Recent Heavy Rain Event Results in Sanitary Sewer Overflow to Little Pudding River

Posted on January 28, 2024

City of Salem – 01/28/24 9:00 AM

Salem, Ore. – On Saturday, January 27, 2024, a sanitary sewer overflow was reported in the Little Pudding River at approximately 11:00 a.m., located at 4770 Glendale Ave NE. The overflow was caused by heavy rainfall and saturated ground conditions. The discharge was stopped at 2:30 p.m. after approximately 5,000 gallons of diluted raw sewage was released.

Signs have been posted warning people to avoid contact with the water in the Little Pudding River due to potentially high levels of bacteria. Water quality samples will continue to be taken until the results indicate that the issue has been cleared. The signs will be removed once the bacteria levels return to normal.

The City’s wastewater treatment plants (the Willow Lake Wastewater Treatment Facility and the River Road Wet Weather Treatment Facility) were operating at their maximum treatment capacity during the heavy rain event.

When the ground becomes saturated, groundwater enters the sanitary sewer from cracks and holes in pipes in addition to footing drains and other sources of extraneous water from private property. When this occurs, the ability of the sanitary sewer system to transport sewerage to the water pollution control facility at Willow Lake is exceeded and the system becomes surcharged.

If you see an overflowing manhole or wish to report a spill, please call the Public Works Department Dispatch Center at 503-588-6311.

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