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OC responds to sewage overflow

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will likely fine Oregon City after a sanitary sewer overflow occurred at the pump station at 11519 Parrish Road earlier this month.

On the evening of Saturday, June 14, Public Works Department personnel responded to the incident soon after notification and advised the Oregon Emergency Response System of the approximately 120,000-gallon overflow and its potential impact to the environment. City officials notified adjacent property owners of the spill and advised them to avoid contact with the affected area for several days.

Public Works Director John M. Lewis said the cause of the error has been rectified and measures have been taken to prevent any future occurrences. His staff has been coordinating clean-up efforts for property affected by the overflow.

City officials notified DEQ of the overflow, and Oregon City is coordinating its remediation efforts with the state agency. DEQ Water Quality permitter Mark Hynson is writing a pre-enforcement notice that will let Oregon City know about impending fines.

Based on an Oregon City memo he received of a five-day report, Hynson is determining that the gallons of untreated sewage that went into state waters was a violation, but he said that a different person would be determining the fine. DEQ fined Gladstone $6,400 for discharges into the Clackamas River when raw sewage with overflowed, mixed with nearly 250,000 gallons of stormwater.