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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Keeping our river clean and safe

September 12, 2013

With these 90 degree days you may have already forgotten about the downpour of rain we experienced last Thursday.

But the first big rainfall of the season caused stormwater to flow down the streets and even caused some trees to come down on Forest Park’s Lower Macleay trail. Sometimes this kind of storm causes an overflow of the City’s sewer pipes and allows sewage to enter our Willamette River.

We’re happy to report that thanks to “green” investments in our infrastructure, we had no overflow!

In the past, combined sewer overflows happened nearly 50 times a year, but now with the completion of the “Big Pipe,” disconnecting downspouts, and building green street facilities to manage rain naturally, our city is better equipped to deal with the abundance of rain we get each year. Because of Portland’s investment in fixing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) with upgrades to our sewer infrastructure, the Willamette River and Columbia Slough are cleaner and safer for people and fish.

To learn more about the big pipe and other ways we manage CSOs, visit the Bureau of Environmental Services website.