Understanding Your Property's Sewer Connection

When you're thinking about purchasing a property, it's important to learn about the sewer connection and stormwater assets at the site. You can also find historic permits for construction work at the property and learn if the site is contaminated. Use the resources below to get started.
On this page

Search for the Property on Portland Maps 

  • Go to Portland Maps and search for the property.
  • In the right panel, scroll to the "Utilities" section.
  • Click "Sewer Assets" to see the public sewer and stormwater infrastructure near your property and to open a new set of options in the sidebar, where you can view the line (e.g., pipe) and node (e.g., maintenance hole) assets to gather more information about their physical attributes.
  • You can also see project and as-built plans (where available) in the "Jobs" section, look at maintenance service requests, and view historic sewer board maps.
  • To research your property's historic building and plumbing permits, scroll to the "Permits & Zoning" section in the right panel and click Permits.

Titles and Easements

Your property title documents may have information about your property's sewer connection, especially if there are any easements pertaining to your property. You can also request easement information from Multnomah County for your address.

Sewer Scopes 

A sewer scope is the best and most reliable source of sewer connection information. Most plumbing contractors can do sewer scopes. They typically charge between $100 and $200. The scope will show: 

  • If your private sewer line is in good condition or needs repairs. 
  • If your property has a legal, direct connection to the public sewer 
  • If you have a nonconforming sewer 

If you determine that your property has a nonconforming sewer connection, the scope will show the exact location of your private sewer line on your property, a neighboring property, or in the public right-of-way. 

Planning Ahead

It's important to know if your property has a nonconforming sewer connection. Many property owners don't discover a nonconforming connection until their private sewer line fails or permitted construction in the public right-of-way damages an undetected private sewer.

Determining if your property has a nonconforming sewer connection gives you time to budget and plan for correcting it. Correcting the nonconforming connection before construction in the right-of-way damages your private sewer line or your line fails can help you avoid the high cost of emergency sewer repairs.

Additional Records Not on Portland Maps

If a City record is not available on Portland Maps, you can request it from Portland's Archives & Records Management department. Further permit research tools and information are available on the Development Services Public Records Access website.

Search if a Property is Contaminated

To learn if a property is contaminated, search the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) and Leaking Underground Storage Tank databases. To learn if your property has a registered Underground Injection Control (UIC) such as a dry well, you can search the DEQ UIC Inventory. Additional environmental searches are available on the DEQ Data Systems webpage.