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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Southeast Interceptor Sewer Repair

Updated November 27, 2017Button. Click to sign up for email updates

Environmental Services is designing projects in the South Portland and South Burlingame neighborhoods to repair or replace 10,800 feet, or 2 miles, of public sewer pipes that are on average 90 years old and in deteriorating condition. The South Portland-Burlingame Sewer Repair Project will help protect public health, water quality, and the environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases to homes,

Environmental Services has paused construction on a project to repair the deep, large-diameter Southeast Interceptor sewer line that is deteriorating due to age. The sewer line runs parallel to the Willamette River under inner southeast neighborhoods and is between 5 to 6 feet wide and 25 to 54 feet below the surface.

Two segments of the Southeast Interceptor require repairs. See map below.


Project mapConstruction is anticipated to begin again in May 2018 and be completed as soon as July 2018.

The schedule may shift again due to weather, subcontractor schedules, availability of materials, safe access to sewer pipes, and other factors.

Why Construction Has Paused

Environmental Services decided to pause construction due to high flow levels in the pipe during the wet weather season, which prevent crews from safely working inside the sewer pipes.

The sewer repair method for this project can only be completed from inside the sewer line. Crews enter the Interceptor pipes from manholes and climb down 25 to 54 feet below the surface. While that avoids having to dig trenches in the roadway, it means crews can only work safely on dry days when there will be no flow into the pipes from rain or other parts of the sewer system.

Work Accomplished

This past summer, the city's contractor prepared to repair about 7,400 feet of the Southeast Interceptor sewer line. They accomplished the following activities:

  • Completed video inspections of the public sewer pipes and service laterals
  • Developed, installed, and tested a sewer bypass system that will provide adjacent properties uninterrupted sewer service during work within the sewer pipes
  • Developed and tested a system to ensure safety for crew entry to and exit from the deep sewer line
  • Cleared sediment and flushed debris from parts of the sewer line
  • Identified areas within the sewer line where additional sediment removal will be necessary

Crews have removed equipment and materials from staging areas, and cleaned up the work zones. Construction will not occur on the Southeast Interceptor pipes for the remainder of this year and early next year. The city's contractor will return next spring when conditions are more conducive for crews to complete the sewer pipe repairs.

For more information

If you would like more information about the project or have questions and concerns you’d like to discuss, please call or email:

Cheryl Kuck
Community Outreach
Phone: 503-823-7898

If you have a concern or question about a pipe repair near you, please be sure to include your name, property address and project name (Southeast Interceptor) in your voicemail and email so we can provide you more details about what to expect in front of your property. Also, please write "SEI" in the subject line of your email. Click SIGN UP! to sign up for periodic email updates.

Project Overview

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