Due to mechanical failure, the Big Creek Wastewater Pump Station, located on Big Creek east of the Agate Beach Wayside on Oceanview Drive, was observed overflowing into Big Creek beginning approximately 10:46 a.m. today, Tuesday the 27th and stopped overflowing at approximately 12:17 p.m. this afternoon.
It is estimated that approximately 2,500 gallons of wastewater was discharged to Big Creek. Both regular pumps are no longer functional and the station is operating on a temporary electric pump, which plugged this morning causing the overflow. It will take approximately 1 week for one of the regular pumps to be returned to service. The City has ordered a larger quiet-pack diesel pump that will replace the temporary electric pump tomorrow, providing more capacity and reliability. This station is currently being replaced with a new station scheduled to be online in November.
Signs warning of the sewage overflows are posted at the affected areas and sampling is being conducted to determine when the water is safe for contact. Contact with water contaminated with bacteria can increase the risk of disease. Please avoid contact with these waterbodies until further notice.
The City has had continued equipment and capacity problems with the sewer pump stations located at Big Creek, Schooner Creek, and NW 48th Street. Because these three pump stations pump from one to the other, a failure at one often creates a failure at the upstream stations.
In 2010 the City began a program to replace these three pumps stations, associated force mains, and gravity sewer pipes. This program, estimated to cost $9 million, began in 2014 with the construction of the force main for the Big Creek Pump Station. The construction on the Big Creek Pump Station began in the fall of 2015 and is currently under construction. Construction on the Big Creek and Schooner Creek Pump Stations is estimated to begin in the fall of 2017.
Please contact the City of Newport Public Works at 541-574-3366 with any questions.