Because of a Saturday sewage release, the public should avoid contact with the Willamette River upstream of Cathedral Park through Monday evening.

According to the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, debris blocked a sewer pipe, causing sewage to overflow into the river north of the St. Johns Bridge. Sewage overflowed from an outfall pipe on the east side of the river at the north end of Cathedral Park.

The overflow was reported at 6:34 p.m. on April 11. Maintenance crews cleared rocks, rags and other debris from a diversion dam to stop the overflow by about 11:30 p.m.

BES estimates that from the time the overflow was detected until it was stopped, about 6,000 gallons of sewage flowed into the river, increasing potentially harmful bacteria in the water.

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