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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: Sewer line clogged by tree roots leads to overflow on 1200 block of NE Davis Street

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

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

(March 25, 2020) – City crews are clearing tree roots from a sewer line and making emergency repairs on the 1200 block of NE Davis Street after a mix of rain and sewage overflowed to the street yesterday afternoon. 

Crews estimate that about 600 gallons of rain mixed with sewage backed up to a nearby business’s floor drain and to a pipe outside that business. The mixture flowed about a block to a storm drain that leads to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.  

The public is advised to obey warning signs that have been posted on the street. No creeks or waterways were affected.

City crews continue to provide essential services during the COVID-19 crisis. If you experience or see a sewer overflow, call the City of Portland’s 24/7 hotline: 503-823-1700.  

Most sewage overflows are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, “flushable” wipes, and other debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows.   

While this release was caused by tree roots, Environmental Services advises the public to follow these tips to prevent clogs in homes and businesses, and to prevent sewage releases: 

  • Only flush human waste and toilet paper (wet wipes are NOT flushable); 
  • Collect grease and fat in cans, then put in the trash not down sink drain.

For other tips, see What Not To Flush:

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. @BESPortland  

Media contact: Diane Dulken