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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

More Contact Info

Sewer Connection Costs

There are three kinds of costs related to the connection of your home or business to the City of Portland sewer system: 

  • City Sewer Connection Charges - One-time charges to recover the City’s costs of building local sewers, trunk lines, and large sewage treatment and stormwater facilities. This includes line, branch, system development, and sewer conversion charges. More information about these charges provided below.
  • Private Plumbing Costs - One-time costs to hire a contractor to connect your property to the City’s sewer. As these costs cannot be set by the City, they are not addressed in detail here.
  • Sewer & Stormwater System User Charges - Ongoing charges that are billed monthly or quarterly. For new connections, Environmental Services will add charges for sewer and stormwater service to the customer’s utility bill. These fees pay the cost of collecting and treating wastewater, maintaining the sewer system, and treating and managing stormwater runoff. Learn more about these charges here, and below.

Current rates are for the fiscal year from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. The table below lists the situations that you may encounter and the types of sewer charges and costs you are likely to incur. 

 

 

Charges and Costs

 

 

System   Development Charge (SDC)

Sewer   Conversion Charges

Line   Charge

Branch   Charge

Private   Contractor

Situation

City Mandated   Sewer Connection

X

 

Almost always

Almost always

X

Owner Initiated   Sewer Connection

X

 

 

 

X

Nonconforming   Sewer Where Property Has Access to Existing Public Sewer

 

 

 

 

X

Nonconforming   Sewer Where Property Is Receiving Access to New Public Sewer

 

X

 

 

X

Fiscal Year 2018-19 Connection Charges

When sewer is available to your property, the city sends you a connection notice packet that includes a summary of the charges for your property. These charges represent an equitable share of the capital costs to build the sewer line in the street (line charge), the branch to your property (branch charge), and major sanitary sewer and stormwater drainage facilities that serve the entire community, such as sewage treatment plants and stormwater detention facilities (system development charges). City sewer connection charges depend on the size and use of your property. These charges are subject to change each year on July 1; current charges include:

  • Sewer Line Charges - $1.81 per assessable square foot (ASF) of property, based on frontage. Residential properties are charged based on the area within 100 feet of the sewer line. All other properties are charged based on the area within 300 feet.
  • Branch Charges - $6,742 per branch; almost all residential properties need just one branch.
  • Sewer System Development Charges - $6,446 (sanitary) and $1,105 (stormwater) for a single-family residence. Multi-family residences and commercial properties pay more depending on how many units they have, or based on the demands they put on the sewer system.

Sewer Conversion Charges

This charge applies only to properties required to replace a private nonconforming sewer system after the city provides access to an approved route of service to the public sewer.

  • For residential properties: the sewer conversion charge is equal to the branch charge: $6,742
  • For nonresidential properties: the sewer conversion charge is calculated based on the area within 300 feet of the sewer line multiplied by the rate: simple = $3.08 per ASF and complex = $6.32 per ASF.

Your city sewer charges must be paid or financed before you or your contractor can get a sewer connection permit. You do not have to pay these charges until you are ready to connect.

The city offers all property owners loans of up to 20 years to finance connection charges. There is no pre-qualification based on income or credit history. No down payment is required and there is no penalty for early payoff. The loan is secured by a city lien on the property.

Private Plumbing Costs

These are the costs associated with hiring a private contractor or plumber to connect your building to the sewer. The City does not do this work or regulate the costs, and therefore costs will vary. They typically range from $2,500 to $7,000. City permits and inspection are required. Click here for information about connecting and choosing a contractor.

The City sponsors loan programs to help owners finance private plumbing costs. The Private Plumbing Loan Program provides low-interest financing to any owner regardless of income. The loans require installment payments for a 5 or 10-year term.

The City also offers a deferred payment option for qualifying low-income homeowners. For details on financing options, call the Environmental Services Sewer Connection Program at 503-823-4114.

Sewer & Stormwater System User Charges

Once you connect to the sewer system, you will share in the cost of its maintenance. Billing for sewer service is based on the volume of wastewater you discharge to the sewer system. Discharge is measured by comparing winter water use to year 'round water use, and billing on the lesser of the two amounts. Residential customers receive a combined sewer and water bill quarterly and commercial customers are usually billed monthly.

After your property is connected to the sewer system, you should begin receiving your sewer bill within three months. Financial assistance is available to low-income ratepayers. To learn more, call Environmental Services at 503-823-7124.

Environmental Services bills commercial and multi-family properties for stormwater management based on their proportionate share of the city’s stormwater management service, by using measured impervious area (IA) as a basis for the charge. Environmental Services is in the process of identifying all properties in our service area that have not been assessed charges, have been under-billed, or that have been over-billed. See more about our Measure/Re-Measure Program here.

Utility customers in the Multnomah County Drainage District—including Peninsula Drainage Districts Nos. 1 and 2 and the Multnomah County Drainage District No. 1—pay only off-site stormwater management charges to Environmental Services. The reason for this is drainage districts are considered special districts under Oregon law. Drainage districts customers manage their on-site stormwater runoff by sharing in the costs of drainage district projects. See more information here.

Remember

  • You are not required to pay or finance your sewer connection charges until you connect.
  • You may pay or finance your charges at any time. Once charges are paid or financed, they are not subject to annual rate changes. Call 503-823-4114 for details on how to pay or finance your charges.
  • If you have income below a certain level, you may qualify to finance your charges with a Safety Net deferred loan. Call 503-823-4114 for details and qualifying income levels. Visit this page for more information on this program and other financial assistance opportunities.

Questions?

  • Required Sewer Connection Program: (503) 823-4114 or sewerconx@portlandoregon.gov
  • Nonconforming Sewer Program: contact information here