Portland City Center

Sewage spills into downtown Portland's Waterfront Park

PORTLAND, Ore. -- About 2,400 gallons of sewage overflowed from a public toilet at downtown Portland's Waterfront Park Thursday, spilling across the sidewalk and draining into the Willamette River.

The sewage spilled into a storm drain on the river's west bank just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, according to the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services.

Maintenance workers cleared the line and stopped the spill at about 1:15 p.m. Thursday.

Officials say the sewage spill was caused by grease blocking a sewer pipe and was not related to the sewer overflows due to heavy rain.

People are being advised to avoid contact with river water on Thursday and Friday near the Hawthorne Bridge because of elevated bacterial levels.