Be careful with Willamette water after sewer overflow

Be careful with Willamette water after sewer overflow
Photo courtesy Flickr user Paul Lowry.

PORTLAND, Ore. - City of Portland officials are warning residents to stay out of the Willamette River because of a sewage overflow.

The Bureau of Environmental Services said the sewer system overflowed because of rainfall on Saturday. Officials recommend that people avoid any activity where they might swallow river water for at least 48 hours after the rain stops.

If you fish from the river during a sewer overflow, wash your hands afterwards and cook the fish thoroughly if you choose to eat it.

In many areas of town storm water runoff mixes with sewage, which can then overflow into the river.

Portland is currently working on a program that will stop most overflows, but it isn’t scheduled to be done until December. Once it’s done, officials said runoffs will only happen a few times a year instead of the current average of 50 times a year.