Heavy Rains Cause Flooding and Overflows in Washington County

December 1, 2015

Heavy rains swelled local streams and filled the stormwater drainage system and sanitary sewers to near capacity across much of Washington County on Monday morning causing localized flooding and several reported sewage overflows. More heavy rain is forecast Tuesday afternoon.

"The public should be prepared for another round of heavy rains forecast for Tuesday afternoon," said Mark Jockers of Clean Water Services. "A list of Washington County self-service sandbag stations can be found at wc-roads.com. Residents should also clear leaves out of the street and off catch basins, make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and keep yard debris piles away from drainage ditches and streams."

Clean Water Services received more than 100 customer calls between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Monday morning as heavy, sustained rains overwhelmed stormwater catch basins and streams. Clean Water Services four treatment plants and 41 sewage pump stations kept pace with the high flows, but local systems reported rain-swollen sanitary sewer overflows. Overflows of rain-diluted sewage were reported in Hillsboro near East Main Street and NE 18th Avenue on Turner Creek; on Vermont Court west of Oleson Road; SW 89th Avenue and Spruce Street in Tigard; and near the intersection of SW Hall Boulevard and Millikan Way. The public should avoid contact with rivers and streams and all flood water because the water may be contaminated with pollution and bacteria.

The public is advised to call Clean Water Services or their city to report dislodged manhole lids or water bubbling from manholes. The public should avoid suspected overflows and not try to replace the lids.

Weather Tips in the event of flooding or sanitary sewer overflow

  1. Avoid high water—Always stay out of flood waters and swollen creeks. In heavy rain and flood conditions, even without a sewage spill, there is always a risk of bacteria, chemicals and other pollutants in the water.
  2. Heed the signs—If there is a sewage spill, signs will be posted in areas accessible to the public. Please pay attention to the signs and keep people and pets out of the area.
  3. Wash with soap—If you come into contact with floodwater or water where there has been a sewer overflow, keep it out of your mouth and wash with soap and hot water. Wash shoes and other items that contact the water
  4. Report it—If you see signs of a sewer overflow (water coming out of a manhole cover, sewage debris in water) please report it by callingClean Water Services at 503-546-8100 or after hours 503-681-3600.
  5. For an updated list of Washington County roads impacted by flooding visit wc-roads.com or monitor @WashCoRoads on Twitter.

Everything we do at Clean Water Services aims to protect public health, while enhancing the natural environment. Combining science and nature, we clean water and return it to the Tualatin River, so it can be used again. More than 500,000 customers enjoy clean water and healthy rivers and streams as a result of our innovative water management solutions, drainage management, water-quality and stream-enhancement projects, habitat protection and more.


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Mark Jockers
Government & Public Affairs Manager
Clean Water Services
503.681.4450 (o)
503.701.4293 (m)

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