- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Heavy rains in Salem forced the city to release more than 22 million gallons of raw sewage into the Willamette River.

The Statesman Journal reports (https://stjr.nl/2gCRNQ5 ) the 24-hour rainfall level passed the legal threshold of 2.61 inches Friday, overwhelming Salem’s sewer system. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Katherine Benenati says the city experienced pump failures at an additional treatment facility before it chose to release the sewage into the river.

City spokesman Mike Gotterba says the release was necessary to keep sewage from backing up and flooding streets and basements.

About 640 gallons of sewage was accidentally released into Pringle Creek.

Signs posted at the creek and the Willamette River warning people to avoid the water were removed Monday after water quality testing showed normal bacterial levels.


Information from: Statesman Journal, https://www.statesmanjournal.com

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