Advisory: Equipment malfunction leads to sewage discharge to Willamette River near Morrison Bridge

Press Release

About 11,000 gallons of sewage was discharged to the Willamette River overnight near the Morrison Bridge due to a malfunction at a pump station, the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services said today. 

As a precaution, Environmental Services advises anyone recreating in the Willamette River to avoid contact with the river water between the Morrison and Fremont bridges for 48 hours. 

The sewage discharge occurred from a pump station at SE Alder Street around 2 a.m. and lasted about six minutes, with a possible additional one minute discharge at 9 a.m., the bureau said. The incidents remain under investigation.

While the amount discharged is relatively low, Environmental Services is issuing the advisory due the possibility of elevated levels of bacteria in the water. 

Each day, Environmental services treats an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater at two treatment plants, with the capability of treating up to 450 million gallons a day during storms. 

About Environmental Services: The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services - your sewer and stormwater utility - provides Portland 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. BES News.


Diane Dulken

Public Information Officer