Water Quality Improvements at Big Creek


Chapter: Newport Oregon
State: OR
Country: USA
Theme: Coastal Preservation
Completion Date: November 01 2007
Status: Victory

Over the course of 2 years of water quality testing through the central coast chapter, the Blue Water Task Force determined that bacteria concentrations at the Agate Beach Wayside were often elevated well above the public health advisory level. The chapter's campaign focus was to source and mitigate the bacterial pollution as well as provide the public with better information about the contamination on the beach and incorporate the site into the state's Beach Monitoring Program. Through persistent work with the state's Beach Monitoring Program, the chapter was able to add this beach site to the state's monitoring program as well as add signage informing the public of the advisories when issued. Inspection of the upper watershed by the chapter led to the discovery of manholes located along Big Creek (which outfalls at Agate wayside) that were occassionally overflowing with raw sewage. In 2006 the chapter began lobbying the city for an investigation to the cause of the overflows and an effort to solve the problem. VICTORY! In the fall of 2007 the city finally was able to hire a contractor for infiltration and visual inspections of the sewage lines along Big Creek. The inspections led to the discovery of two infiltration breaches, that were allowing significant amounts of stormwater to enter the sewer line; thus, causing overloading on the Big Creek pump station and spilling sewage out of the manholes and into Big Creek. The breaches were repaired through a "resin-cure" or "pipe patch" method without digging up any of the riparian area around the creek.