PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — City crews Saturday night spent over five hours stopping a sewage overflow near the SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway that also made its way into nearby Fanno Creek, according to Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

After successfully stopping the overflow at around 10:30 p.m., officials determined the cause was wet wipes and grease from an apartment complex that clogged a pipe and maintenance access hole.

Environmental Services estimates that about 5,000 gallons overflowed into the street, with “an unknown amount” reaching the creek. Authorities have advised the public to avoid contact with Fanno Creek downstream of the area for at least 48 hours.

Officials encourage the public to follow these tips to prevent clogs in homes and businesses, and to prevent sewage releases like this in the future:

  • Never pour grease, oil, or fat down drains. Instead, you can collect them in a can and then into the trash. Grease in particular becomes solid once in pipes, so be extra careful with its disposal.
  • Only flush human waste and toilet paper, not wet wipes or other products.
  • Don’t put anything down storm drains. These are intended for rainfall only.

If anyone experiences or sees a sewer overflow, they are encouraged to call the City of Portland’s 24/7 hotline at 503-823-1700.