Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Sellwood-Moreland Sewer Repair Project

Sewer Pipe Inspection Starts October 21st
CONTACT: Amy Higgs, (503) 975-7073,   

Sewer Inspection
Crews will be inspecting the interiors of pipelines throughout the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood using video cameras.  This CCTV work (closed circuit television) will help inform our decisions about which pipes need repair or replacement, and will help construction crews better understand the pipe conditions they may encounter.  For example, we will know whether tree roots have worked into the joints of old pipes and are impeding the flow. 

You will see trucks in the neighborhood with video equipment, sending cameras into the sewers into manholes and stormdrains.  Cameras will make their way through the pipes under the street and record their condition. There is no need to access your private property, nor will their cameras run through your private sewer pipes.  This work may require temporary traffic lane restrictions or brief on-street parking closures. Your sewer service will be maintained at all times. There is no significant noise caused by the work.  Work at each location lasts a few hours. 


Environmental Services will begin construction within a few weeks on the Sellwood-Moreland Sewer Repair Project to replace or repair about 25,000 feet of public sewer pipes in your neighborhood that are between 80 and 100 years old and failing due to age. This project will help protect the public and the environment by reducing the possibility of costly breaks, leaks, blockages and sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets.  

Construction Schedule

Construction is scheduled to begin within a few weeks and will take about 14 months to complete. You may see city staff or contractors surveying, marking and moving utility lines, and trimming trees to prepare for the start of construction. Typical construction hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. If needed, the contractor may work the same hours on Saturday. The contractor may work at night at several approved locations (see map below).

Night Work at Several Locations

The Portland Noise Control Office granted Environmental Services a noise variance for nighttime construction at several locations in this project (see map below). A city inspector will be on-site during this night work. To report concerns during night work, please call the on-site hotline at 503-823-1257. You may also call the Portland Noise Control Office at 503-823-7350 or email

Cured-in-place Pipe Lining Locations

The contractor will use cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP) to repair several sewers. Work crews may install lining at night at some locations because of the size of the pipe. Work at each location should take no more than a few days. People who live and work near a CIPP repair project can sometimes smell a chemical odor during pipe-lining. The odor is from the chemical styrene, which is in the resin liner installed inside the pipe. The odor dissipates quickly once the installation process is complete. The amount of airborne styrene the repair process produces is not a human health risk. More details about CIPP are available at

Other Sewer Construction Methods

The city will use a combination of open trench construction, cured-in-place-pipe lining, and pipe bursting. For example, the contractor may use CIPP on the main public sewer pipe and open trench construction to repair or replace laterals that connect private sewers from the curb to the public sewer in the street. Details about each construction method are available at The contractor may use more than one construction method in some areas.

Sellwood-Moreland Sewer Project map

What to Expect During Construction

The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from neighbors about construction:

  • Start date: The city is in the process of hiring a construction contractor. Construction will begin in October 2014. You may see city staff or contractors in your neighborhood surveying, trimming trees, setting up traffic control signage, staging equipment, and marking and moving utility lines to prepare for the start of construction. Moving utility lines often requires digging up part of a street.
  • Work hours: Typical construction hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. If needed, the contractor may work the same hours on Saturday. The contractor will work at night to complete the cured-in-place pipe lining on larger pipes in several locations (see map). We will notify residents in advance of night work.
  • Expected impacts: Construction will create noise, vibration, dust and traffic impacts. Also, equipment and materials may need to be stored on some city streets.
  • Traffic: Expect traffic delays. The contractor will set up traffic control signs and flaggers may direct traffic on higher-volume streets. Orange signs and barricades reading “ROAD CLOSED to Thru Traffic – Local Access Only” are intended to reduce overall traffic going through the area while construction is underway, but anyone who lives in or needs to conduct business within the construction zone will be allowed access.
  • Parking: On-street parking in or near the work area will be prohibited during work hours and you may be delayed getting to your driveway. Please plan to move your vehicle by 7:00 a.m.
  • Planting strip and sidewalks: Sewer construction generally occurs in the street. However, in a few areas the contractor will have to cut into sidewalks or driveway edges then restore the areas. Construction may also affect the planting strip, or the area between the curb and sidewalk. We will notify property owners where this may occur.
  • Advance notice: We will post doorhanger notices a few days before work starts on your street. Keep in mind that schedules are always subject to change due to weather, supply availability, or other issues in the field.
  • Sewer and water service: During construction, the city’s contractor will use by-pass pumps to maintain sewer service. If a short, temporary sewer service shut-off is necessary to relocate a line, the contractor will notify property owners in advance.
  • Construction duration: Construction near an individual property could last a few weeks. This may seem longer where the work extends on the same street for a block or more. Sewer construction has many phases, and there may be periods of inactivity between construction phases at each site.
  • Safety: Safety is our top priority for every construction site. You can help keep the area safe by staying clear of all construction activities and keeping children, pets and vehicles out of construction areas. A city inspector will be on-site during work hours and may be able to assist you with construction concerns. Inspectors wear a hard hat and a safety vest with "City of Portland" on the back.

For More Information

To report concerns during night work, please call the on-site hotline at 503-823-1257. You may also call the Portland Noise Control Office at 503-823-7350. If you have other questions about the project, contact Amy Higgs at 503-975-7073 or email To receive regular email updates about this project, please send an email to Amy with “Sellwood-Moreland” in the subject line.