Pump Station Overflow Problems Continue

Big Creek Pump StationOn February 6, 2016, due to a clogged pump and the bypass pump failing to start, the City of Newport’s wastewater personnel observed 48th St. pump station spilling raw sewage into a creek at approximately 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The spill rate was approximately 5 gallons per minute with an estimated spill of 300 gallons. The sewage overflowed from the pump station into the creek, which flows across the beach and into the ocean. OERS was notified and samples will be taken to ensure fecal levels return to normal.

The 48th Street Pump Station is currently being served by a backup diesel pump while the main pumps are being rebuilt. One pump is already in place and the second should be reinstalled later this week. City crews are also arranging to have the debris pumped from the wet well to help reduce future plugging issues. Signs warning of the sewage overflows are posted at the affected areas. Contact with water contaminated with bacteria can increase the risk of disease. Please avoid contact with these waterbodies until further notice.

Please contact the City of Newport Public Works at 541-574-3366 with any questions.

Information provided by City of Newport

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February 9, 2016 · 2:34 pm

Concerns Over Food Sources For Whales

scientist tagging whalesThe eastern gray whales that commonly appear along the West Coast of the United States seemingly have recovered from over-hunting with new protective guidelines established in the 1970s. Their counterparts across the ocean – western gray whales – have not fared as well.

Some scientists believe that a lack of prey may be a limiting factor in the recovery of western gray whales, which number fewer than 200 in their feeding area near Russia’s Sakhalin Island. For years, researchers were unable to assess the growth of whale prey in the region because of the remote location, inaccessible conditions of winter ice cover, and the rugged weather that prevented winter sampling.

However, researchers from Russia and the United States studied an inch-long crustacean, Ampelisca eschrichtii, an amphipod that is a favorite food of the western gray whale, in samples that were collected from the Sakhalin Shelf between late spring and early fall over six years between 2002 and 2013. The research team found enough information in the limited samples to assess the missing winter-life history of these amphipods and to document their great abundance and production.

Their results were published this week in the journal PLOS ONE.

“The Sakhalin Shelf could be the richest gray whale feeding area in the world,” said John Chapman, a co-author who works at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. “But this discovery includes some surprises, still surrounded by mystery.”

One such mystery was the discovery that Ampelisca eschrichtii are simply too abundant to be threatened by over-consumption by western gray whales. If that is the case, the researchers say, why aren’t western gray whales rebounding like their eastern gray counterparts when food is plentiful and protections are in place?

“That’s really the enigma,” Chapman said. “Access to prey could be limited by an unsuitable benthic community or by unsuitable sediments. The whales’ benefits from the rich food source could also be limited by the distance and energetic costs of their trans-Pacific migration to reach it.” Continue reading

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Clay Moore Honored As Volunteer Of The Year

By Kiera Morgan

Port of Newport logoThe Special Districts Association of Oregon will present the award for Outstanding Special District Service to Clay Moore, from the South Beach RV Park as the volunteer of the year at their annual conference this weekend. Port of Newport General Manager Kevin Greenwood said he is proud to have him honored. He said that Moore does so much for the guests that it’s hard to put into words. He lives in the park year-round and really makes it a better place to be. Greenwood added that Clay meets and greets guests every day of the week with a smile and flair, as well as promoting local businesses by calling on the guests and letting them know about the attractions that they should see and the restaurants they shouldn’t miss.

“Clay has really poured his heart and soul into making this park amazing and accommodating for the guests. When people come in they ask where’s Clay?” Greenwood added “He is really the heart and soul of that RV park.” “Clay brings in repeat business and can usually talk a guest into staying a few more days just to enjoy the city.” Greenwood said Clay attends the weekly Newport Chamber of Commerce luncheons and represents the Port at these functions. Clay is 83 and still buzzing around like a 50-year old. Every 4th of July, Clay orchestrates a bicycle parade that is open to all of the RV Park and Marina guests. Greenwood and Port Commission President Walter Chuck will be attending the conference in Sunriver this weekend to support and recognize Clay in receiving his award.

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Home Fire Displaces Three In Toledo

By Kiera Morgan

toledo fire dept logoJust before 3:30am on Thursday February 4th, Toledo Fire and rescue crews were called out to a report of smoke and a fire at a residence on Yaquina Bay Road. Upon fire crews arrival the structure was fully involved. All occupants of the home however were out. One of the occupants however was transported to a Portland area hospital with unknown injuries. According to Fire Chief Will Ewing the fire was challenging to put out because of limited access to the home with a steep winding driveway. He said it took 1,000-feet of hose running from the truck up the driveway to get the fire completely extinguished. Ewing said they had 17 firefighters on scene and received help from Newport and Siletz Fire departments. Chief Ewing said the structural damage prevented immediate determination of what caused the fire. The residence was a complete loss displacing the owner and two renters. They are working with the Red Cross and getting assistance from friends.

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SPCH Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital Banner Services Offered

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February 4, 2016 · 10:04 am

Newport Pump Station Update

Big Creek Pump StationDue to mechanical failure of one of the pumps in the NW 48th Street Wastewater Pump Station located west of Highway 101 at NW 48th Street, the station began overflowing on January 20th into the creek located at Lucky Gap and ultimately into Big Creek. One of motors for the two pumps failed completely and needed to be rebuilt. The other motor was also in poor condition and was not running at 100%. The City installed a temporary diesel pump to help supplement flows which stopped the overflow condition.

On February 1, 2016 City crews had to remove the temporary pump to install the newly repaired pump and remove the other pump for service. It was necessary to allow this station and the upstream Schooner Creek Wastewater Pump Station located at the end of NW 68th Street to spill for a period of 3 hours while the repair was being made. The temporary pump is still on site and will continue to operate until the second pump is reinstalled at the 48th Street pump station. Continue reading

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