High Water Leads To High Bacteria Numbers

By Kiera Morgan

During the Newport City Council meeting it was pointed out that the Surfrider Foundation water quality sampling last week showed high numbers of bacteria in the water at the Nye Beach outfall Nye Beach South area and at the Elizabeth Street outfall. Tim Gross public works director pointed out that the samples were taken last Saturday when we received over an inch of rain in one day. “Anytime we have a heavy rainfall it was animal feces into the waterbodies that come out at the outfall.” Tim added “another thing I think you are seeing is a lot of water coming from people’s bad services and bad sewer lines in the city that is infultrating into our storm water system as well.”

Tim said they have been doing a lot of monitoring of the sewer lines, especially in the Nye Beach area. This will help to identify areas where the city has sewer problems. He said they will be slip lining the pipes, which is putting a liner inside the pipe to prevent seepage and increases strength. This will be started in areas where they know they have a lot of cracking and problems in. These are sources of infiltration into the storm sewer line from the sanitary sewer lines. Tim added that in the future they will be slip lining the sanitary sewer lines that have bad joints and cracking to make them more resilient in pumping water out of the sanitary system. During heavy rain events Tim pointed out that as these lines get fixed there will be improvements in the bacteria numbers seen at the outfalls.