Sewage Advisory: Crews respond to sewage release in NW Portland, portion reaches Cedar Mill Creek

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On Saturday evening, city crews responded to a sewage release on NW Frazier Ct and estimated that some of that flow affected Cedar Mill Creek.

A picture of sewage advisory signs on the edge of a lawn near the start of some woods. The sign says "Warning. Sewage Spill. Do NOT Enter."

Crews estimated that about 1,000 gallons overflowed from a city maintenance hole on private property and flowed down an embankment into the creek. Warning signs have been posted; however, the area where the sewage release occurred is inaccessible to the public since it is on private property.

People and pets are advised to avoid contact with Cedar Mill Creek downstream of NW Miller and NW Cornell Rd through Monday, February 26, because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water.

The cause of the overflow was determined to be grease.

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 is 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 at 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 the environment by collecting and recovering resources from the city’s wastewater, managing stormwater, and restoring and protecting Portland’s rivers, streams, and watersheds.