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Sewer Overflows and the Willamette River

February 11, 2018

I will never apologize for a Sewage Overflow into our city’s river. When it happens I feel a collective shame for our community. I wish it would never happen at all. But how often does a sewage overflow happen? In 2017 there were a grand total of seven - that is an occurrence of less than 2% of the year!When a sewage overflow does happen it is typically 80% storm water and 20% sewage.

This Valentine's Day Portland will celebrate 115+ consecutive days of no sewage overflows for our $1.44 billion Big Pipe. This represents practically 1/3 of the year! In the wintertime! For a winter that has been very wet!

There is no question a sewage overflow will happen again. When it does I will be sad, and I hope you are too. We need to continue to develop green infrastructure to support our Big Pipe. Maybe one day we will completely eliminate this problem.

But this Valentine's Day at 10am HAP will lead a Valentines Day Dip to celebrate the great work of the Bureau of Environmental Services and our collective investment in the Big Pipe.

Please join us! This quick dip will provide an excellent platform for educating Portland on how well our Big Pipe system works and hopefully give our community a boost of hope for our river.