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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

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

Lower Powell Sewer and Green Street Project- T2R 01 and 02

This area has a combined sewer system, which mixes sewage from homes and businesses with stormwater runoff from streets in the same pipes. When it rains, sewers fill to capacity and can back up into basements. Combined sewage is contaminated with bacteria and pollutants washed off streets. This project (see map below) will replace and repair about 4,000 feet of pipe, construct about 52 green street planters to collect stormwater and keep runoff out of sewers, and plant trees to absorb rain and reduce runoff. Together, these projects will increase sewer system capacity and stop basement backups. Environmental Services is designing the project. Construction is anticipated in 2014.

Lower Powell Green Street project map


Open House    

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 -- 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. -- Loaves & Fishes, 3911 SE Milwaukie Blvd

This is your opportunity to:

  • Review project designs for sewer pipe repair and green street locations
  • Talk with bureau staff and ask questions
  • Provide comments on the project
  • Learn how to become a Green Street Steward in you community

Trenchless Pipe Repair Methods

Project engineers are proposing three trenchless construction methods for the pipe work along SE Powell Boulevard. Trenchless methods can reduce traffic impacts.

  • Jack and Bore - A boring machine pushes a large drill and new pipe from the sending pit through the ground to a receiving pit.

  • Pipe Bursting - A winch pulls a bursting head through the old pipe to break it apart and pulls a new pipe into place behind it.

  • Cured-in-Place Pipe - A flexible liner inserted inside the old pipe hardens to form a new interior pipe surface.

Pipe Work

In addition to green streets, Environmental Services will also replace undersized pipes to increase sewer system performance and reliability. This work will include excavating trenches in streets and using heavy construction equipment. During the construction phase, there will be traffic diversions and street closures. Environmental Services will notify residents well in advance of traffic disruptions and will work closely with neighbors and local businesses to minimize construction impacts.

Green Streets

Green streets are small rain gardens that collect stormwater runoff from streets and allow water to soak into the ground as soil and vegetation filter pollutants. Green streets also add neighborhood green space and slow traffic to improve pedestrian safety.

Vegetated curb extensions or street-side planters are the most common style of stormwater facilities. Portland has more than 1,000 green streets that effectively manage stormwater, alleviate basement flooding and improve neighborhood aesthetics. Go to to see green street examples and get more information.

The city’s goal is to locate green street planters where they will be most effective and have the smallest impact on parking. But based on the width of streets and planting strips and the locations of underground utilities and driveways, the city will likely site some green streets in the on-street parking zone next to the curb.

Green Street Care

Low-growing plants in green streets adapt to a variety of conditions. The city chooses plants for their hardiness and ability to filter pollutants from stormwater runoff. Neighbors will have the opportunity to help with the planting design. The city maintains green streets, which includes removing debris, weeding, watering, and replacing plants as needed. We also welcome help from neighbors with weeding, removing litter or watering, especially during hot weather. To learn more about how you can help as a volunteer Green Street Steward, visit

For More Information

Contact Rhetta Drennan at 503-823-6006. To receive project updates by email, send an email to Rhetta with "Powell" in the subject line.

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