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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

Are you ready for a swim?

June 12, 2014

This summer, you can check the Willamette River’s water conditions before jumping in.

Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) staff analyze water quality at five popular swimming locations each week - testing for E. coli and checking water temperature.

In 2011, the City completed the combined sewer overflow (CSO) control program.  Since then, E. coli results have been consistently low throughout the summer months.  A count of more than 406 E. coli organisms per 100 milliliters of water is above the health standard set by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  Our levels are almost always well below that. On June 3, the E. coli count at the Riverplace Marina was just 5.

Before the CSO control program, combined sewers once overflowed in the Willamette River at an average of 50 times per year.  Thanks to the success of the CSO control program, that number has been reduced by about 95%!

Portlanders can take a dip in the Willamette River this summer, knowing it is now cleaner than it has been in generations.

Check the Willamette River’s water quality and temperature on BES’ website.