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Decommission Permits

Learn about applying for a decommission permit in the City of Portland, in Multnomah County. Get all required forms to decommission a cesspool, septic tank or seepage pit.

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Required decommission permit application and important information   

When a septic decommission permit is required 

You need a septic decommission permit to shut down a septic tank, cesspool or seepage pit. The septic system will be pumped to remove all sewage and filled with sand, ¾” minus gravel. This permit also includes removal and proper disposal of septic tank containers.

You will need to decommission your existing system if:

  • existing system has failed
  • it is a requirement of sale of a property
  • you are connecting to the City sewer
  • you have a demolition permit and need to decommission an on-site sewage disposal system
  • you are building an addition or new structure and will need to decommission an on-site sewage disposal system

Apply for a septic decommission permit  

For a decommissioning permit, fill out the septic evaluation application.  No plans are required. The application can be emailed to Onsite Septic Permits & Inspections.  

  • You must be both the owner and occupant of the house in order to do the work yourself
  • For other residential or commercial properties, a licensed State of Oregon, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) installer must do the installation

Staff will contact you with instructions on how to pay for your permit. Once the fee is paid your permit is issued. If you have any questions, please call Onsite Septic Permits & Inspections.  

Get ready for septic decommission permit inspections

When the cesspool or septic tank is pumped and filled with required material, you may call to schedule an inspection. Do not cover the the cesspool or septic tank until inspection has been approved. 

Schedule a septic decommission permit inspection

To schedule an inspection, call the automated inspection request line. You will need your IVR or permit number and the three digit code for the inspection.

The applicant on the septic evaluation application will receive a call with the time window for their inspection.  

Septic inspection results and corrections

Get the results of the inspection on Portland Maps permit/case search the next day.

Not approved - there are some reasons why the work did not get approved:

  • no access - the inspector may not have been able to inspect the work
  • incomplete work
  • code violations

The inspector will list the corrections needed on the inspection report. 

Call for a reinspection after making the corrections. Use the same three digit inspection code.
If you make the corrections the same day wait until 5 pm to request a reinspection. The inspector needs to enter their results before you can schedule the reinspection.

There is a reinspection fee charged for more than one reinspection for a single issue.

When the inspection has been approved, you may cover the cesspool or septic tank.

Contact septic inspectors

If you have questions about septic inspections, you can talk to an inspector between 7am – 8am on business days by calling Onsite Septic Permits & Inspections.


Onsite Septic Permits and Inspections

Development Services

phone number503-823-6892

Monday through Friday from 8 am - 5 pm. Leave a message with detailed information.

Requests for Inspection

Development Services

phone number503-823-7000

Automated Line - Requires an IVR or permit number