Heavy rain causes combined sewage overflow to Willamette River - KPTV - FOX 12

Heavy rain causes combined sewage overflow to Willamette River

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Willamette River, file image Willamette River, file image
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Heavy rain this weekend caused Portland’s combined sewer system to overflow into the Willamette River Sunday morning. 

The combined sewer system flowed into the river from several outfalls at about 9:15 a.m., according to the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. The overflows are still continuing and the volume is not yet known. 

Combined sewer overflows are about 80 percent stormwater and 20 percent sewage. 

Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public is advised to avoid contact with the river downstream from the Ross Island Bridge for 48 hours after the combined sewer overflow event ends. 

According to the bureau, the number of combined sewer overflows have dropped by 94 percent to the Willamette River and 99 percent to the Columbia Slough since completing the Big Pipe project in 2011. 

This is the first overflow of 2018 and also the first since Oct. 22. 

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