Connecting to the Sewer Costs

Information
Most developed properties in Portland are connected to the City's public sewer system, but some still have private septic systems. Other properties have nonconforming sewers and require conversion. When first connecting to the city sewer or making a conversion, there are various charges.
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Types of Costs

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

  1. City Sewer Connection Charges
  2. Sewer and Stormwater System User Charges
  3. Private Plumbing Costs

City Sewer Connection Charges

City Sewer Connection Charges represent an equitable share of the capital costs associated with building and maintaining the City's public sewer system. City Sewer Connection Charges include:

  • Sewer System Development Charges
  • Sewer Line and Branch Charges

Charges are subject to change each year on July 1. Current rates are for the fiscal year from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

Sewer System Development Charges

Sewer system development chargers cover costs associated with maintaining, operating, and building major sewer and stormwater facilities and treatment plants. Charges for single-family residential are $8,299 for sanitary sewer and $1,251 for stormwater. Multi-family and commercial properties pay more depending on how many units they have or their demands on the sewer system.

Sewer Line and Branch Charges

*For properties abandoning the use of a cesspool or septic systems.

Sewer line charges cover costs associated with the sewer line in the street. Charges are $2.21 per assessable square foot (ASF) of property and are based on the property 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 are $8,421 per branch and cover the cost of the sewer branch to your property.

Sewer Conversion Charge

*For properties abandoning the use of nonconforming private sewer system.

This charge applies to properties with nonconforming sewer connections so they can abandon the use of a party sewer or a sewer line that encroaches upon the public right of way or another person's private property.

  • Residential properties: the sewer conversion charge is equal to the branch charge: $8,421.
  • Non-residential properties: the sewer conversion charge is calculated based on the area within 300 feet of the sewer line multiplied by the rate: simple = $3.31 per ASF and complex = $6.79 per ASF.

Your city sewer charges must be paid or financed before 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. A city lien on the property secures the loan.

For more information on financing options, visit the Financial Assistance for Sewer Connection and Conversion page.

Private Plumbing Costs

Private plumbing costs are costs associated with hiring a contractor to connect your property to the City's sewer or resolve nonconforming sewer issues. Costs will vary since the City does not conduct this work or regulate the costs. They typically range from $5,000 to $12,000. City permits for review and inspection of the sewer are required.

Environmental Services sponsors two loan programs to help owners finance private plumbing costs. Loans are based on the lowest and most reasonable of three bids from qualified sewer contractors. The Private Plumbing Loan requires repayment through monthly installment payments over an elected term of 5 or 10 years. The Safety Net Private Plumbing loan is a qualified loan with an interest rate of 1.5% and a deferred payment option based on age.

For more information on financing options, visit the Financial Assistance for Sewer Connection and Conversion page.

City Permit Fees

The Bureau of Development Services issues permits for plumbing and sewer work on private property, and Environmental Services issues permits for sewer work in the public right-of-way. Development Services' plumbing fees are listed on the Residential or Commercial plumbing permit application, and Environmental Services' sewer lateral fees are listed on the Guide to UR and UC Permits page.

Sewer and Stormwater System User Charges

Properties that have new connections to the public sewer will have sewer and stormwater system user charges added to their water utility bill. The charges are billed quarterly, but monthly billing is available upon request. These fees pay the cost of collecting and treating wastewater, maintaining the sewer system, and treating and managing stormwater runoff.

Sewer user charges are based on water usage. Commercial and industrial users can have their sewer user charged based on discharge meter reads by applying to the Submeter Program. Stormwater charges are flat rates as approved by City Council.

Customers should receive a sewer bill within three months of connection. Charges and rates are calculated differently for multi-family, commercial, and properties within drainage districts.

For more information about rates and charges, visit the Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater Rates and Charges page.