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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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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.

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.

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. and @BESPortland.

 Media contact: Diane Dulken, 503-823-6724,