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Sewage leaks into the Willamette River following heavy rain

The first sewage overflow in the Willamette River of the year was caused by heavy rains on Tuesday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Big Pipe became overwhelmed with the heavy rains and began overflowing sewage into the Willamette River at around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

According to a release from the City of Portland, the overflow occurred at several outfalls downstream of Willamette Park. 

This is the first sewer overflow of the year.

An advisory is in effect for 48 hours and it is recommended that during an overflow, and 48 hours after, people should avoid contact with the river because of an increase in bacteria in the water. All other times the river’s water quality is safe for recreation, according to the City of Portland.

Since the Big Pipe Project in December 2011, overflows have become less common. The target of the project was to eliminate 94% of overflow incidents.

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