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MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204
Why does BES require sewer access authorization?
This authorization ensures consistent notification and coordination of access to Environmental Services conveyance systems (i.e., storm sewers, sanitary and combined sewers) to protect the systems from damage and to protect both the public and city personnel at risk if work is going on simultaneously in the same areas of the system. In addition, the city has the right to refuse access to parties who want access for actions that are not in the public interest.
What is access?
Access is entering, or causing something to enter, a city conveyance system. For example, putting a camera into a sewer (even if no people go down after it) requires authorization. But someone lifting a manhole cover for a visual inspection does not need authorization, as long as they don’t break the plane of the manhole.
Access does not include right-of-entry into bureau buildings (e.g., pump stations). That authorization, if needed, must be obtained separately through the existing right-of-entry process.
Who is covered? What actions are covered? Is anyone exempt?
Sewer access authorization is needed for any access to city stormwater, sanitary, or combined sewer conveyance systems which has not been authorized by another city agreement, permit, contract, or approval mechanism. Access is defined as entering, or causing something to enter, a city conveyance system. In order to obtain sewer access authorization, the requested access must not conflict with the bureau’s mission (i.e., protecting public health, water quality, and the environment). Requested access must have a defined duration and cannot include structural changes to city assets.
Examples of activities that may be allowed via sewer access authorization:
Examples of activities that are allowed without system access authorization:
Prior notification of activity is required for items in italics.
Authorization will not be issued if:
Will everyone who applies be given authorization?
Not necessarily. Environmental Services reviews authorization requests to confirm that the requested access does not conflict with the bureau’s mission (i.e., protecting public health, water quality, and the environment), that the requested access has a defined duration and does not include structural changes to city assets, and does not go against the public interest. The city has the right to refuse access to its conveyance systems.
How does someone apply for authorization?
The Bureau of Environmental Services issues authorization. Download and complete the request form.
What conditions does Environmental Services put on entering parties?
Entering parties are required to:
The authorization may require that copies of all recorded data collected under the authorization be provided to Environmental Services. Details of this requirement are included in the terms of the authorization.
What fees are charged for an authorization?
There is no fee for a system entry authorization.
For questions regarding a system entry authorization, see contacts below.