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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

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

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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