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Sewage Advisory: Overflow of 400 gallons reaches creek in SW Portland’s Marquam Nature Park

Press Release

City crews this morning responded to and stopped a sewage overflow from a maintenance hole in SW Portland, estimating that about 400 gallons reached the ground with a portion of that amount then reaching a creek in SW Portland’s Marquam Nature Park.

The release occurred near a residence on SW Sherwood Place near the intersection of Fairmont Boulevard. Crews stopped the overflow around 9:10 a.m., about an hour after reporting to the scene. 

Environmental Services advises people and their pets to avoid contact with the unnamed creek in the park to prevent the possibility of exposure to elevated bacteria levels. The advisory is in effect for 48 hours.

The cause of the release is unknown and remains under investigation. This is the third sewage release to a public place in the last week, an unusually high number. 

Environmental Services reminds the public that sewage overflows often are preventable. The most common causes of overflows are pipes that become blocked with wipes, fats, or grease as well as tree roots. To prevent clogs and overflows and protect public health, property, and our environment, Environmental Services advises the public: 

  • Wipes clog pipes. Do not flush rags, wipes, or anything other than toilet paper and human waste. 
  • Place grease and cooking fat in a container and then in the trash, not down kitchen drains. Food establishments are required to take additional measures to prevent grease from entering sewer lines. 
  • Outside the home, avoid pouring anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.

To report sewage odors, which may indicate a sewage release, call the City’s maintenance hotline at 503-823-1700. That line is operated all hours, all days. Here is more information on what not to flush. 

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. 


Diane Dulken

Public Information Officer