Lincoln City’s sewer plant overflowed 180,000 gallons of “mostly treated” wastewater output on Tuesday
Lincoln City Public Works Director Lila Bradley says the week’s heavy rains, coupled with storm water infiltration into the city’s wastewater system, prompted an overflow at the city’s wastewater plant on Tuesday that spilled 180,000 gallons of mostly treated effluent into Schooner Creek, east of the Highway 101 bridge.
Bradley said the overflow lasted for about twenty minutes and was quickly controlled. She said the city immediately notified state environmental quality officials, the Department of Agriculture and the Coast Guard. She said the banks of Schooner Creek were quickly posted with warning signs to stay out of the water, including pets. However, she quickly adds that the spill occurred during heavy rain and a high tide, meaning the spill was quickly diluted in the creek.
Bradley says Lincoln City has an aggressive wastewater and storm water repair program to reduce rain and ground water getting into the wastewater lines. But she says Lincoln City is like many other Oregon communities that have major challenges with both systems in that most of the pipes have been in the ground for decades and need to be constantly repaired and replaced. She says Lincoln City is routinely smoke testing storm drain and wastewater lines to detect leaks. Those leaks allow storm water to get into wastewater lines that forces the wastewater plant to have to treat a lot more water than just wastewater.