Equipment failure causes sewage spill in Monmouth

Sewage spills into Willamete River, public notified five days later.

Posted: Mar. 26, 2018 7:21 AM
Updated: Mar. 26, 2018 7:48 AM

MONMOUTH, Ore. (AP) - Officials say about 1.3 million gallons of partially treated sewage went into the Willamette River after an equipment failure at the city of Monmouth's waste water treatment facility.

The Statesman Journal reports that the city of about 10,000 people located near Salem waited five days to notify the public. The sewage spill began March 16 and ended the next day.

City's wastewater operations manager Mark Landau says water samples at two locations downstream of the sewer outfall shows E. coli levels below the amount allowed by the city's permit.

Landau said the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality asked the city to wait to tell the public until E. coli bacteria tests results came back. He says tests results came back late Tuesday. He wasn't sure why the information wasn't released until Thursday.

State officials say Monmouth should have notified the public March 18 without waiting for the state to tell them.

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