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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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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