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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

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SE Insley and 20th Sewer Repair Project

Updated September 17, 2020

Air Quality Alert

Due to hazardous air quality, construction that was originally scheduled for last week and early this week has been postponed. Once conditions improve, crews will resume their full-time work outdoors. For construction schedule, please see below.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services is continuing our work to repair and replace critical sewer and stormwater infrastructure. Environmental Services will continue to provide information and updates on construction schedules and activities during the COVID-19 emergency.

Link to sign up for email updatesEnvironmental Services – your sewer and stormwater utility – is designing a project to replace approximately 240 linear feet of sewer pipe on SE Insley Street between SE 19th and SE 20th avenues. The main sewer pipe on this block is 109 years old, in poor condition, and undersized. Environmental Services will be increasing the size of the pipe to meet new current standards and ensure that sewer capacity meets expected future needs. This project will help protect public health, water quality, and the environment.

LocationMap of SE Insley and 20th Sewer Repair Project

The SE Insley and 20th Sewer Repair project is located on SE Insley Street between SE 19th and SE 20th avenues and on SE 20th Avenue between SE Insley Street and the end of SE 20th Avenue heading north.


Our contractor, Titan Utilities, LLC, is scheduled to repair the mainline sewer pipe on SE 20th Avenue between SE Insley Street and the end of SE 20th Avenue heading north using the Cured-In-Place-Pipe Lining process (CIPP). Work will be scheduled once air quality improves.

See below regarding proposed night work for CIPP.

Proposed Night Work

Environmental Services will be constructing a portion of this project using the Cured-in-Place-Pipe Lining (CIPP) construction method. During CIPP repairs, crews insert a flexible liner into a manhole and expand it against the inside of the old sewer pipe. The liner hardens, creating a new interior lining.

Due to the complexity of the sewer pipe at the proposed location, crews might work beyond 6:00 p.m. to allow the liner to harden completely. Equipment generates noise and could include pumps and generators. Additionally, night work requires lighting of the work zone.

Cured-in-Place-Pipe Lining (CIPP)

To repair a portion of the public sewer pipes in this project, Environmental Services will employ Cured-in-Place-Pipe Lining (CIPP). The CIPP lining process occurs in phases.

When heat (steam) is used to cure or harden the liner during CIPP, people who are nearby may smell an odor that is often described as being similar to plastic or glue. The odor is from the chemical styrene, which is in the resin of the liner. The resin is the part of the liner that reacts with heat and hardens.

While unpleasant for some, the amount of airborne styrene generated by the CIPP process is not a health risk at the levels observed by the City of Portland and tested and monitored by an independent industrial hygienist. The odor dissipates quickly once the process is complete.

How You Can Help Prevent Unpleasant Odors in Your Home or Building

If your building is connected to the sewer line being repaired, you can help prevent the styrene odor from entering your home or building by pouring water down all floor drains, sinks, and tubs to ensure that a water barrier is maintained in each drain’s “P-trap.” If this does not prevent odors from entering your home, you may need to temporarily seal the drain by placing a plastic bag filled with water over the drain or taping over it. These temporary measures will prevent the backflow of odors.

If there is already a strong odor in your home, opening windows can improve ventilation and help diminish these odors. If the odors are stronger outdoors, closing windows can prevent these odors from entering your home or business.

For More Information

We encourage you to be part of the project email updates by sending an email to with “SE Insley” in the subject line. You may also call Stefanus Gunawan with questions or comments at 503-823-5759.