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Sewage spills from pressure line into Fanno Creek

A section of a sewer pressure line broke late Thursday, March 13, in the Garden Home area of Southwest Portland.

The sewage spilling out of the line, which broke near 77th Avenue and Garden Home Road, created a hole about 5 feet deep.

Maintenance crews estimated sewage flowed from the hole at a rate of about 30 gallons per minute. A total of about 5,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked into the watershed before crews could repair the damage around 10 p.m.

A Bureau of Environmental Services spokesman confirmed the sewage entered a system of ditches and culverts that eventually drain to Fanno Creek. Officials had warned residents to keep away from the creek during the four days following the spill to avoid contact with bacteria in the water.

The break occurred on the Garden Home pressure sewer line, which has had a history of problems with leaking pipe joints since it was activated in 2000.

BES is designing a repair project to stabilize the pressure line and reinforce pipe joints. Construction on permanent repairs will begin later this year.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with Clean River programs including water quality protection, wastewater collection and treatment, and sewer installation.