental Services staff are being deployed at the Sellwood Park corridor entrance during the Tuesday June 5 and Friday June 8 morning commute hours (7 a.m. to 9 a.m.).  The street teams will provide project information, answer questions, hand out a map of alternate routes, and even fix flat tires if needed.

(During the evening commute hours on those days- 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. - staff will be near the north entryway, at a picnic area pullout along the corridor a half mile from the Springwater Corridor entryway at SE 4th Avenue and Ivon Street.)

Also this week, Environmental Services is posting video footage from its “critter cameras” showing glimpses of the hidden life of animals at the wildlife refuge. The cameras, set up by Environmental Services’ scientists, have captured scenes of beaver at work, an otter catching a fish, a mink, a great egret and more.

It’s all part of project outreach to ensure that people have early and ample notice about the Oaks Bottom Habitat Restoration Project and its impact for Springwater travelers. 

During the project, the trail will be OPEN to the refuge, but CLOSED as a through route.

An alternate route map features two main options for people on bicycle and other non-motorized travel:

  • The new Sellwood Bridge provides a connection to the west side Greenway Trail – a good option for commuters traveling to and from South Waterfront and Downtown.
  • The nearly-complete SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway connecting to the SE 17th Avenue bike lane for those who want to stay on the east side.

In addition to those newly improved routes, many other options exist in the city’s extensive bicycle network. Pedestrian trails will remain open within the refuge. Bicycles are not allowed on unpaved trails. Access to the Oaks Amusement Park and Oregon Yacht Club will be maintained from the south throughout the duration of the project. 

During the restoration project, crews will cut an open trench in the berm, including the Springwater Corridor trail and railroad tracks. They will replace a small pipe culvert with a large open bottom passageway to allow salmon to access the wetland refuge for food and rest from the Willamette River.

The project also will improve the water flow in the refuge’s tidal slough channels to benefit all wildlife, including the 175 species of birds that use the protected area. 

The habitat restoration project is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which will manage construction.  Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, established in 1988, is one of only two wildlife refuges in the city and the largest remaining natural area in the lower Willamette River floodplain. The site is managed by Portland Parks & Recreation.

 

This project is part of a series of collaborative restoration projects between the City and the Corps. The agencies recently restored Westmoreland Park and Crystal Springs Creek, which is now designated a city salmon sanctuary. Next, after Oaks Bottom, is a major project in Tryon Creek that has received Congressional authorization but is awaiting funding to replace a salmon-blocking culvert and restore salmon access to that area’s prime habitat. 

 

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Media Contacts:

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (503)457-7636   diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation (503)823-6634 mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov

Sarah Bennett, US Army Corps of Engineers (503)808-4510  Sarah.P.Bennett@usace.army.mil

John Brady, Portland Bureau of Transportation (503)823-7375 John.Brady@portlandoregon.gov 


Traffic Advisory: Sewer construction to close lanes on NE Killingsworth St between MLK Blvd and 6th Ave periodically during June and July

(June 1, 2018) - The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the traveling public that a sewer construction project will involve periodic lane closures on NE Killingsworth Street between Martin Luther King Boulevard and NE Sixth Avenue for about two months beginning June 4, 2018.  

Construction will occur during day and night hours, but not during evening rush hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. or on Sundays or the July 4th holiday.

One lane will be maintained at all times. The traveling public is required to follow signage and directions of flaggers when present.

People traveling by motor vehicle or bicycle should expect delays during construction, share the road and travel with caution.

The work is part of the Woodlawn-King Streets Sewer Repair project to repair or replace over 16,000 feet (more than three miles) of public sewer pipes that are on average 90 years old and in deteriorating condition. This project will protect the public and environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/wokistreets.

 

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.

 

Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Traffic Advisory: Night closures of off-ramp at SE McLoughlin to SE Powell begins June 4 for up to 7 nights

(May 31, 2018) – The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the traveling public that sewer construction will require nighttime closures of the northbound off-ramp at SE McLoughlin Boulevard and SE Powell Boulevard for up to seven nights beginning June 4. Night construction hours are from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

A detour will be set up to guide travelers to eastbound SE Powell Boulevard.

The traveling public is advised to expect some delays, to travel cautiously and to observe the traffic control signage.

Work is being scheduled at night to minimize impacts on travel. The overnight closures will allow crews to repair about 100 feet of pipe under the off-ramp.

The work is part of the Lower Powell Green Street and Sewer Project to protect water quality, public health, and our environment. For additional information, including project updates and maps, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/Lowerpowell .

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes. Follow on Twitter @besportland
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Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 


Statement regarding joint investigation into unlawful wastewater discharge from Oregon Oils, Inc. NW Portland facility

This statement from the Bureau of Environmental Service was issued as a supplement to Oregon State Police's news release:

(April 19, 2018) - The Oregon State Police, suspecting possible violations of environmental regulations, today executed a court-issued search warrant at the Oregon Oils facility located at 2515 NW  28th Avenue in Portland.

The City of Portland is cooperating in that effort because it administers an industrial wastewater discharge permit for the facility.

Today, the City issued a notice of termination effectively suspending the company’s permit to discharge wastewater to the City system.  Because an investigation is ongoing  the City cannot comment on current or past violations to that permit.  

Further questions should be directed to the Oregon State Police’s spokesperson Captain Tim Fox, at (541) 419-8843.

***

Oregon State Police original news release: 

Oregon State Police, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and EPA joint investigation into unlawful wastewater discharge 

On April 19, 2018, the Oregon State Police (OSP), with assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services executed a criminal search warrant at the business of Oregon Oils, Inc. located at 2515 NW 28th Ave, Portland, Oregon. The joint OSP and EPA investigation began in early February of 2018 after investigators learned about possible violations of the State and Federal laws pertaining to wastewater treatment and discharges. The City of Portland administers an industrial wastewater discharge permit for the facility and is assisting with the effort.

This case remains under investigation by the OSP and the EPA. Inquiries about the investigation can be directed to the Oregon State Police’s Captain Tim Fox, at (541) 419-8843.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality work in partnership to investigate and enforce Oregon’s Environmental laws. You can report pollution complaints to the DEQ Hotline at 1-888-997-7888 or to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-452-7888.


News Release: Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge restoration to benefit salmon, wildlife, people; bicycle map gives options during Springwater Corridor closure

(April 18, 2018) - A major restoration project this summer will help bring salmon back to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, improve habitat for other wildlife and enhance the viewing experience for people. The project involves the closure of a portion of the Springwater Corridor.

Construction begins July 1 and extends through October 31, which is the “in water work window,” the time frame set by the state to minimize impacts to federally protected threatened salmon.

Schematic view Oaks Bottom culvert replacement

During those four months, a section of the Springwater Corridor trail will be closed in the area of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

To help the public safely navigate this closure, partner agencies today released a bicycle map identifying options on newly improved routes on each side of the river: the Willamette Greenway on the west side extends from the Sellwood Bridge to South Waterfront and connects to downtown Portland. The new SE 19th Avenue neighborhood greenway on the east side will be completed this spring and connects to the Tilikum Bridge.  In addition to those newly improved routes, many other options exist in the city’s extensive bicycle network.

“Springwater Corridor is one of Portland’s most popular bicycle and pedestrian trails and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is a point of pride in a city that values nature,” said Mike Jordan, Environmental Services director. “Project partners wish to notify the public early and often about the summer closure, options for alternate routes, and the importance of the restoration project. The City has enlisted the might and dollars of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reconnect the river and refuge for native salmon and create healthy habitat for all wildlife that rely on the refuge.”

The habitat restoration project is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation and the federal United States Army Corps of Engineers, which will manage construction. The project will remove a small pipe culvert that blocks salmon and replace it with a large open bottom passage that will allow salmon to access the wetland refuge for food and rest from the Willamette River.

During construction, crews commissioned by the Corps will cut open the berm that supports the trail and adjacent railroad tracks, leaving a large gap as crews remove and replace the culvert.

In addition, the project will improve the water flow in the refuge’s tidal slough channels to benefit all wildlife, including the 175 species of birds that use the protected area. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, established in 1988, is one of only two wildlife refuges in the city and the largest remaining natural area in the lower Willamette River floodplain. The site is managed by Portland Parks & Recreation.

Crews also will remove invasive plants, build a wildlife viewing platform next to the trail to improve the viewing experience for people and replant the area next spring with 8,500 native trees and shrubs.

The Corps is paying $4.9 million, or 65 percent, of the $8.8 million project cost, with the City paying the remainder.

The Oaks Bottom habitat restoration project is one of a series of collaborative restoration projects between the city and the Corps. The agencies recently restored Westmoreland Park and Crystal Springs Creek, which is now designated a city salmon sanctuary. Next is a major project in Tryon Creek - the agencies have received authorization from Congress but are awaiting funding to remove a culvert that is blocking salmon access to that area’s prime habitat. 

For more information, visit the project website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/oaksbottom.

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. 

Media Contacts:

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Mark Ross, Portland Parks & Recreation (503)823-6634
mark.ross@portlandoregon.gov

Sarah Bennett, US Army Corps of Engineers (503)593-1759
 Sarah.P.Bennett@usace.army.mil


UPDATED 4/10 - Sewage Advisory: Rags blocking a sewer pipe coupled with heavy rain lead to SW Portland sewage overflow, possibly affecting Tryon Creek

UPDATE (April 10, 2018) - Environmental Services' sampling for E. coli bacteria show that the sewage release did NOT reach Tryon Creek. this advisory is lifted.

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(April 8, 2018) - Rags clogging a sewer pipe coupled with heavy rains caused an unknown quantity of sewage to overflow from a manhole on the 9400 block of SW Lancaster Road earlier today. The sewage flowed onto the street, into a private yard and possibly reached nearby Tryon Creek. 

 As a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with Tryon Creek for 48 hours. 

 City crews cleared the blockage and restored service about 2 p.m., about four hours after the release is believed to have begun.

 Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with wipes, debris, grease, and tree roots are the most common cause of sewage overflows. 

Environmental Services advises the public not to flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper. “Flushable” wipes are not flushable and can clog sewer pipes. 

In addition, the public is advised to pour grease into a tin and then when it hardens, place in the trash, not down drains or the compost. Other tips include avoiding putting anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

Media Contact: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


UPDATED CSO Advisory: Heavy rains cause combined sewage and stormwater to overflow to the Willamette River, avoid contact for 48 hours

UPDATE (April 10, 2018) -  This advisory expired at noon. The overflow  that began Sunday around 9:15 a.m. lasted about 2.5 hours and released an estimated 25 million gallons of combined stormwater and sewage  to the Willamette River from seven outfalls downstream of the Ross Island Bridge. The public was advised to avoid contact with the Willamette River for 48 hours, that time period lasted through noon today.  

(April 8, 2018) - Heavy rains caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River around 9:15 a.m. this morning from several outfalls.

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public is advised to avoid contact with the river downstream of the Ross Island Bridge for 48 hours after the event ends. The overflows are still continuing. The volume is not yet known. 

Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are rare and occur during periods of heavy rain or snowfall. A CSO is about 80 percent stormwater and 20 percent sewage. 

Since completing the Big Pipe project in 2011, a 20-year $1.4 billion program to reduce overflows, the number of CSOs have dropped by 94 percent to the Willamette River and 99 percent to the Columbia Slough.  

The Big Pipe project constructed a series of improvements, from disconnecting downspouts on homes to allow rainwater to be absorbed naturally in the ground to the construction of big pipes on both sides of the river and along the slough to store and convey large quantities of flows to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Before the project, CSOs occurred to the Willamette River from multiple outfalls an average of 50 times a year, with some instances lasting days. Today, overflows occur an average of four times per winter season, and once every three summers.  

This is the first overflow of 2018 and the first since October 22.

Find out more information about CSO events, what they are and why they occur.

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. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and follow us on Twitter for news @besportland.

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503-457-7636 or diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: Commissioner Nick Fish announces first milestone in “Poop to Power” project - opening of natural gas fueling station at wastewater treatment plant

 (March 8, 2018) - Commissioner Nick Fish and the Bureau of Environmental Services today announced the opening of a natural gas fueling station at the City’s wastewater treatment plant.  The station will offer a clean-air alternative to diesel for City vehicles operating at the plant in industrial North Portland.

The natural gas fueling station is the first milestone in Environmental Services’ Renewable Natural Gas initiative, also known as the “Poop to Power” project. The station will provide fuel for the first natural gas vehicles in the City’s fleet. Initially, vehicles will fill up on natural gas from conventional sources, but once the full project is complete in 2019, the station will operate on renewable natural gas (RNG) produced as a byproduct of wastewater treatment. 

 “Our future is green, and I’m very proud that we’re bringing the first natural gas vehicles to the City’s fleet,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “When the “Poop to Power” project is finished, Portland will have a local, clean fuel produced from recaptured waste – not fossil fuels.” 

Under the “Poop to Power” project that City Council approved in April, Environmental Services will recover nearly 100 percent of the waste methane from sewage treatment and convert it into market-grade renewable natural gas (RNG) for sale to displace diesel in truck usage. The RNG will be sold as truck fuel via NW Natural’s pipeline as well as at the fueling station, which also is being built and operated in partnership with NW Natural. 

 Trucks running on natural gas cut smog-producing pollutants by up to 90 percent and climate change emissions by up to 30 percent, according to the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. RNG’s climate benefits are even greater, offering up to a 90 percent cut in climate pollution.  

The term “renewable” refers to natural gas produced from organic matter as opposed to fossil fuels.

 “As a renewable source of natural gas, the city’s sewage will offer a steady and sustainable supply of clean fuel well

 into the future,” said Michael Jordan, Environmental Services’ director. “The filling station also solves a business problem – the City as well as other businesses can only invest in natural gas vehicles if they have a place to fill up. We’ve created that place.”

Environmental Services is starting with six natural gas vehicles that it acquired or converted. That number will ramp up to 13 by year’s end, and the usage will continue to grow as the City converts and acquires additional vehicles to run all or in part on the cleaner fuel. 

Adding another Oregon element, the vehicles are being converted by students at Linn-Benton Community College’s Lebanon campus.

The station’s natural gas also will be available for sale to treatment plant contractors transporting biosolids and grit for recycling or disposal, potentially displacing the diesel from those trucks as well.

The addition of the first natural gas vehicles to the City fleet aligns with the City of Portland’s climate action goals and strategy to move increasingly to more sustainable transportation options, including electric vehicles, bicycles and transit.  Currently, there are few electric truck options on the market.

The City’s fueling station joins a handful of others in the Portland metropolitan area that serve fleets such as Waste Management refuse trucks and Port of Portland airport shuttles. http://ngvamerica.stone-env.net/

 

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

The City of Portland’s Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant, 5001 N Columbia Blvd, is the largest in the state, serving about 600,000 residents and businesses. The RNG Initiative is the latest step Environmental Services is taking at the treatment plant to recover and reuse as many resources as possible. About 77 percent of the plant’s waste methane has been reclaimed to heat and power the treatment plant and for sale to a local roofing company. This project will move the plant to almost 100 percent methane recovery and tap into the emerging local and national market for renewable fuels. In addition, the plant recovers biosolids for use as an agricultural supplement on eastern Oregon wheat fields.

Media Contact: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 


Environmental Services statement responding to DEQ fine for discharge to Woods Creek

(February 9, 2018) –  Portland Bureau of Environmental Services has the following statement regarding a July 13, 2017 sewage overflow to Woods Creek in Beaverton, a tributary of Fanno Creek.

“Environmental Services accepts responsibility for this accident. We regret our error in inadvertently leaving a valve open during a test of a pressure line in the area and have installed new valve locks to prevent a future occurrence,” said Bill Ryan, Environmental Services’ chief engineer.

Environmental Services stopped the spill the day it occurred, and we thank our partners in the City of Beaverton and Clean Water Services for responding quickly to this incident.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has fined the City of Portland $55,200 for this incident. DEQ’s rules allow part of this penalty to be addressed through the completion of an environmental restoration project, and Environmental Services will pursue this option.

Environmental Services works to protect clean rivers and public health and manages the state’s largest stormwater and sewage system, serving nearly 600,000 residents.

DEQ's Feb. 9 news release may be found here.

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Environmental Services media contact: Diane Dulken (503)823-6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: Oil release from Union Pacific Railroad property impacts stormwater outfall, Willamette River

 

(January 23, 2018) -- City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services spill response team, investigating a report of an oil release yesterday from Union Pacific Railroad's Albina Yard on North River Street, confirmed that an unknown quantity of oil spilled onto the road, reached the city's stormwater system and the Willamette River.

Environmental Services determined that Union Pacific's hazardous materials team was on site and cooperating with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Coast Guard to clean the street, storm sewer, shoreline and waterway. Union Pacific notified the Oregon Environmental Reporting System (OERS) managed by Oregon's Office of Emergency Management. Environmental Services understands that the US Coast Guard is leading on clean up and containment, which continues.

The public is advised to avoid contact with the area. Environmental Services has no further information on this incident at this time. Inquiries may be directed to the US Coast Guard. Levi Read, PIO, US Coast Guard, levi.a.read@uscg.mil, (503)861-6237

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Contact Info:
Levi Read, PIO, US Coast Guard, levi.a.read@uscg.mil, (503)861-6237
Diane Dulken, Environmental Services PIO, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov (503)823-6724

.


Traffic Advisory: Sewer repairs to close SE 20th Avenue between Burnside and Stark streets on January 8 for up to 30 days

(January 4, 2018)  – Environmental Services advises the traveling public that sewer construction will require the closure of SE 20th Avenue between Burnside and Stark streets all days and all hours beginning Monday, January 8, for up to 30 days. 

A signed detour will guide drivers and people on bicycles to SE 28th Avenue.  Sidewalks will remain open and local access will be maintained.

The traveling public is advised to expect some delays, to travel cautiously and to observe the traffic control signage.

The 24/7 closure will allow crews to work extended hours to expedite repairs of about 240 feet of pipe on SE 20th between Pine and Oak streets. Crews are replacing a 115-year-old pipe in order to prevent costly breaks, sink holes and sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets.

For additional project information, updates and maps, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/se20th.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes. Follow on Twitter @besportland

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Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 

 


Sewage Advisory: Broken pipe leads to sewage release to Ivy Creek in SW Portland

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory
(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(Nov. 1, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responding on Halloween evening to reports of an odor found a broken pipe that was leaking sewage around the 4700 block of SW Lowell Court. The site is near the pedestrian-only bridge to Bridlemile School. 

Crews installed a new section of pipe and stopped the release around midnight. The odor was reported at 5:30 p.m. and the source found at 7 p.m.  Residents said they had noticed the odor for about three days beforehand. 

Field crews estimate the release at about 4,200 gallons and an unknown amount affected Ivy Creek. As a precaution, the public is advised to adhere to warning signs posted at the site and avoid contact with Ivy Creek in that area for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water. 

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system.  

###


UPDATED CSO Advisory: Heavy rains lead to combined sewer overflow to Willamette River

UPDATE: The overflow that began at 1:15 am ended at 5:30 am. The advisory remains in effect for 48 hours. Avoid direct contact with Willamette River until Tuesday morning due to increased bacteria in the water. 

(October 22, 2017) -  The "atmospheric river" passing overhead through Portland this weekend has affected the Willamette River. Heavy rain yesterday and overnight  caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River around 1:15 a.m. this morning from multiple outfalls.  

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public is advised to avoid contact with the Willamette River for 48 hours after the CSO event ends. The overflows are still continuing. The volume is not yet known. A combined sewer overflow is about 80% stormwater and 20% sanitary sewage.

According to the National Weather Service, more than two inches fell in Portland on Saturday and the storm system called an atmospheric river may continue to bring periods ofrain to the Portland area through Sunday. 

CSOs are rare and occur during periods of extreme rain or snowfall. Since completing the Big Pipe project in 2011, a 20-year $1.4 billion program to reduce overflows, the number of CSOs have been reduced by 94 percent to the Willamette River and 99 percent to the Columbia Slough.  

The Big Pipe project constructed a series of improvements, from disconnecting downspouts on residences to allow rainwater to be absorbed naturally in the ground to the construction of big pipes on both sides of the river and along the slough to store and convey large quantities of flows to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. Before the project, CSOs occurred to the Willamette River from multiple outfalls an average of 50 times a year, with some instances lasting days. Today, overflows occur an average of four times per winter season, and once every three summers.  

Find out more information about CSO events, what they are and why they occur.

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. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and follow us on Twitter for news @besportland.

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503.823.6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


CSO Advisory: 14-minute combined sewer overflow (CSO) occurs to Willamette River from SE pump station slated for upgrades

(October 19, 2017) – A combined sewer overflow (CSO) occurred this evening from a single location - the SE Alder Pump Station that is slated to be taken offline later this month to improve and expand its capacity.

Triggered by heavy rains, the CSO began at 7:32 p.m. and ended 14 minutes later, discharging about 23,000 gallons of stormwater mixed with sewage to the Willamette River.The pump station also overflowed in September for four minutes. The SE Alder Street Pump Station is located at SE Alder Street and Water Avenue. https://goo.gl/maps/kmdmYw57pD22

A CSO is about 80 percent stormwater and 20 percent sewage. The pump station, built in 1952, is scheduled to be taken offline later this month for two years of construction. The upgrades will improve reliability and increase pumping capacity to prevent sewage releases into buildings and streets as well as overflows to the river. During construction, the combined sewage and stormwater flows will be diverted to other pipes in the system and the  likelihood of CSOs from this location will decrease.  For more information on the project, please visit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/72747.

CSOs are rare, but when they occur the public is advised to avoid contact with the river for about 48 hours due to increased bacteria in the water. In this case, the public is advised to avoid contact with the Willamette River from the Morrison Bridge to the Columbia River confluence until this advisory is lifted. Areas upstream are not subject to this advisory.

Since completing the Big Pipe project in 2011, a 20-year $1.4 billion program to reduce overflows, the number of CSOs have been reduced by 94 percent to the Willamette River and 99 percent to the Columbia Slough.  Before the project, CSOs occurred to the Willamette River from multiple outfalls an average of 50 times a year, with some instances lasting days.

For more information about CSO events, what they are and why they occur, visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/565061.

 

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. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and follow us on Twitter for news @besportland.

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503.823.6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Sewage Advisory: Ruptured pipe under N Lombard overpass leads to sewage release to Columbia Slough

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory
(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

UPDATE Oct. 20, 2017 - Crews finished an emergency repair on the ruptured pipe this afternoon.  Pictures: top - city crews excavated a work zone to allow installation of a patch on the ruptured sewer line. Below - raw sewage underneath the Lombard overpass on Oct. 18.

(October 18, 2017) - City crews responded last night when a ruptured pipe released sewage onto a railroad track underneath the N Lombard Street overpass. The location is around the 12900 block of N Lombard Street. Traffic is not affected. 

Sewage pooled along the tracks and an unknown quantity flowed down an embankment to the Columbia Slough. As a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with the slough due to increased bacteria in the water. 

The release is ongoing and crews are on site working to contain the flow and repair a rupture in a pipe that carries sewage from the Lombard Pump Station to the city's Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. As a further precaution, crews posted warning signs at the site, which is not easily accessible to the public. 

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows. This sewage release is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system.

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. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and follow us on Twitter for news @besportland.

 

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503.823.6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Advisory: Sewage release along NE Marine Drive flows into ditch, river not affected

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(October 11, 2017) – A malfunctioning valve on an underground pipe led to a sewage release this morning along the side of NE Marine Drive at 112th Avenue near the I-205 overpass.

The sewage flowed through a storm drain and to a ditch. Crews cleaned up the flow along the road and the portion in the ditch soaked into the ground. The sewage did not reach the Columbia River.

The release occurred west of the I-205 bike path and that path is not affected.

Crews determined that about 18,750 gallons was released during a 75-minute period. Crews repaired the valve, which was housed in an underground vault, stopping the release at 8:45 a.m.

The public is advised to obey warning signs posted along Marine Drive.

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old.

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @BESPortland.

Media contact: Diane Dulken, 503-823-6724, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


City and State Raise Red Flags About Superfund Process


Sewage Advisory: Grease buildup causes sewage overflow in NE Portland to Columbia Slough

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(Sept. 25, 2017) – City maintenance crews responded this morning to reports of sewage overflowing from a manhole in a parking lot next to the 7200 block of NE Alderwood Road near Airport Way.

https://goo.gl/maps/g3KkBRWLrzw

Crews cleared sewer pipes that had become blocked by grease and restored service to the area.  The overflow occurred for about three hours ending at 10:30 a.m. and discharged 10,000 gallons. That discharge flowed from the parking lot manhole into a nearby storm drain and to the Columbia Slough.

As a precaution, people should avoid contact with the Columbia Slough for about 48 hours because of the possibility of bacteria in the water.

Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public not to pour grease down drains, flush anything other than waste and toilet paper, and to not put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

Environmental Services also operates the Fog Program (Fats, Oils and Grease) specifically to work with restaurants and other food establishments to reduce grease-caused clogs and prevent backups and discharges that can affect public health and our environment. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/54538

This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

 Media contact: Diane Dulken, 503-823-6724,  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


UPDATED/CORRECTED CSO ADVISORY: Combined sewer overflow (CSO) from SE Alder Pump Station on Wednesday, September 20

UPDATED/CORRECTED CSO ADVISORY: Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) on Wednesday, September 20

(September 21, 2017) - Heavy rains caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River on Wednesday, September 20 from a SE Portland pump station that is slated to be improved and expanded. Overflows occurred at 4:15 a.m., 2:33 p.m., and 3:01 p.m. to the Willamette River from the SE Alder Street Pump Station at SE Alder Street and Water Avenue. https://goo.gl/maps/kmdmYw57pD22. The morning overflow lasted for about four minutes, and the afternoon overflows lasted for a total of about 30 minutes.

An overflow did not occur, as previously reported, at N Edison & Philadelphia.

UPDATED CSO ALERT:

(5 p.m., September 20, 2017) – Heavy rains caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River beginning at around 2 p.m. at N Edison & Philadelphia. Officials estimate that less than 100 gallons overflowed. The event lasted for approximately one minute.

 ***

EARLIER ALERT: Four-minute combined sewer overflow (CSO) occured to Willamette River from pump station slated for upgrades

(September 20, 2017) – A combination of stormwater from heavy rains and sewage overflowed to the Willamette River for four minutes early this morning from a SE Portland pump station that is slated to be improved and expanded.

The CSO (combined sewer overflow) occurred at 4:15 a.m. from the SE Alder Street Pump Station at SE Alder Street and Water Avenue. https://goo.gl/maps/kmdmYw57pD22.

The pump station, built in 1952, is being upgraded and will be taken offline by October for two years of construction.  The upgrades will improve reliability and increase pumping capacity to prevent sewage releases into buildings and streets as well as overflows to the river. For more information on the project, please visit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/72747.

CSOs are rare, but when they occur the public is advised to avoid contact with the river for about 48 hours due to increased bacteria in the water. In this case, the public is advised to avoid contact with the Willamette River from the Morrison Bridge to the Columbia River confluence until this advisory is lifted.

Areas upstream are not subject to this advisory.

The event began at 4:10 a.m. and lasted for four minutes, discharging about 3,000 gallons. A combined sewer overflow is about 80% stormwater and 20% sewage.

Since completing the Big Pipe project in 2011, a 20-year $1.4 billion program to reduce overflows, the number of CSOs have been reduced by 94 percent to the Willamette River and 99 percent to the Columbia Slough.  Before the project, CSOs occurred an average of 50 times a year, with some instances lasting days. Today, the combined system overflows to the Willamette River an average of four times per winter and once every three summers.

For more information about CSO events, what they are and why they occur, visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/565061.

 

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. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news


News release:Commissioner Nick Fish introduces Salmon in Our City Day; Council to declare Crystal Springs first Salmon Sanctuary

(September 19, 2017) – Tomorrow at 2 p.m. in City Council, City Commissioner Nick Fish will proclaim Sunday, September 24, the first annual “Salmon in Our City Day,” marking substantial progress in restoring urban salmon habitat and continued investment in salmon recovery.

Also at City Council, Commissioner Fish will introduce “Salmon Sanctuaries,” streams that City scientists and resource experts consider the best salmon habitat in the city. Salmon Sanctuaries are resting, feeding, and spawning areas that help the threatened fish through Portland on their journey to and from the Pacific Ocean.

“I am proud to live in a city where families and children can watch salmon swimming in their local creek,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “In the Pacific Northwest, salmon are a key indicator of a healthy watershed. Today, we celebrate Crystal Springs as a model restoration project and commit to expanding Portland’s urban salmon habitat.”

City Council’s proclamation of September 24th as Salmon in Our City Day coincides with the fourth annual Salmon Celebration. On the banks of Crystal Springs Creek at Westmoreland Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the public is invited to join in a Native American blessing, salmon bake, and other activities to welcome the return of salmon to Portland. The celebration also is part of this season’s final Sunday Parkways, which will bring thousands of people through SE Portland.

Crystal Springs Creek, which has been extensively rehabilitated by the City and community partners, will be the city’s first Salmon Sanctuary. Crystal Springs Creek photo by Andrew FedchenkoThe designation comes with a $5,000 award for the Johnson Creek Watershed Council and the Crystal Springs Partnership, two community groups that are continuing restoration and stewardship activities.

The Salmon Sanctuary designation is the result of a citywide evaluation of salmon habitat by Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Water Bureau. The inter-bureau team identified eight other streams that are primed to achieve sanctuary status as restoration projects are completed, including:

  • Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge – existing prime habitat for fish and wildlife. The only obstacle for salmon is a culvert that blocks access from the Willamette River. That culvert is slated for replacement next year by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Services, and Portland Parks & Recreation.

  • Miller Creek in Forest Park – the forested stream has all the characteristics of prime salmon habitat, including shade, cold water, and no invasive fish competitors. City scientists have not yet found adult salmon in the creek, but a debris blockage that was removed by the Oregon Department of Transportation earlier this year was likely inhibiting salmon passage.  City scientists plan renewed monitoring this season.

  • Tryon Creek – like Oaks Bottom, this area contains prime habitat and conditions for salmon. A culvert that spans the equivalent of two city blocks at the mouth of the Willamette River blocks migratory fish from entering the creek. Oregon’s congressional delegation is working with the City to secure necessary funding for culvert replacement.

In addition, the City’s scientists and restoration experts identified these candidates: Errol Creek and Deardorff Creek along Johnson Creek in SE Portland, the lower Columbia Slough in North Portland, and Balch Creek and Saltzman Creek in Forest Park.

The Salmon Sanctuary evaluations were conducted by the same inter-bureau team whose work last year led to Portland becoming the first certified Salmon-Safe city, a designation that means the city has met or is working to meet standards for limiting water pollution, conserving habitat and additional practices that go beyond current law. Salmon-Safe, a non-profit organization, administers those standards.

“When we invest in restoration, adjust our operations to be Salmon-Safe, and partner with others, salmon return to our city,” said Kaitlin Lovell, Environmental Services’ science manager. “We have a long way to go to see abundant populations, but each step builds on itself. In the age of climate change, it is even more important to create cold water sanctuaries where fish can find food, shelter and refuge in Portland’s rivers.”

Salmon have been documented in 125 miles of the city’s 300 miles of streams, but population numbers are low. The City of Portland has been working to recover salmon and steelhead since 1998 when steelhead in Portland were first listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In that time, no populations have gone extinct and multiple restoration projects have delivered cleaner water to the Willamette, better habitat for fish and wildlife and improved treatment of stormwater.

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Find more information, including a map of salmon streams, on Salmon in Portland 

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides 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. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503.823.6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


City finalizes $11.125 million sale of Terminal 1 property to Lithia Motors, Inc.

(August 28, 2017) – After asking the City Council to declare Terminal 1 (T1) surplus in 2014, City Commissioner Nick Fish today finalized the sale of T1 to Lithia Motors Inc., the Medford, Oregon-based Fortune 500 auto retailer, for $11.125 million.

Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan signed the deed today, officially transferring the prime industrial property along Northwest Portland’s industrial waterfront to Lithia and capping the final chapter in the $1.4 billion Big Pipe project, the city’s largest infrastructure project to date.

Environmental Services bought T1 for $6.3 million in 2004 from the Port of Portland. It was used as a staging area for the Big Pipe project, which constructed two large pipes on either side of the Willamette River and installed rain gardens and other green solutions which have eliminated most combined sewer overflows to the Willamette River and Columbia Slough.

“Lithia Motors is an important economic player in Oregon. I know that they will leverage this property to its fullest potential to create good jobs in our city,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler.

“This sale is a win-win-win: preserving scarce industrial land, generating good family-wage jobs, and delivering a solid return for ratepayers,” said Commissioner Fish. “With the property in Lithia’s hands, I’m confident that T1 will continue to be an asset on our working waterfront.”

The 14.5-acre property, at 2400 NW Front Avenue, contains a large paved lot with a 96,000-square-foot warehouse in addition to a 3.6-acre dock.  It is identified in the city’s Comprehensive Plan as prime industrial land, and is a key part of Portland’s jobs forecast and economic development strategy for the next 20 years.

“For several years Lithia Motors has had the need to consolidate a number of its local operations under one roof and the Terminal 1 site provides us with the opportunity to do just that while embarking on an exciting partnership with the people of Portland. The development of Terminal 1 allows our company to plan for the future, control current operations and meets the needs of our customers in a fully consolidated facility,” noted Mark DeBoer, Lithia Motors Vice President, Corporate Development.

He added, “We’re equally excited at the possibilities for use of the surplus property at Terminal 1 and hope to best address the vision and future clean transportation needs of the greater Portland community by aligning with the City of Portland Comprehensive Plan.”

Leaders at Lithia Motors expressed the belief that the company is uniquely positioned to partner with the City of Portland to further explore, develop and adopt innovative urban transportation solutions while creating living-wage jobs to a diverse resident population in accordance with the City’s equity and prosperity goals.

Lithia Motors, Inc. is one of the largest automotive retailers in the nation having built strong relationships with virtually every automotive manufacturer. The company employs a team of more than 13,000 in 18 states. About 2,200 of those workers are based in Oregon.

Background / Timeline

When the City Council authorized T1’s sale in 2014, the property was assessed at $8.6 million.  

In 2016, Environmental Services received seven bids ranging from $6 million to $10.5 million before City Council canceled the sale process and directed the bureau to lease it to the Portland Housing Bureau for consideration as a mass homeless shelter. In November 2016, City Council withdrew that concept and renewed Environmental Services’ authority to sell the property.

In the second offering, Environmental Services received seven bids ranging from $10 million to $10.5 million. When Environmental Services asked those bidders for their best and final offers, Lithia raised its offer $2 million to $12.5 million, making it the high bidder. In December, Environmental Services accepted Lithia’s proposal.

The final sales price of $11.125 million was adjusted from the accepted offer of $12.5 million based on further information discovered during the inspection phase, also known as due diligence. During the inspections, a sinkhole in the main lot and damage to the dock were discovered. To address these findings, the city and Lithia negotiated a price adjustment as well as an additional $625,000 Environmental Services has put in escrow. Lithia can draw upon those escrow funds for repairs, subject to Environmental Services’ approval. All offers received would have been subject to the due diligence process.

For more information on T1 including photos, see www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/514449

 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. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.

##

Media Contacts:

Diane Dulken, 503-823-6724, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

Lithia Motors Contact: Tom Dobry, 541-734-3015, tdobry@lithia.com

 


Sewage release occurs in Marquam Nature Park in SW Portland

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory

(August 25, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded this morning to a broken pipe in Marquam Nature Park and are working to clean up about 100 gallons of sewage that is pooling in an unnamed and self-contained stream between the Shelter Loop and Sunnyside trails.

The public is advised to adhere to warning signs posted in the area and to remain on trails. 

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows. This sewage release is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system.

###

 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. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and follow us on Twitter for news @besportland.

 


UPDATED: Sewage overflows from manhole at Sellwood Riverfront Park

UPDATE (August 21, 2017) - The cause of the sewage overflow was a private pump that failed and has since been repaired. The overflow to the pathway and nearby vegetation was stopped at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday and was estimated to be about 525 gallons, which is roughly the equivalent of 10 55-gallon drums. The sewage was contained and cleaned up  and did NOT reach the Willamette River.

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory 

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(August 20, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded this afternoon  to a report of sewage flowing from a manhole at the southwest corner of Sellwood Riverfront Park near SE Spokane Street. An unknown quantity of sewage discharged from the manhole and is being contained and cleaned up by sewer maintenance crews. 

The flow did NOT reach the Willamette River, according to preliminary field evaluations.   

The public is advised to adhere to the warning signs posted at the site.  

The cause is unknown at this time. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public not to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper, and to not put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.  

 The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. This sewage release is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system.

###

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.

Media contact; Diane Dulken, 503-823-6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


UPDATED Advisory: Sewage release occurs to Woods Creek at SW 69th Avenue

(July 14, 2017) – City of Portland sewer maintenance crews responded on Thursday evening to a sewage release from a manhole near 7320 SW 69th Ave into Woods Creek, a tributary of Fanno Creek. The location of the sewage release is in Beaverton. 

The sewage release occurred on the City of Portland’s Fanno Basin Pressure Line improvement project. Following successful testing, the line was returned to service, and it was discovered that a drain line had been left open in error by the work crew. The valve was closed at 5:45 p.m. Thursday evening. Cleanup began, led by the City of Beaverton, Clean Water Services and City of Portland remediation contractors. This incident was not caused by a failure of the pressure sewer line or the nearby pump stations and is not related to the sewage release into Woods Creek earlier this week, which was caused by a private sewer line.     

Crews estimate that about 90,000 gallons were released before they stopped the flow. A cleanup crew has been deployed to clean the roadway. Crews have taken water quality samples from five sites on Woods Creek and Fanno Creek and posted warning signs along the waterways as far downstream as SW Scholls Ferry Road in Beaverton.

Sewage releases into streams can have an impact on fish and aquatic species. The City of Portland, Clean Water Services and the City of Beaverton are investigating any impact and will update the public as more information is available. As a precaution, the public is advised to adhere to the warning signs posted at the site and avoid contact with Woods Creek and Fanno Creek in that area for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.   

The sewage release does not affect swimming in the Willamette River or the Big Float event this weekend.

https://goo.gl/maps/dxV98SmUt9x

Media contact: Taffy Spencer, 503-823-8601, taffy.spencer@portlandoregon.gov

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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.

 

 The original news release is below:

(July 13, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded on Thursday evening to a sewage release from a manhole near 7320 SW 69th Ave into Woods Creek, a tributary of Fanno Creek in Southwest Portland. 

Crews estimate that about 90,000 gallons were released before they stopped the flow. A cleanup crew has been deployed to clean the roadway. Crews posted warning signs along Woods Creek and nearby Fanno Creek. 

https://goo.gl/maps/dxV98SmUt9x

As a precaution, the public is advised to adhere to the warning signs posted at the site and avoid contact with Woods Creek and Fanno Creek in that area for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water. 

While this investigation and repairs continue, most sewage releases are caused when pipes are blocked by grease, tree roots or other debris, causing pipes to fail. Environmental Services advises the public not to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper, and to not put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old.

Media contact: Taffy Spencer, 503-823-8601, taffy.spencer@portlandoregon.gov

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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.


UPDATED Advisory: Sewage release occurs in SW Portland's Maplewood neighborhood to Woods and Fanno creeks

FINAL UPDATE (July 27, 2017) – After nearly three weeks of diverting sewage from a private pipe to prevent discharges to Woods Creek and working with the property owner to install a remedy, Environmental Services has concluded operations.

 

Environmental Services’ investigation showed that sewage and other wastewater from a commercial complex in the 5700 block of SW Multnomah Boulevard had inadvertently been discharging to the Fanno Creek tributary via a pipe that was designed to carry rainwater and stormwater only.  The management of that complex on Friday connected that pipe to the city’s public sanitary sewer, sending the flow to the city’s system for treatment.

 

 Environmental Services has referred this incident to the city’s Bureau of Development Services, which administers the city’s building code, and the state Department of Environmental Quality, which protects public waterways within Oregon.

 

After being alerted by a report of an odor on July 9, the city dispatched a crew to the area and found a sewage discharge to Woods Creek along the April Hill Park natural area trail. Environmental Services set up a temporary containment area and pumping system to prevent further damage to the creek while investigating the source and then working with the property managers on remedial action.

 

On Wednesday, city crews removed pumps from the site and completed cleanup of the containment area and minor restoration of the bank along the creek. Warning signs will remain alongside the creek as long as the risk of bacteria exposure remains. April Hills Park and the natural area trail were not impacted and remain open to the public.

 

 

 

UPDATE (July 12, 2017) - Environmental Services has determined that the source of Sunday’s sewage release to Woods Creek was a  privately owned pipe and not a city sewer line. While that private pipe was designed to carry only rainwater to the creek, it appears that a private sewage pipe was mistakenly connected to it, leading to Sunday’s discharge of about 27,000 gallons to the Fanno Creek tributary.

 City crews stopped the discharge on Sunday by diverting the flow to the city sewer system, and no additional discharge is occurring to the creek. Crews continue to conduct cleanup at the site adjacent to the April Hill Park Natural Area trail between April Hill Park and SW Multnomah Boulevard. Environmental Services continues its investigation to pinpoint the exact source of the sewage connection to the stormwater pipe.

Warning signs to avoid contact with Woods Creek remain in place as the cleanup and investigation continue.  April Hill Park and the adjacent nature trail are not impacted and remain open to the public.

 Any additional updates will be posted online on this page.

 

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(July 10, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responding Sunday to an odor report on the 6100 block of SW Canby Street found that sewage was spilling into Woods Creek, a tributary of Fanno Creek in Southwest Portland. 

Crews estimate that about 27,000 gallons were released before they stopped the flow by diverting it to a nearby sewer line. Crews posted warning signs along Wood Creek and nearby Fanno Creek.

City crews continue to investigate and repair the sewer line.

As a precaution, the public is advised to adhere to the warning signs posted at the site and avoid contact with Woods Creek and Fanno Creek in that area for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water. 

While this investigation continues, most sewage overflows are caused by blockages. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public not to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper, and to not put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system that protects water quality in the Willamette River and Columbia Slough.

 

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503-823-6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 -30-

 

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.

 


Swimming, boating in the Willamette River? Environmental Services posts weekly water quality tests through summer

(June 21, 2017) - The Willamette River through Portland is cleaner than it's been in decades, thanks in large part to ratepayers’ investment in the $1.4 billion “Big Pipe” project that dramatically reduced combined sewer overflows.

How clean? Each week during summer months, Environmental Services tests for the presence of bacteria as well as water temperature at five popular public recreation spots. Tests are conducted on Wednesdays and posted to the newly revamped Willamette River Recreation Index webpage by Friday morning – ready for weekend activity.

More than 98 percent of test results taken since the Big Pipe’s completion in 2011 have shown bacteria levels well within the state’s health standards, meaning the water is clean enough for swimming, boating and other summer recreation.

Before the Big Pipe project, also known as Portland’s CSO Control Program, stormwater mixed with sewage would overflow into the river almost every time it rained, triggered by storms with one-tenth of an inch of precipitation or more.  That meant more than 50 overflows a year, with some events lasting several days.

Bacteria exposure is the biggest health concern for swimming, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Bacteria can originate from a variety of sources including sewage, agriculture, and fecal matter from wildlife and pets.

Now our system is designed to limit overflows to an average of four times per winter, occurring during periods of exceptionally heavy rains. Overflows occur even less often – on average once every three years – during the months from May to October. 

There have been no overflows in July and August in the years since the Big Pipe’s completion.

“The Big Pipe, delivered on time and on budget, has been a big success,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “Thanks to this investment in our critical infrastructure and in the health of the river, the Willamette is once again open to all kinds of summer activities.”

Environmental Services and Portland Fire & Rescue offer these additional river tips: Many factors affect safety on the river, including temperature, currents, and debris, as well as people’s ability in the water. Cold water is good for migrating salmon and other fish, but water below 70 degrees can be uncomfortable and unsafe for people.  People can find out river temperature in addition to bacteria levels through the Willamette River Recreation Index.

“Know the water, know your abilities, wear a life vest and don’t swim alone,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan. “And please care for our public spaces by picking up your trash and pet’s waste.”

View clean water tests and temperature at the Willamette River Recreation Index or www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/RecreationIndex

 

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

Media contact:  Diane Dulken 503-457-7636  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 

 


Traffic Advisory: Night work to close SE McLoughlin Boulevard off-ramp to Powell Boulevard June 14 for up to seven nights

(June 12, 2017) – Environmental Services advises the traveling public that sewer construction will require night closures of the northbound off-ramp of SE McLoughlin Boulevard to SE Powell Boulevard for up to seven nights between June 14 and June 30.  Night construction hours are from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

A detour will be set up to guide travelers to eastbound SE Powell Boulevard. A map of the detour is available at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/542387.

Working during night hours minimizes the travel impacts of this work. The traveling public is advised to expect some delays, to travel cautiously and to observe the traffic control signage.

Crews are repairing about 100 feet of pipe under the off-ramp. The work is part of the Lower Powell Green Street and Sewer Project to protect water quality, public health, and our environment.

For additional information, including project updates and maps, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/Lowerpowell .

 

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes. Follow on Twitter @besportland

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Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 

 


UPDATED Traffic Advisory: Crews to pave Highway 43 at Portland-Lake Oswego border Saturday morning, May 20

UPDATE (May 19, 2017) - Paving will take place as scheduled but due to high demand for pavement restoration crews, restriping is now scheduled for early June. The current lane restrictions will continue until then.

(May 17, 2017) – Environmental Services advises the traveling public that crews will pave Highway 43 at SW Terwilliger Boulevard at the entry way to Lake Oswego on Saturday, May 20 from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. One lane will be open in each direction at all times

Once complete, the lane restrictions that have been in place since April for a sewer repair project will be lifted. Paving is taking place about two weeks ahead of schedule.

The traveling public is advised to travel cautiously and to observe signage. The early morning paving schedule was chosen to minimize travel impacts.

Crews have finished installing two manholes and about 80 feet of pipe under Highway 43 between SW Terwilliger Blvd and SW E Avenue. The work is part of the SW Terwilliger Sewer Project to improve wastewater collection in the area and to protect water quality, public health, and our environment.

SW Terwilliger Blvd WILL REMAIN CLOSED from Highway 43 to SW Castleridge Lane until the project is complete, no later than August.

For additional information, including progress photos and maps, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/swterwilliger.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes. Follow on Twitter @besportland

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UPDATED CSO Advisory: Combination of stormwater and sewage overflows from SW Carolina Street outfall to the Willamette River

UPDATE (May 15) - The total amount of stormwater and sewage overflow on Saturday is estimated to be 5,100 gallons. The source of the suspected debris blockage remains under investigation. 

(May 13, 2017) – Environmental Services is reporting a combined sewage overflow (CSO) from the SW Carolina Street outfall  north of Willamette Park to the Willamette River. The overflow began about 5 p.m. and lasted about ten minutes. Additional showers this weekend may lead to additional discharges and this event is considered ongoing. 

The cause is believed to be a combination of heavy thundershowers and debris blockage at the outfall. This same outfall was the site of a 13 minute overflow on February 8 that cleared itself. 

A combined sewer overflow is about 80% stormwater and 20% sanitary sewage. Because of increased bacteria in the water from the sewage, the public is advised to avoid contact with the Willamette River in the area north (downstream) of Willamette Park for 48 hours after the CSO event ends. Environmental Services will update the public when the overflow stops.

Since completing the ratepayer-funded $1.4 billion Big Pipe project in 2011 to eliminate most but not all overflows, about 94 percent of CSOs to the Willamette River have been eliminated and 99 percent to the Columbia Slough. Both the river and slough are much healthier for recreation and for wildlife. State and city officials determined that reaching 100% CSO control would not significantly
improve river health while doubling the costs to ratepayers.  Find out more about CSOs, what they are and why they occur at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/565063

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503.823.6742. Diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov 


Sewage advisory: Clogged manhole in outer SE Portland sends sewage to Clatsop and Kelley Creeks

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(May 12, 2017) – A manhole that became clogged with debris in a residential area led to a sewage overflow this morning on SE 162nd south of Foster Road.

 Crews cleared the blockage and restored service to the area, estimating that about 1,750 gallons spilled onto the street and to nearby Clatsop Creek which feeds into Kelley Creek. Those small creeks lead to Johnson Creek.

The overflow occurred at SE 162nd Avenue and SE Henderson Way.  https://goo.gl/maps/nuhRtXe6uk92

As a precaution, people should avoid contact with Clatsop Creek downstream of SE 162nd Avenue, Kelley Creek downstream of Clatsop Creek and Johnson Creek downstream of Kelley Creek for about 48 hours because of the possibility of bacteria in the water.

Sewage overflows are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public not to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper, and to not put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system which manages excess stormwater and sewage during exceptionally heavy rains.  

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.


Traffic Advisory: Sewer repairs to involve periodic two-block street closures along downtown's Yamhill and Morrison streets from April 30-May 20

 (April 27, 2017) – Environmental Services advises the traveling public that a downtown Portland sewer repair project along the Yamhill-Morrison light rail corridor will involve rolling temporary two-block street closures from April 30 to May 20. 

The rolling two-block closures along Yamhill and Morrison streets will last approximately three days each and take place as crews move from manhole to manhole along the corridor to make needed sewer repairs. Crews are inserting new linings into the sewer pipes to extend their lifespans and ensure reliable service in the downtown core.                       

Environmental Services is in the middle of a nine-week project to repair century-old sewer pipes underneath the light rail lines. The bureau is scheduling the most challenging work – lining of sewer pipes - during TriMet’s MAX improvement project when trains are not in service.

To condense several months of work within several weeks, Environmental Services crews and contractors are working 24/7 and will complete as much of the repairs as possible before TriMet’s reopening of light rail service.

 The traveling public is asked to observe all street closures and directions by reader boards, signs and flaggers and to use alternate routes when possible.

Local access to properties, including parking garages, along the route will be maintained.  

People traveling by bicycle may choose to dismount and use the sidewalks to navigate around the street closures.

Sidewalk access will be maintained throughout the project.  Pedestrians and people using wheelchairs can expect to navigate around a number of orange “barrels” along the corridors that cover access points for work crews. Crews will also periodically put out hoses along sidewalks and streets that will be covered with ramps for easier passage. At each intersection, crews will maintain at least one east-west and one north-south crossing.  

In addition, temporary closures on adjacent cross streets will occur with local access provided by flaggers. Those closures will allow crews to operate bypass pumping to maintain sewer service during construction. 

On-street parking will be restricted in and near the work zones to create a safe work environment and to stage equipment and materials.

The exact work schedule within the April 30-May 20 timeframe will be dynamic as crews navigate challenging conditions underground as well as weather.

For videos of the deteriorated sewers with ruptures and tree roots, see: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/632459

For additional information, please visit Environmental Services’ Yamhill-Morrison project  www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/downtown and TriMet’s Morrison-Yamhill MAX Improvements project at www.trimet.org/morrisonyamhill.

To find out about other Central City construction projects and how area agencies are coordinating projects to reduce their traffic impacts,  visit Get Portland Moving at www.MovePDX.net.

 

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes. Follow on Twitter @besportland

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Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: City moves to 100% methane recovery, creating triple-win for public: revenue, climate gains and cleaner air

Largest city climate change project will net $3 million annually

(April 19, 2017) - Just in time for Earth Day, Environmental Services is announcing a groundbreaking project that will convert waste methane from the city’s sewage treatment process into renewable natural gas. The clean, locally-produced fuel will be sold in Portland and elsewhere to replace diesel fuel in trucks.

InfoGraphic methane recovery

The project will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21,000 tons a year, more than any other single city project to date.

It also will generate upwards of $3 million in revenue a year, and replace 1.34 million gallons of dirty diesel fuel with clean renewable natural gas. That’s enough to run 154 garbage trucks for a year.

“We are creating a triple-win for the public in terms of revenue, climate action and cleaner air,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “The renewable natural gas we will produce is truly local and homegrown, a by-product of the waste from every Portland household that we can now repurpose.”

Portland City Council today unanimously approved the project, authorizing Environmental Services to build the infrastructure needed to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant and distribute it through NW Natural’s network. City Council also authorized the construction of an RNG fueling station at the plant. The $12 million pAerial photo of Columbia Blvd Wastewater Treatment Plantackage of construction costs will have a payback period of about four years.

The timeframe for the project is:

By the end of 2017, the fueling station is scheduled to be finished and used for Environmental Services' and other city trucks.

By the end of 2018, Environmental Services expects to begin feeding renewable natural gas into NW Natural’s network. That fuel will be sold on the renewable energy market via a system of energy credits to Oregon and out-of-state buyers.

“Because our product is a renewable fuel and not a fossil fuel, it commands a five-to-ten times higher price on the renewable energy market,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan. “Doing the right thing turns out to be a great deal.”

NW Natural provided engineering standards and developed a regulatory framework to facilitate this project. “We are proud to be a part of our City’s efforts to close the loop on waste,” said David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO. “We look forward to this being the first of many renewable natural gas projects that move us toward a low-carbon future.”

The project is the latest step Environmental Services is taking at the treatment plant to recover and reuse as many resources as possible. About half of the plant’s waste methane, in the form of raw biogas (a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide and trace components) is already reclaimed to heat and power the treatment plant. Some has been sold to a local roofing company. The rest, about 23 percent, has been flared (burned and released as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere). This project will move the plant to 100 percent methane recovery for both on-site use and sale, and eliminate regular flaring.  

"We have found a way to eliminate that pollution and turn it into revenue for Portland ratepayers," said Commissioner Nick Fish. “That’s a good way to begin Earth Day celebrations.”

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 Follow the discussion on Twitter: @BESPortland #renewablepdx

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

 Media contact: Diane Dulken 503-823-5328  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


 

 


UPDATED CSO Advisory: Blockage at outfall near Cathedral Park leads to sewage release to Willamette River

UPDATE (April 14, 2017) - Environmental Services is extending the advisory through the end of today.  Crews found and removed the source of the blockage yesterday - a broken piece of clay pipe that had partially blocked flows near a diversion manhole at N. Burlington Avenue and Edison. They are continuing to investigate the source of that broken pipe and determine what additional repairs may be needed. While crews were working on Wednesday and before they discovered the broken pipe, an additional discharge to the Willamette River of about 10,000 gallons occurred during an intense short rainstorm. For that reason, Environmental Services is advising the public to continue avoiding contact with the river downstream of Cathedral Park through today because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

(April 12, 2017) – Debris blocking a sewer pipe is suspected of causing an estimated 14,000 gallons of sewage to be released into the Willamette River overnight north of the St. Johns Bridge.

The release occurred from about 10 p.m. to about 11 p.m. and then again from about 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. from an outfall pipe at the north end of Cathedral Park. Maintenance crews are working to identify the source of the blockage.

The public is advised to avoid contact with the river downstream of Cathedral Park for 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

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. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.


Advisory: Sewage overflows onto SW Portland street and to Fanno Creek

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(April 2, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded this afternoon to a report of sewage flowing from a manhole on a residential property on SW Illinois Street near SW 33rd Place. About 675 gallons spilled onto the street and into a storm drain that connects to Fanno Creek.  

Crews repaired the blocked sewer within two hours of receiving the report and determined that tree roots had caused the blockage. 

As a precaution, the public is advised to adhere to the warning signs posted at the site and avoid contact with Fanno Creek in that area for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water. 

This is the second sewage overflow this weekend. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public not to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper, and to not put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

 The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. This weekend's sewage overflows  are not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system.  


UPDATED Advisory: Sewage overflows onto NW Thompson Road and towards Cedar Mill Creek

UPDATE (April 2, 2017) - The sewage overflow was stopped at about 9 p.m. and sewer service restored at 1 a.m. Crews found rags and other debris stuck in the sewer pipe, causing a blockage. To prevent clogs that can cause overflows and disrupt service, the public is advised to flush only waste and toilet paper and not pour anything down storm drains. 

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(April 1, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded this afternoon to a report of sewage flowing from a manhole on NW Thompson Road and NW Devuto Lane. Field crews estimate that about 9,000 gallons of sewage is flowing from the manhole over the street into a storm drain that feeds into Cedar Mill Creek.

Most sewage is contained in a ditch and the street but some is expected to reach the creek.

Crews are on scene and attempting to stop the flow, which is intermittent. They also posted warning signs in the areas accessible to the public. The area is a residential street west of Forest Park.

As a precaution, the public is advised to adhere to the warning signs posted at the site and avoid contact with Cedar Mill Creek in that area for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows. The sewage release in NW Portland is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system.

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. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and follow us on Twitter for news @besportland.


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UPDATED: Traffic Advisory: Sewer improvements to close lane on Hwy 43 at SW Terwilliger beginning April 9 for up to two months

UPDATE (May 17) - Crews to pave Highway 43 between Terwilliger and E Street

UPDATE (April 27, 2017) - Crews completed installation of the manhole ahead of schedule. The next and final step in this project is paving and restriping lanes to their preconstruction configuration.

UPDATE (April 6, 2017) - We continue to look for a dry weather window to begin this project. The next possible start date is April 9.

UPDATE (March 31, 2017)  - The schedule for this work has changed. This project is now scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Tuesday April 4, 2017. Any additional schedule updates will be posted to Twitter @BESPortland with the hashtags: #hwy43 and #pdxtraffic

(March 29, 2017) – Environmental Services advises the traveling public that a sewer construction project will require lane restrictions on Highway 43 at SW Terwilliger Boulevard near the entry way to Lake Oswego beginning 10 p.m. Friday, March 31, and continuing 24 hours a day for up to two months. One lane will be open in each direction at all times.

The traveling public is advised to expect some delays, to travel cautiously and to observe the lane closures and signage.

The lane restrictions will allow crews to install two manholes and about 80 feet of pipe under Highway 43 between SW Terwilliger Blvd and E Avenue. The work is part of the SW Terwilliger Sewer Project to improve wastewater collection in the area and to protect water quality, public health, and our environment.

For additional information, including progress photos and additional maps, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/swterwilliger.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes. Follow on Twitter @besportland

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UPDATED News Release: Environmental Services' nine-week sewer repair project finishes May 20 along downtown’s Yamhill-Morrison light rail corridor

UPDATE (May 15, 2017) - Sewer repair work is closing SW Yamhill Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway today and portions of tomorrow with local access provided. In the final week of Environmental Services' sewer repair project, the traveling public is advised to expect intermittent block closures along the SW Yamhill-Morrison work corridor between SW First and 13th avenues. Closures will involve one or two blocks at a time. The public is advised to follow signage and directions by flaggers when present. The exact time frame for closures will be determined by field conditions. Crews are racing to complete repairs before May 20 in time for the reopening of the MAX light rail line.

UPDATE (April 25, 2017) - Crews have finished root removal, videotaping of conditions, and cleaning of public sewer pipes along the Yamhill-Morrison corridor. They are gearing up for the major sewer lining during TriMet's April 30-May 20 MAX improvement project and light rail closure. This period will allow crews to work from manhole to manhole to install lining within the sewer pipes to reinforce their structural integrity. Watch TriMet's video of its planned improvements and how work will take place above ground and underground. For additional information, please visit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/628956

 *** Original news release below ***

Note: Videos below show an inside view of the sewer pipes on the corridor with tree root damage and fractures. They are also viewable on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/portlandBES

 (March 15, 2017) – Environmental Services this week begins a nine-week project to repair public sewer pipes along the Yamhill/Morrison light rail corridor in downtown Portland that are 100 to 140 years old and in deteriorating condition. These pipes are part of downtown Portland’s essential infrastructure.

After more than a century of use, the pipes are showing signs of cracks, breaks, holes, and root and grease obstructions, putting them at risk of structural failure. The repairs will protect the public and our environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases to buildings and streets. 

“Rather than wait for a structural failure, we’re taking a preventive approach,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan. “Our investment to repair sewers that were built as long ago as 1880 will improve the reliability of the city’s system in the downtown core, prevent disruptive sewer failures, and protect public health, businesses and our environment.”

 

Environmental Services and its contractors will clear out obstructions and install new linings on the pipes along the Yamhill/Morrison corridor from SW First to 13th Avenue. That work will extend the life of the pipes for another 60 years or longer.  Instead of digging up the street to make repairs, crews will use a less disruptive technology and access pipes from manholes. The $3.3 million investment for the corridor also is employing an estimated 46 private sector contract workers during the project.

While one-to-two-block segments of the constructions zones will at times be closed to motor vehicle traffic, flaggers will always provide local access to people who live, work or need to conduct business at properties in the construction corridor.

Pre-construction will begin March 15, and the most challenging work along the corridor will take place during TriMet’s Morrison-Yamhill MAX Improvements project April 30 to May 20 when light rail service will be offline. 

“By coordinating with TriMet and working within its planned light rail closure, we can maximize the amount of urgent sewer repair work needed and minimize disruption to the public,” Jordan said. “By working together, we are getting two projects done at one time, and we’re sharing resources to set up traffic controls, equipment storage and safe working zones.”

To condense several months of work into a short nine-week window, crews also will be working 24/7 with approval from the Portland Noise Office. The noisiest work will be done during daytime. During the entire project, businesses will be open and Environmental Services teams are working with businesses to accommodate their needs as best as possible. For example, Environmental Services will not be working along SW First and Yamhill this week to accommodate Paddy’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Project updates will be posted to portlandoregon.gov/bes/downtown and to MovePDX.net, a hub of downtown construction activities and impacts. Environmental Services also will post updates on a project hotline: 503-823-5315 and on Twitter @BESPortland.

The project will conclude on time on May 20 so that TriMet can reopen light rail service as scheduled.

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

 Media contact: Diane Dulken 503-823-6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: PBOT, BES, other agencies launch Movepdx.net to notify public about downtown construction projects

Note: This news release is an edited version of the joint release issued by PBOT today.

(March 9, 2017) Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Bureau of Environmental Services, the Portland Water Bureau, Portland Parks & Recreation, Multnomah County, the Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet, and Portland Streetcar announced Get Portland Moving, an ambitious effort to bring a new level of coordination to construction and maintenance projects on the streets of the Central Business District and Cully neighborhood.Get Portland Moving banner

Throughout 2017 and into 2018, the Central Business District will be the site of multiple projects to repair and replace aging streets, sewers, rail track beds and machinery, bridge structures and other important community assets throughout downtown. 

While these important improvement projects will result in long-term gains for Portland and the greater region, the work will cause temporary disruptions for residents, businesses, and visitors in the short-term.

To lessen the construction impacts and to work more efficiently, the Get Portland Moving partners have come together to coordinate planned work on city streets, state highways, county bridges and transit lines. The partner agencies are aligning construction schedules to minimize competing demands and to maximize the opportunity to get as much work done in a specific area at the same time, saving time and avoiding the need to disrupt travel multiple times.  

An example of this coordination is the retiming of the Bureau of Environmental Services’ major sewer repair work along SW Yamhill and SW Morrison streets, Multnomah County’s Burnside Bridge project and Portland Parks & Recreation’s project at the Pioneer Square South MAX Station. All of this work will be aligned with TriMet’s planned Morrison-Yamhill MAX Improvements project. This coordination will limit MAX service interruption to a single disruption from Sunday, April 30th through Saturday, May 20th. Members of the public can learn more at trimet.org/maximprovements. Portland Streetcar service will be disrupted during the first two weeks of the project.

In accordance with the City’s administrative rule on the safe accommodation of pedestrians and cyclists in and around construction zones, all partners have pledged to make safe access for people walking, biking and rolling a priority.

To provide the travelling public with up-to-date information about construction impacts, PBOT has partnered with Waze, the free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app that helps users plan their trips. PBOT will share road closure information with Waze to communicate to its more than 175,000 monthly drivers in Portland. Road closures and suggested travel routes, as provided by Waze, will be available on the Waze app (available on smartphones) and online. Road closures, major project details, and additional information about Get Portland Moving can be found at: www.movepdx.net

To encourage commuters and visitors who are seeking alternatives to driving, BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike share system, will be offering discounts to new riders during major closure events, such as the MAX disruption in downtown Portland in April - May.

“This construction season we’re going to have to go through some short-term pain for some long-term gain,” said Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “That is why Get Portland Moving is so critical. With eight agencies working together -- a really unprecedented level of coordination -- we minimize the disruptions and maximize the results for Portlanders. I am also very happy to have a private-sector partner like Waze on board to help us get Portlanders information they can use to plan their travels.”

“As the steward of our streets, PBOT has a responsibility to ensure that when construction work is done, it is done safely and efficiently. That is why we have spearheaded Get Portland Moving,” said Director Leah Treat. “I am especially pleased that all of the partners will be prioritizing safe access for people walking, biking and rolling during their projects in support of our regional Vision Zero initiative.”

"We will be working on repairs to three downtown bridges this year," said Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson.  "We're working to minimize inconvenience to commuters by coordinating schedules so lanes will be closed on only two bridges at a time. We are also working with TriMet so that both agencies can complete repairs when the MAX station under the Burnside Bridge is closed this spring."

“By coordinating with TriMet, we will minimize disruption to the public and be able to condense several months of urgent repairs along Yamhill and Morrison streets into just nine weeks this spring,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan. “Coordination allows us to maximize the amount of critical work we can get done on this corridor. Our investment to repair sewers that were built as long ago as 1880 will improve the reliability of our system in the downtown core, prevent disruptive sewer failures and protect the public, businesses and our environment.”

"TriMet thanks our partners for their cooperation and efforts to further reduce the impact to our riders by tackling their projects during our MAX improvements as their work would have otherwise led to separate disruptions,” said TriMet Chief Operating Officer Doug Kelsey. "We also want to thank our customers for their patience as we work to rejuvenate this 30+ year section of the MAX system, especially at SW 11th Avenue, which was originally the end of the community’s first ever MAX line. This work is necessary to improve the ride while increasing the resiliency of the system as we work to make MAX - and our entire transit system - better for our customers."

“This summer ODOT is widening U.S. 26, constructing safety projects across the region and will be installing more RealTime signs to provide drivers with up to the minute traffic info to choose the most efficient route,” said ODOT Region 1 Manger Rian Windsheimer. “Visit TripCheck.com to review your route and “Know Before You GO!”

“The Portland Water Bureau is pleased to work alongside our partners to make necessary infrastructure upgrades that will improve our city for the next generation of Portlanders,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Mike Stuhr.

“The long-awaited restoration of Pioneer Courthouse Square is underway and on schedule,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “More than 70% of Portland voters approved the Parks Replacement Bond which makes the project possible. It is exciting to see the project proceed for the benefit of the 11 million visitors who visit and use the Square each year.”

The Cully neighborhood is also included as part of Get Portland Moving. Critical freight routes are located in Cully and a significant number of pavement restoration and signal and safety improvement projects will be undertaken in the area. By including Cully in the Get Portland Moving effort, partner agencies can improve coordination with neighborhood residents and Portland’s freight community.

Based on the results of the Get Portland Moving program in the central city and Cully, PBOT and its partners will plan how to expand this effort citywide in 2018.

###

 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation.


Advisory: Sewage release on N. River Street

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(February 23, 2017) –  More than 100 gallons of sewage spilled from a vactor truck when crews responded to a call yesterday afternoon on N. River Street near N. Albina Avenue.

Crews cleaned up the spill but an unknown amount of sewage soaked into the ground and an estimated 100 gallons traveled to a storm drain that discharges into the Willamette River.

Sewage release signs were placed to warn the public to stay out of the area.  The public is advised to stay out of the area and to avoid contact with the Willamette River for 48 hours. 

This sewage release is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system.

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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News Advisory: Heavy rains cause two sewage releases from manholes into Fanno Creek

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory: (this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(February 16, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded this afternoon to two reports of sewage overflowing from two manholes in Southwest Portland and towards Fanno Creek.

Crews stopped a release of unknown quantity at SW 25th Avenue and Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, and a release estimated to be about 900 gallons from a manhole at SW Sunset Boulevard and SW 26th Avenue.

Both were weather-related and stopped within an hour. During heavy rains, rainwater can seep into sewer systems, causing pipes to exceed their capacity. The mix of stormwater and sewage then releases via a manhole.

Environmental Services crews posted warning signs in the area. In addition, as a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with Fanno Creek for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

Sewage overflows commonly are caused by blockages such as grease, tree roots or debris. In Southwest Portland, heavy rains can cause stormwater to seep into the sewer system and overwhelm the capacity of pipes. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old.

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.


CSO Advisory: Heavy rains lead to combined sewer overflow (CSO) to the Willamette River

Updated: Environmental Services has determined that a total of about 90 million gallons of combined sewage (80 percent stormwater, 20 percent sewage) was released into the Willamette River beginning at noon and ending at 7:30 p.m. on February 16.

(February 16, 2017) - Heavy rains caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River beginning at noon at several locations.

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public should avoid contact with the Willamette River for 48 hours after the CSO event ends. Find out more about CSOs, what they are and why they occur at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/565063

This is the fifth CSO this 2016-2017 winter season. Previous overflows this season occurred on February 9 for 13 minutes due to a debris blockage in an outfall that quickly cleared itself; on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5, due to unusually heavy rains that dropped about 2.5 inches within 24 hours; on January 18  due to a combination of snowmelt and heavy rain; and Thanksgiving Day due to heavy rain.

Since completing a CSO control program in December 2011, the city has eliminated 94 percent of overflows to the Willamette River and 99 percent from the Columbia Slough.  

Portland’s combined sewer system carries sewage and stormwater runoff in the same pipes. In December 2011, Portland completed the 20-year program of sewer improvements, including constructing big pipes on both sides of the Willamette River and along the Columbia Slough. 

During heavy storms, the big pipes store large quantities of stormwater and sewage while pumping it to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. During very heavy storms, some combined sewage can overflow. A combined sewer overflow is about 80 percent stormwater and 20 percent sanitary sewage. 

Before completing the program, combined sewers overflowed an average of 50 times a year. Today, the combined system overflows to the Willamette River an average of four times per winter and once every three summers.

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


CSO Advisory: 13 minute overflow detected from one outfall last night to the Willamette River

(February 9, 2017) – Environmental Services is reporting a short combined sewage overflow (CSO) that was detected at the SW Carolina Street outfall  to the Willamette River last night. The overflow occurred at 11:47 p.m. and ended at midnight. 

Environmental Services suspect that the cause was a temporary blockage from debris that cleared itself and this incident remains under investigation.

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public should avoid contact with the Willamette River in the area north of Willamette Park for 48 hours after the CSO event ended. Find out more about CSOs, what they are and why they occur at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/565063

This is the fourth CSO this 2016-2017 winter season. Previous overflows this season occurred on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5 due to unusually heavy rains that dropped about 2.5 inches within 24 hours; on January 18  due to a combination of snowmelt and heavy rain; and Thanksgiving Day due to heavy rain.

Before the city completed the CSO control program, combined sewers overflowed an average of 50 times a year. Today, the combined system overflows to the Willamette River an average of four times per winter and once every three summers.

Portland’s combined sewer system carries sewage and stormwater runoff in the same pipes. In December 2011, Portland completed a 20-year program of sewer improvements, including constructing big pipes on both sides of the Willamette River and along the Columbia Slough. The improvements eliminate 99% of CSOs from the slough and 94% from the river.

During heavy storms, the big pipes store large quantities of stormwater and sewage while pumping it to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. During very heavy storms, some combined sewage can overflow. A combined sewer overflow is about 80% stormwater and 20% sanitary sewage.

 

 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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

 


Advisory: Crews stop sewage overflow from manhole near SW Vermont Street and 46th Avenue

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(February 6, 2017) - Maintenance crews stopped a sewage release late last night that originated from a manhole near SW Vermont and SW 46th Avenue.

An estimated 3,000 gallons flowed over ground and to a nearby unnamed creek. That creek flows into Vermont Creek, which is a tributary to Fanno Creek. The cause is unknown.

As a precaution, people should avoid contact with the surface water in that area for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

This sewage release is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system.

 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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Updated - CSO Advisory: Heavy rains lead to combined sewer overflow (CSO) to the Willamette River

Update (February 8, 2107) -

This CSO Advisory ended the morning of Feb. 7, 48 hours after the overflows stopped. With Super Bowl Sunday’s storm dropping about 2.5 inches of rain in 24 hours, a combined sewer overflow began at about 1:45 pm on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 and lasted for about 12 hours.  Overflows occurred from most, if not all, eight Willamette River tunnel relief points, sending a mix of about 80 percent stormwater and 20 percent sewage of about 206 million gallons into the Willamette River. Since Portland’s CSO control program was completed in 2011, the number of CSOs have dropped from about 50 per year to about four during a winter season. This is the season’s third overflow.

Original message below:

CSO Advisory: Heavy rains lead to combined sewer overflow (CSO) to the Willamette River

(February 5, 2017) - Heavy rains caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River this afternoon at several locations.

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public should avoid contact with the Willamette River for 48 hours after the CSO event ends. The event began at about 1:30 p.m. and is still continuing. The volume is not yet known.

The overflows begin at the outfall near the Ross Island Bridge and extend downstream. Several outfalls are affected.

This is the third CSO this 2016-2017 winter season. The previous overflows occurred on January 18, 2017 and Thanksgiving Day. Before the city completed the CSO control program, combined sewers overflowed an average of 50 times a year. Today, the combined system overflows to the Willamette River an average of four times per winter and once every three summers.

Portland’s combined sewer system carries sewage and stormwater runoff in the same pipes. In December 2011, Portland completed a 20-year program of sewer improvements, including constructing big pipes on both sides of the Willamette River and along the Columbia Slough. The improvements eliminate 99% of CSOs from the slough and 94% from the river.

During heavy storms, the big pipes store large quantities of stormwater and sewage while pumping it to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. During very heavy storms, some combined sewage can overflow. A combined sewer overflow is about 80% stormwater and 20% sanitary sewage.


Find out more information about CSO events, what they are and why they occur.

 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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

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Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: Super Bowl fact check: Setting the record straight on the halftime toilet flush myth

(February 3, 2017) - Environmental Services is doing its part to debunk a longstanding Super Bowl urban myth about how city sewer systems manage halftime toilet flushes. 

What's the myth? We don't want to repeat a falsehood (you can view it here: http://www.snopes.com/sports/football/flush.asp).  But we will remind the toilet-flushing public about the truth. There are two important questions that all Portlanders should have the answers to:

Q: If we all flush our toilets at halftime, can the City's wastewater treatment plant manage the flow? 

A: Absolutely. Every day Portland's Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant manages about 70 million gallons of wastewater from flushes, dishwashers, bath water and all the other activity from homes, businesses and industrial customers. The city’s treatment plant is staffed 24/7, including Super Bowl Sunday.

For us, the big game day is the same as any day. Halftime will barely be a blip in the normal daily flow and certainly nothing in comparison to the flow increase from winter storms. Those are big game days for us.

The City of Houston shouldn’t have any problems either, even with all of those visiting Patriots and Falcons fans.  According to the city of Houston’s website, its wastewater facilities manage an average of 225 million gallons per day but can double that capacity when needed.    

 Q: Can your home manage a halftime flush? 

A: As long as you’re mindful about what goes in the bowl. For Super Bowl Sunday and every day, Environmental Services strongly advises that you flush ONLY human waste and toilet paper. Nothing else should go down that drain. 

If you use the toilet for trash, bad things can happen (sewage backups!). So please don’t use the toilet for cigarette butts, cotton balls, bandages and even ‘flushable’ wipes and diapers.  Foam fingers, chicken wing bones, and T-shirts prematurely printed with the wrong winning team are also not appropriate to flush.  What you flush matters to your pipes and to the city system that serves you.

Want to avoid bad things from happening? View our Don’t Flush This tips and video https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/whatnottoflush  

As for Sunday, enjoy the game and please know that our Environmental Services team works for you and a clean Willamette River every day. Enjoy halftime too. 

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 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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes @besportland

 

Media contact: Diane Dulken 503-823-6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Update to Advisory: Zero sewage reached Columbia Slough January 27

(February 2, 2017) - After further investigation, Environmental Services determined that there was no sewage discharge into the Columbia Slough on January 27.

The partially treated sewage that was released on Jan. 27 from an uncapped pipe at the treatment plant was instead recaptured and pumped back into the plant or was absorbed into the ground at the treatment plant. The cause of the incident is still being investigated and the amount of the release is unknown but estimated to be less than one thousand gallons.

Below is the original news release.

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(January 27, 2017) - Environmental Services is advising the public that partially processed sewage being conveyed from the City of Portland Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant into a treatment lagoon was unintentionally released today and flowed across the ground into the Columbia Slough.

An unknown amount of the partially treated sewage escaped from a pipe that had become uncapped before the release was stopped at about 10:30 a.m.. Environmental Services is investigating the release and its cause.

As a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with the Columbia Slough for at least 48 hours because of increased bacteria in the water.

Unlike this event, most sewage overflows are caused by blockages. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows.

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

Media contact: Diane Dulken, Public Information Officer (503)823-6724 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Traffic Advisory: Lane restrictions to be in effect Jan. 26 at intersection of SE Holgate Blvd at SE 25th Ave

(January 25, 2016) – Lane restrictions will be in effect at the intersection of SE Holgate Boulevard and SE 25th Avenue for one day, Jan. 26. People traveling by vehicle or bicycle may experience delays during construction hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Crews will maintain one eastbound lane and one westbound lane next to the work zone. All lanes will re-open to traffic after construction hours.

The lane restrictions will allow crews to replace a pipe as part of the Lower Powell Green Street and Sewer Project which is replacing pipes over 100 years old in SE Portland and constructing 22 green street planters and planting 11 trees to absorb and reduce stormwater runoff.  www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/lowerpowell.

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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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes. Follow on Twitter @besportland 

 


Advisory: Sewage overflows from manhole on SW 32nd Avenue into Fanno Creek tributary

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory (this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(January 23, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded today to reports of sewage coming from a manhole on SW 32nd Avenue near SW Nebraska Street. They determined that 750 gallons of sewage flowed from the manhole to a nearby storm drain and into an unnamed tributary of Fanno Creek.

Crews stopped the flow and are investigating the cause.

As a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with the tributary and nearby Fanno Creek for 48 hours.

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows. The sewage release in southwest Portland is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system.

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.

Media contact: Diane Dulken at 503-823-6724, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov 


Advisory: Sewage overflows from manhole on SW Barbur Boulevard towards Stephens Creek

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory: (this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(January 18, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded this afternoon to reports of sewage flowing from a manhole on a sidewalk at SW Barbur Boulevard near SW Bertha Boulevard.

Field crews estimated that 4,000 gallons of sewage overflowed onto the ground and into the street and down a storm drain that feeds into Stephens Creek before emptying into the Willamette River.

Crews attempting to unblock the sewage line found instead that the cause was weather-related: An influx of water had exceeded the sewer line’s capacity and the excess was being released through the manhole.  It is unknown at this time if the release has stopped.

Environmental Services crews posted warning signs in the area. Crews will return to the location tomorrow.

In addition, as a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with Stephens Creek for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

Unlike this event, most sewage overflows are caused by blockages. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows.

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


CSO Advisory: Snowmelt and rain lead to combined sewer overflow (CSO) to the Willamette River

(January 18, 2017) - Snowmelt combined with heavy rain caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow to the Willamette River this afternoon at several locations.

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public should avoid contact with the Willamette River for 48 hours after the CSO event ends. The event began at 1:10 p.m. and is still continuing. The volume is not yet known.

The overflows begin at the outfall near the Ross Island Bridge and extend downstream. Several outfalls are affected.

Portland’s combined sewer system carries sewage and stormwater runoff in the same pipes. In December 2011, Portland completed a 20-year program of sewer improvements, including constructing big pipes on both sides of the Willamette River and along the Columbia Slough. The improvements eliminate 99% of CSOs from the slough and 94% from the river.

During heavy storms, the big pipes store large quantities of stormwater and sewage while pumping it to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. During very heavy storms, some combined sewage can overflow. A combined sewer overflow is about 80% stormwater and 20% sanitary sewage.

This is the second CSO this 2016-2017 winter season. The previous overflow occurred on Thanksgiving Day. Before the city completed the CSO control program, combined sewers overflowed an average of 50 times a year. Today, the combined system overflows to the Willamette River an average of four times per winter and once every three summers.

For more information about CSO events, what they are and why they occur, visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/565061.

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Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


News Release: Sewer overflow in forested area in southwest Portland off SW Shattuck Road today

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory: (this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

Correction: The original release said the sewage overflowed into a ditch. It is an unnamed creek.

(January 17, 2017) - Sewer maintenance crews responded this afternoon to reports of sewage flowing from a manhole on a vacant lot on SW Shattuck Road near SW Hamilton Street. Field crews estimated that 5,000 gallons of sewage overflowed onto the ground and into an unnamed creek.  The ditch leads to Fanno Creek at SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. 

Crews stopped the sewage flow at 3:40 p.m. 

https://goo.gl/maps/FXAvtMiVCFE2

Maintenance crews cleared a sewer line blockage to stop the sewage release, restored service, and posted warning signs in the areas accessible to the public.

As a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with Fanno Creek for at least 48 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

The City of Portland treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. With the snow and ice melt, that volume is increasing. Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Pipes that fail or become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris can cause sewage overflows. The sewage release in southwest Portland is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system. 

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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Media contact: Diane Dulken at 503-823-6724, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov 


Joint Statement by Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Nick Fish on EPA Superfund

(Jan. 6, 2017) - Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Nick Fish released the following joint statement on the EPA’s record of decision (ROD) announcement today.

“We are pleased that the EPA has released its plan for the Portland Harbor cleanup. The City is committed to a clean river and is prepared to lead in building coalitions and partnerships to get this cleanup done right and done as soon as possible. This work is going to be done locally and it’s our priority to have it done by local workers. The time to act is now.”

Please check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Portland Harbor website http://go.usa.gov/3Wf2B for more information.

 

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Media contact:
Mayor Ted Wheeler's press office - Michael Cox (503) 823-6593 Michael.b.cox@portlandoregon.gov