Portland, July 28, 2013. “Come on in, the water’s fine!” That’s the slogan The Big Float organizers want you to remember after seeing over 2,000 water-lovers take to the Willamette River. The event benefits the conservation organization, the Human Access Project.
From the Big Float:
Despite public perception (which we are trying to change), the Willamette River is approved for summer swimming, except in the now very rare instances when Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) conditions are present.With the Big Pipe project now complete, it’s expected that a CSO will occur only once every two summers (but very likely never again). You are more likely to see a whale swim up the Willamette than see a CSO in summer! Oregon DEQ states that when CSO conditions are not present, “the Willamette River is safe for swimming and other recreational uses.”Questions? Click on the link below for official explanations of Willamette River water quality from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and City of Portland Office of Healthy Working Rivers. Additionally visit the Bureau of Environmental Services Willamette River Water Quality Page to check in on weekly monitoring results at eight sites May-October.