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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

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Sewer overflow into Stephens Creek in southwest Portland

Updated at 8:46 a.m. on December 5, 2016: This SSO Advisory is no longer in effect.

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

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

December 2, 2016

Sewer overflow into Stephens Creek in southwest Portland

Sewer maintenance crews responded this evening to reports of sewage flowing from a multi-family residential unit on SW Vermont Street near SW 20th Place. Field crews estimated that 24,000 gallons of sewage flowed into Stephens Creek.

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

As a precaution, the public is advised to avoid contact with Stephens 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 southwest Portland is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system. 

For more information, contact Cheryl Kuck at 503-823-7898 or email

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.