An overflow of raw sewage went into the Willamette River in Albany on April 19, 2023, at Bowman Park. The size of the spill is estimated at 103,000 gallons.
The overflow began at approximately 7:30 a.m. due to an early morning power outage that shut down treatment at Albany-Millersburg Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) and associated sewer lift stations. The facility does have a redundant system of two power feeds from the electrical grid, but both failed. When Pacific Power restored their service at approximately 8:35 a.m. the WRF came back online, and the overflow stopped. Public Works crews coordinated closely with Pacific Power and were immediately dispatched to minimize and clean up the impacts of the overflow.
Bowman Park is temporarily closed. Signs are posted near the overflow site and downstream warning the public of the potential hazards of coming in contact with the water. High levels of bacteria that are typically associated with overflows should diminish quickly. The City of Albany will continue to monitor water quality in the Willamette River and report to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The public should avoid contact with the Willamette River at this location and immediately downstream until warning signs are removed, and the park is reopened.
If you see an overflowing manhole or wish to report a spill, please contact Public Works Department Operations at 541-917-7600.