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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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When will my project trigger requirements of the City of Portland Stormwater Management Manual?

Stormwater ManagementPortland was one of the first municipalities in Oregon to develop and enforce specific rules for the treatment and disposal of stormwater. These standards are required to be met whenever your project involves three basic conditions:

  1. 500 square feet or more of impervious surface is created (new construction)
  2. 500 square feet or more of impervious surface is re-developed (existing structures and paved surfaces) 
  3. Your project changes the method stormwater disposal (example:  private drywell to off-site sewer connection)

This can be confusing for developers who, under situations that involve both new and re-development, will require two city inspections for the installation of private storm systems.  To further this confusion, work involving tenant improvements or remodels of existing structures may only require one inspector. 

When the two inspections are required, your building permit will be issued with two inspection cards; one from the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) and one from the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES).  The BES card is a GREEN card and alerts the developer to request a “487” inspection request code number.  A contact number is provided (503-823-2059) on the BES card for technical assistance as needed.  Developers are encouraged to call BES prior to construction of private storm facilities to setup a pre-construction meeting or to answer questions that they may have.

Remember, the three basic conditions listed above will trigger Stormwater Management Manual standards and require inspections from both BES and BDS at time of construction.  Existing buildings and developments that do not experience these conditions may only require an inspection by the BDS Plumbing/Combo inspector.  Still confused?  Don’t worry, look for a green inspection card or call BES directly at 503-823-2059….Where a friendly technician can help solve your stormwater questions.