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CANCELLED Advisory: Environmental Services responding to sewage seeping along ground to Willamette River in Dunthorpe neighborhood

News Article
This incident is resolved. Environmental Services’ investigation determined that no sewage release occurred. The one-time test that showed a high bacteria level was due to bacteria in the environment, likely from birds, dogs, racoons, or other sources.

Update: Environmental Services’ investigation found no rupture in sewage pipes or release from the pump station. They determined that no sewage release occurred, and that an initial test for bacteria that showed high levels was due to  bacteria in the environment, likely from birds, dogs, racoons, or other sources. 

City crews are responding to a mix of water and sewage that is seeping along the ground near a City pump station and to the Willamette River in the Dunthorpe neighborhood of Southwest Portland. 

The volume reaching the Willamette River is low, estimated at about 60 gallons an hour. Even so, as a precaution, Environmental Services advises anyone recreating on the Willamette River to avoid contact with the river water around 11878 S Riverwood Drive due to the possibility of elevated bacterial levels. 

The release is ongoing as crews investigate the cause of the release and plan repairs.

The pump station serves the Dunthorpe area of Southwest Portland, sending wastewater to the Tryon Creek Wastewater Plant in Lake Oswego. Each day, Environmental services treats and average of 70 million gallons of wastewater at that treatment plant and the City’s main treatment plant in North Portland. 

While the cause of this incident remains under investigation, 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.  

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


Diane Dulken

Public Information Officer