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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to connect to the City's sewer system?
New or expanded facilities that discharge sewage must connect to the City's sewer system at the owner's expense unless the property is more than one thousand feet from the nearest adequate public sanitary sewer main.

How do I start or stop Municipal Sewer Service?
Contact the City's Finance Department at 503-665-5175 to start or stop a sewer service account

How do I connect to the City's sewer main?
Connections to the City's sewer system are made by private contractors employed by the person or firm desiring the connection. The work is inspected by City personnel. The first step is to complete a Public Works Permit application and submit it to the Permit Specialist at City Hall. The work must be performed in compliance with the City's "Construction Standards for Public Works Facilities."

Who is responsible for a blocked sewer line?
The property owner is responsible for the sewer line (often referred to as a "lateral") from the house or business to the sewer main, usually located near the middle of the street. The City is responsible for the sewer mains. A blockage in the lateral must be corrected by the property owner, either personally or by hiring one of the many private firms engaged in this type of work. Many such firms advertise in the "yellow pages" under "Plumbing Contractors", “Sewer Contractors", or similar terms. A blockage in a City main should be reported by calling 503-665-5175 during normal business hours or 503-251-4163 outside normal business hours.

Who should I contact for issues regarding my proposed or existing septic tank?
Septic system tanks and drainfields are regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality. In the Portland metro area, this regulatory function is delegated to the City of Portland. Contact Jason Abraham at the City of Portland by calling 503-823-7254.

Can I dump hazardous wastes down a drain, into my toilet, or into a storm drain?
No! Hazardous wastes must be disposed of at appropriate facilities.

Where does the wastewater go to after it is treated in the Water Pollution Control Facility?
The treated wastewater is discharged to the Sandy River in accordance with the terms of an NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Where do the solids go after they are treated in the Water Pollution Control Facility?
The inert bio-solids are land applied to fields growing crops not for human consumption (such as nurseries, tree farms, etc.) under conditions established by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and with the permission of the land owner involved.

What is a UIC and when do I have to register a UIC?
UIC stands for Underground Injection Control and refers to certain types of facilities that discharge storm water into the ground, such as drywells, soakage trenches, infiltration galleries, etc.  UIC’s are defined by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and regulated by DEQ in conjunction with the City.  See DEQ’s UIC fact sheet for more information.

This Page Was Last Updated December 2, 2015

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