Sewage Advisory: Crews respond to sewage release in SW Portland, portion reaches Stephens Creek

Press Release

City crews on Thursday responded to a sewage release from an apartment complex on the 7900 block of SW 19th Avenue, and estimated that some of that flow affects Stephens Creek. 

Crews estimate about 120 gallons overflowed from the apartment complex, flowed down a driveway and onto SW 19th Avenue, and then to a storm drain that connects to the creek. 

As a precaution, the public is advised to avoid the intersection of SW 19th Avenue and Evans Street and are encouraged to stay on the sidewalk. Warning signs have been posted.

People and pets are advised to avoid contact with Stephens Creek downstream of Barbur Boulevard and the I-5 bridges over the creek through Sunday, Feb. 25 because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

The cause of the overflow is being investigated. 

Environmental Services reminds the public that most sewage releases are preventable. The most common causes of sewage overflows are pipes clogged with household debris such as cooking grease that are sent down kitchen drains or wet wipes that are flushed. Both belong in the trash, not down the drain. Tree roots are another common cause. 

Environmental Services advises the public to follow these tips to prevent clogs and overflows in homes and businesses and to prevent sewage releases:

  • Only flush human waste and toilet paper (wet wipes are NOT flushable).
  • 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.
  • Don’t put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only. 

If you experience or see a sewer overflow, contact the City’s hotline any hour of the day at 503-823-1700.  

About Environmental Services
Environmental Services - the City of Portland’s sewer and stormwater utility - protects public health and environment by collecting and recovering resources from the city’s wastewater, managing stormwater, and restoring and protecting Portland’s rivers, streams, and watersheds.


Diane Dulken

Public Information Officer