A blocked sewer main led to an overflow today that affected the parking lot of Home Depot at Mall 205 in SE Portland as well as the grounds of a nearby elementary school and commercial building.
City crews responded around 10 a.m. to reports of a release near SE 106th Avenue and SE Cherry Blossom Road. They found sewage overflowing from floor drains and toilets in a commercial building as well as an elementary school that has been closed for spring break. The sewage overflowed to both building’s grounds, including a closed playground.
In addition, sewage backed up in city pipes and overflowed to the Mall 205 parking lot. Crews stopped the release at 2 p.m.
As a precaution, the public is advised to heed warning signs in the parking lot to avoid the possibility of contact with bacteria. The remaining affected areas are not open to the public.
Crews continue to investigate the cause of the blockage to the sewer main.
Environmental Services reminds the public that most sewage overflows are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, wet wipes, and other debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows.
Environmental Services advises the public to follow these tips to prevent clogs in homes and businesses, and to prevent sewage releases:
- Never pour grease down drains: Collect grease, oil, and fat in a can and then into the garbage. Grease that is liquid when poured down drains will become solid once in pipes.
- Only flush human waste and toilet paper (wet wipes are NOT flushable);
- Don’t put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.
If you experience or see a sewer overflow, call the City of Portland’s 24/7 hotline: 503-823-1700.
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. Www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.