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SW 13th Avenue Sewer Extension

Sewer and Stormwater
Environmental Services has nearly completed design of a project to extend the public sewer 140 feet into SW 13th Avenue between SW Jefferson and SW Columbia streets. This will resolve a nonconforming sewer connection and provide a property an independent connection to the public sewer.
Project design will continue through October of 2021. Construction is anticipated to begin in November and take three months to complete.
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This work is part of the City of Portland’s effort to extend the sewer system to properties without direct access to the public sewer and bring them into compliance with City plumbing codes. The project will help protect public health, property, and the environment by increasing the capacity of the public sewer system, reducing the risk of basement sewer backups, and reducing the likelihood of emergency maintenance work in the future. 

Project Area

The sewer extension will be in SW 13th Avenue between SW Jefferson and SW Columbia streets.

Location of public sewer extension in SW 13th Ave

What's Happening Now

Over the next two months, crews will be in the project area gathering information that will help them complete project design. Activities may include inspecting sewer pipes and maintenance access holes, locating underground utilities and marking them with paint or small flags, surveying the land and taking various measurements, determining depths of private property sewer lines, and drilling holes in the street to collect soil and pavement samples and pinpoint the location of utilities. 

Learn more information about these investigative activities.

We Want to Hear from You

Environmental Services will inform residents and businesses about project activities and respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner. The following resources will help you stay informed and report concerns:

  • Questions: Call 503-865-4300, stating that SW 13th Avenue Sewer Extension is your project of concern. Outreach staff will return your call by the next business day.
  • Nighttime Noise Complaint: Call 503-823-1338, stating that SW 13th Avenue is your area of concern. The noise hotline is monitored by site inspectors.
  • Sewer Emergency: In the event of a sewer backup or basement flooding, call the Maintenance hotline immediately at 503-823-1700. It is staffed all hours and all days, 24/7.

What to Expect

Work hours will depend on approved traffic control plans and any necessary lane closures for a safe work zone.

Before construction begins, crews will install tree protection fencing so that large equipment does not harm street trees.  

Extreme Weather

When high temperatures, extreme heat, near freezing temperatures, or extreme cold are in the weather forecast, crews may adjust schedules to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress and cold stress. When working in extreme weather environments, all City workers, contractors, and subcontractors must follow Oregon’s OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates and Environmental Services’ Heat Illness Safety and Health Plan and its Cold Stress Safety and Health Plan. You may see crews taking more frequent water and rest breaks, stopping work at noon, and taking other protective measures during extreme weather.

Construction Methods

Engineers have changed the construction method from Open Trench Excavation to Horizontal Directional Drilling to construct the sewer extension in SW 13th Avenue, install the new maintenance access hole just north of SW Columbia Street, and construct the service lateral that will connect a private property to the new public sewer line. This method avoids having to dig large trenches. In addition, only a small section of buried trolley tracks and ties will be removed to construct the new maintenance hole.

To construct the sewer extension, crews will dig small sending and receiving pits. They will use a drilling rig to drill a pilot hole and cut a path for the new sewer pipe. Crews will install the new sewer pipe from the surface through the sending pit and then pull it through the cut path at the receiving pit. Learn more about what Horizontal Directional Drilling involves.

After the work passes inspections, crews will return to complete permanent pavement restoration of the patched pits where they installed sewer pipes and a maintenance hole. They will also repair any curb and sidewalk panels damaged during construction.

Sign Up for Updates

Regular email updates are the best way to stay informed and know what to expect. Sign up for project updates at SW 13th Avenue Sewer Extension