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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

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

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Piedmont Sewer Repair Project


Environmental Services is designing three large-scale sewer projects in North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods to replace or repair approximately 56,000 feet of public sewer pipes that are on average 90 years old and failing due to age. This is the equivalent of over 10 miles of sewer pipes. The three adjacent project areas will include construction in Piedmont, Humboldt, Woodlawn and King neighborhoods plus a few blocks in Overlook.

In the Piedmont neighborhood, the work will include repairing about 11,000 feet of sewer pipes throughout the neighborhood. The sewer repairs will enhance livability by improving sewer and stormwater infrastructure, increasing sewer capacity, and reducing the risks of street flooding and sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets. Construction in Piedmont is anticipated to begin in June 2015.

Project Area

The general project boundaries, soil sampling locations, and pipe locations proposed for repair or replacement are illustrated in the map below.

It is too early in the process to identify what types of construction methods will be used where.

Three locations noted on the map below are part of the 2014 CIPP Project. Nearby residents and businesses will be notified when work will occur at those locations.

Piedmont project area map

Soil Sampling

For approximately two weeks beginning on August 25, work crews will be drilling holes in street pavement and taking soil samples at several locations to help the design engineers understand conditions that construction crews may encounter (see map on back). What the engineers learn from analysis of soil, rock and pavement samples will help them determine construction methods.  

What to Expect During Soil Sampling

Soil sampling will occur Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Crews will work at two locations a day beginning Monday, August 25. The holes will be a few inches in diameter and will be filled immediately after the drilling is completed. This work may require temporary lane restrictions and on-street parking closures. There may be brief periods of noise, dust and mild vibration during drilling. Work at each location will last approximately one hour.

Crews will also be digging five test pits, measuring four feet by four feet, with a track-hoe. The pits will be repaved with asphalt once digging is completed. The pit locations are:

  • N Farragut Street between N Albina and N Kerby avenues
  • N Kerby Avenue between N Rosa Parks Way and N Dekum Street
  • N Buffalo Street between N Albina and N Kerby avenues
  • N Commercial Avenue between N Rosa Parks Way and N Dekum Street
  • N Missouri Avenue between N Bryant and N Morgan streets

Locating and Marking Underground Utilities

All sewer design and construction projects depend on advance surveys of construction areas. A few weeks before soil sampling starts, crews will locate and mark underground utilities by painting stripes on streets and sidewalks or placing colored flags in landscaped areas. Each color indicates what is buried below. The color code is as follows:

  • White = proposed excavation
  • Pink = temporary survey markings
  • Red = electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
  • Yellow = gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials
  • Blue = potable water
  • Purple = reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines
  • Green = sewer and drain lines

Other Work in the Area

For approximately the next two to three months, work crews will be conducting soil sampling and survey work at several locations in adjacent neighborhoods as well, including Humboldt, Woodlawn, King and a few blocks in Overlook.

Survey crews will be working on the sidewalks and streets in front of several properties in the Piedmont neighborhood, measuring the elevation of first floors and looking at houses to see if they can see a basement. Survey crews will work in the public right-of-way using non-invasive methods and equipment. They will not need to enter private property.

This analysis will help design engineers determine if the proposed sewer lines will be able to handle the amount of sewage generated from the homes on that particular street. This information will help us design a system to reduce the chance of basement sewer backups.

Trucks will also be in Piedmont and adjacent neighborhoods using video equipment to inspect the interior of public sewer pipes. This will involve lowering equipment into a manhole and directing a robotic camera through the sewer pipe. Engineers will use this information to determine if pipes need to be replaced or repaired.

For More Information

Contact Rhetta Drennan at 503-823-6006. During construction, we will be sending regular email updates to keep you posted about the schedule, construction activities, possible traffic detours and delays, parking restrictions and other impacts. We encourage you to sign up now to be added to the project's email update list. Send an email to Rhetta Drennan with “Piedmont” in the subject line to receive project updates by email.

Please let us know if you have concerns such as business operations, disability issues or medical or business deliveries.