City News

Salem reports sewage spill into Clark Creek

A tree root blocking a sewer line in southeast Salem caused about 265 gallons of raw sewage to spill into Clark Creek Thursday afternoon, the city said in a news release.

The overflow was reported at 2925 Cottage Street S.E. around 3 p.m. Thursday. Public works crews were dispatched and cleared the intrusion within the hour, the release said.

“The City of Salem is asking residents to avoid the marked sections of Clark Creek and obey all signs to avoid contact with the waterway in the area. Staff will continue to take water samples and any bacteria at the site should be flushed out of the water body in the next few days,” the release said.

The spill is the third this year requiring public notification because of sewage flow into waterways. In August, about 12,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into Labish Ditch following a buildup of obstructions and grease.

In October, raw sewage spilled into Claggett Creek. That spill was also caused by a buildup of obstructions, including rags and grease.

People can report overflowing manholes or spills to the Public Works Department Dispatch Center at 503-588-6333. 

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.