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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 91,000 feet of public sewer pipes that are on average 90 years old and deteriorating due to age. This is the equivalent of over 17 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 and Arbor Lodge.

In the Piedmont neighborhood, the work will include repairing about 13,000 feet (over 2 miles) 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 October 2015, and the work will take about a year to complete.

Click here for the November 2014 Newsletter.

Project Area

The general project boundaries and pipe locations proposed for repair or replacement are illustrated in the map below. Based on information engineers have collected since last summer, some proposed pipe work locations have changed. Be sure to check out the map to see where work will occur in the Piedmont project.

Also note where work will occur as part of the 2014-15 Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining (CIPP) project. Three locations noted on the map below are part of the CIPP project (N Baldwin Street, N Lombard Street and N Kerby Avenue). Nearby residents and businesses will be notified when work will occur at those locations. Click here for details.

The current design proposes construction only on the streets indicated with bold highlights on the map. There may be temporary traffic controls, construction signage, equipment storage, or increased traffic volume and parking on nearby streets.

Piedmont project area map

Night Work

Portland's Noise Office granted the Piedmont project a noise variance permit for work on N Lombard Street. The noise variance permit will allow the contractor to work nights to complete construction as quickly and safely as possible. Traffic control provisions will require a minimum one travel lane in each direction to be maintained at all times on N Lombard Street. Please see the map below for night work locations.

Piedmont night work map

What's Happening in Piedmont Now?

Over the next several months, you may notice crews in the neighborhood locating underground utilities, inspecting sewer lines, collecting water and soil samples, gathering information about soil and pavement conditions, and identifying issues that may affect construction. Engineers will use this information to finalize repair locations, choose construction methods and minimize construction impacts on residents and businesses.  

What Do Paint Marks on the Street Mean?

All sewer design and construction projects depend on advance surveys of construction areas. Crews 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

Did You Know?

Below are three terms that apply to sewer repair projects:


A nonconforming sewer is a sewer connection that doesn't conform to state and city plumbing codes. Nonconforming connections are typically two or more private sewer laterals that use a single branch to connect to the public sewer, or a private sewer that extends beyond the property boundary into the public right-of-way to connect with the public sewer. Click here for more information.  


The area between the curb and the sidewalk (planting strip) is part of the public right-of-way. In some areas, sewer repair crews may need to access and work in the right-of-way, and construction may disturb items in the right-of-way. The city retains the authority to use that area on behalf of the public. Where work will occur in the planting strip, the city will notify adjacent property owners.


A service lateral is a pipe that connects a residence or business to the main sewer line. Maintaining the portion of pipe between the building and the curb is the property owner's responsibility. The city is responsible for maintaining the portion from the curb to the main line.

For More Information

The city will update neighbors at regular meetings of the Piedmont Neighborhood Association and smaller informational gatherings in the neighborhood. The next neighborhood presentation is scheduled as follows:

  • Piedmont Neighborhood Association
  • Thursday, July 30, 2015
  • 7:00 p.m.
  • June Key Delta Community Center, 5940 N. Albina Street

Contact Matt Gough at 503-823-5352 or 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. Email 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.