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Sewage Spill in Newport Brings Warnings About Yaquina Bay from Oregon Coast Officials

Published 07/18/22 at 5:25 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sewage Spill in Newport Brings Warnings About Yaquina Bay from Oregon Coast Officials

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(Newport, Oregon) – A major sewage spill in Newport's Yaquina Bay has officials of the central Oregon coast town warning you to stay out of the bay. Since water there is largely incoming, there may be no apparent threat to the nearby beaches of Newport. However, that is not certain.

The City of Newport reports a force main at the Bayfront Pump Station ruptured at 1:13 p.m. on July 15, and was finally fixed the following day at 4:37 p.m.

“In total, approximately 340,000 gallons of raw sewage were discharged to Yaquina Bay,” the city said in a press release.

City officials have posted health hazard warning signs at multiple access points along the Bayfront and along the southern part of Yaquina Bay in South Beach.

The city said you should avoid all contact with these bodies of water, especially since current levels of bacteria are uncertain.

“Sampling is being conducted to determine when the water is safe for contact,” the city said. “Contact with water contaminated with bacteria can increase the risk of disease.”

Will it affect nearby beaches, such as South Beach or the stretch of sands immediately north of the baymouth? At this time, that does not seem likely. However, these beaches are not monitored for bacteria by state officials, but Nye Beach is - which is just north of here.

Justin Scharbrough, Public Works Operations Superintendent, told Oregon Coast Beach Connection that all efforts are being focused on the bay, per information from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

“Our Sample and Analysis Plan from DEQ does not include the beaches,” Scharbrough said. “Currently the water seems to be pooling near the Bayfront and Fishing Pier.”

Crabbing and bay clamming are a favorite in the central Oregon coast town, but that is not advisable at the moment.

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