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Up to 1 Million Tons of Sewage Spills Into Central Oregon Coast's Nye Beach

Published 07/11/23 at 6:51 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Up to 1 Million Tons of Sewage Spills Into Central Oregon Coast's Nye Beach

(Newport, Oregon) – One central Oregon coast beach has some fairly serious water hazard warnings posted, after up to 1,180,000 tons of untreated waste water made it into the Pacific Ocean. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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Newport's Nye Beach experienced an unwelcome discharge this weekend when the City of Newport Wastewater Treatment Plant stopped working correctly on and off, creating lapses of disinfection in the outflow. The city estimates over one million tons of water made it out during this period, and unknown portions of it are considered sewage.

“Contact with insufficiently treated wastewater may be hazardous to your health,” the city said in a press release.

The waters of Nye Beach may be considered unhealthy for awhile, city officials said.

The spill site is immediately below Don Davis Park at Nye Beach, through what is locally nicknamed “the pier,” a pile of boulders at the central Oregon coast locale under which an outflow pipe sits.

“The City has notified the Department of Environmental Quality as well as the Oregon Emergency Response System and is conducting sampling of the effluent water and the beaches at Don Davis Park,” the city said.

“The pier” and its outflow pipe have been a subject of much controversy in the past, with town meetings held periodically over the years, even considered a hot button issue in Newport at times. The Newport chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has worked with the city over the years on improving sewage treatment and its outflow systems.

In June 2022 - last year - a pump on Newport's Bayfront malfunctioned and released 340,000 gallons of raw sewage into Yaquina Bay. This did not affect beaches but it did shut down crabbing and clamming in the bay for a time.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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