With massive vactor trucks reaching deep into the Polk Street outfall in Maurie Jacobs Park earlier this month, Public Works Maintenance crews removed seven tons of debris from the underground vault. Debris can include anything from oils and gravel to hypodermic needles and bottles. The outfall is the last chance to filter stormwater before it returns to the Willamette River.
In FY15, crews cleaned the outfall three times and removed more than 26 tons of debris. That’s the equivalent of filling about 3½ ten-yard dump trucks. The Polk Street outfall treats stormwater for a large portion of Eugene before returning clean water back to the Willamette River.
Earlier this year, more than nine tons of debris was pulled from an underground stormwater treatment facility in the River Road area. This device was built in 2014 near River Road and Maynard Avenue. Without the facility in place, all of the debris would have dumped directly into the Willamette River.