Grease Clog Causes Sewer Overflow

posted by Brad Ford - 

A sewer line clogged with grease led to a sewage overflow Tuesday morning in the 11600 block of SE Foster Road.

Crews directed the flow to two street planters on either side of the road where it was contained, preventing further discharge to the street or nearby Johnson Creek. The creek was not affected.

City crews cleaned up the release, which as estimated at about 1,000 gallons. The incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. and crews completed cleanup around 9:45 a.m. They posted warning signs around the street planters, also known as bioswales. The signs will remain in place for about 48 hours. 

Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public to protect public health, property and our environment by following these tips:

  • Place grease 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. 
  • Avoid flushing rags or wipes or anything other than toilet paper and human waste.
  • Outside the home, avoid pouring anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.  

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city 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. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland

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