Lower Northwest Sewer Capacity Project

Sewer and Stormwater
Environmental Services is designing a project that will upgrade public sewer and stormwater pipes and install new water quality treatment vaults in Northwest Portland. This project will protect the public and the environment by reducing street flooding and sewage releases to homes and businesses.
This project is in the design stage and is estimated to begin construction in the fall of 2025.
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Project Area

The map below illustrates the project area where sewer and stormwater pipes and stormwater facilities (underground vaults) are being proposed. The project bounds are NW 25th Ave and Westover Rd to the west, NW 12th Ave to the east, NW Lovejoy St to the north and W Burnside St to the south.

Simplified map of Lower Northwest Sewer Capacity Project with proposed locations of pipe work and stormwater facilities.

Project Background

The purpose of this project is to provide additional sewer capacity to reduce basement sewer backups and maintenance hole flooding. This will be accomplished through the approach of stormwater separation. The project’s scope of work includes new stormwater pipes, upsizing existing combined sewers, new water quality treatment vaults (stormwater facilities), pipe repair and new sewer extensions.

What's Happening Now

Utility Locates, Potholing, and Drilling

During the next month or so, crews will paint markings on the street in different colors. They may also place small flags in the ground, or wooden stakes with ribbons, to indicate the presence of underground utilities. Each color has meaning and indicates what utility is present. A list of the colors and meanings can be found at portland.gov/bes/pre-construction.

When a public utility is near a sewer pipe, stormwater pipe, or other critical infrastructure, it may be necessary to dig a hole in the ground to locate the utility precisely. This activity is called “potholing.” When potholing is complete, crews fill in the holes and apply an asphalt patch. In several locations, BES will collect soil samples for geotechnical and environmental analysis. This work will be completed using vacuum excavators and limited access drilling equipment.

What to Expect

Utility locates and drilling are scheduled to occur between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each location may take several hours. Work crews will drill eight-inch-wide holes in the street to collect soil samples and fill the holes immediately after drilling is completed. There may be brief periods of noise, dust, and mild vibrating during drilling.

While local access to private driveways will be always maintained, access may be delayed. On-street parking will be temporarily removed within the work area.

We Want to Hear From You

Please let us know if you have a concern or question about work near you. Be sure to include your name, property address, and project name (Lower Northwest) in your voicemail and email so we can provide you more details about what to expect in front of your property. Also, please write “Lower Northwest” in the subject line of your email.     

We would like to hear from you about special events, school activities, and community services in your neighborhood you think might be impacted by this project. Also, we want to know if you have any concerns related to business operations, disability or mobility issues, medical or business deliveries, and proposed night work. Your input will help us minimizes the impact to your neighborhood during construction. 

Get Support for your Green Project

Do you have an idea for a green project that will improve your community and the environment?  Environmental Services has resources to help keep our watersheds healthy and our rivers and streams clean.  

Project ideas include, but are not limited to: 

  • Planting trees in your yard and encouraging neighbors to join you 
  • Installing a rain garden or native plants at a place of worship, business, non-profit or school 
  • Removing pavement and replacing it with trees or plants 
  • Engaging your community group in watershed education opportunities 

To learn more, contact: 2theriver@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-5729

Please Take the Business Survey

If you have a business within the project area, please complete this questionnaire so we can learn more about your business and what needs you may have during construction. 

Business Survey 

Sign Up for Updates

Sign up for weekly email or text message updates for the Lower Northwest Sewer Capacity Project through our free GovDelivery subscription service. These updates are the best way to stay informed about what’s happening and what to expect. You can also sign up for bulletins on other projects and topics. 

This project will help protect the health of the Willamette River Watershed.