Chapter 17.35 Septage Discharge

City Code Chapter

(Chapter added by Ordinance 143978, effective July 1, 1977.)

17.35.010 Definitions.

(Replaced by Ordinance 185397, effective July 6, 2012.)

  1. As used in this Chapter the following definitions apply:
  2. A.  “Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP)” means the City of Portland’s wastewater treatment plant located at5001 N. Columbia Boulevard,Portland,Oregon.
  3. B.  “Director” means the Director of the Bureau of Environmental Services or the Director’s designee.
  4. C.  “Holding tank” means a tanks with no drain field which is required to be pumped out on a regular basis.
  5. D.  “Operator in charge” means the operator in charge, hereafter referred to as “operator,” is the designated operator on duty at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant or other designated location who supervises and directs any discharge of septage.
  6. E.  “Septage” means domestic wastes in a tank or container such as chemical toilets.
  7. F.  “Tri-County Area” means the area within Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties.

17.35.020 Permits Required.

(Amended by Ordinances 166674, 182760 and 185397, effective July 6, 2012.) 

  1. Only those persons possessing a valid septage discharge permit issued from the City of Portland will be allowed to discharge septage at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP).
  2. A.  Permits shall authorize discharges for one year, unless a shorter time frame is authorized by the Director.
  3. B.  The City shall issue permits for the discharge of septage at CBWTP after receipt of the following:
    1. 1.  A Septage Discharge Permit Application form;
    2. 2.  A copy of a valid sewage disposal service license issued by the DEQ;
    3. 3.  A current DEQ Sewage Pumping Equipment Description/Inspection form for each vehicle identified on the permit;
    4. 4.  A performance guaranty as described in 17.35.060 of this Chapter;
    5. 5.  A copy of insurance coverage at or above those levels required by the Oregon Public Utility Commission;
    6. 6.  Effective July 1, 1994, a certificate of completion, or the ability to receive such certification within 30 days of permit approval, by applicant personnel at the City of Portland’s “Septage Hauler Training Class.”  Personnel of an approved septage hauler shall attend the City’s Septage Hauler Training Class.  The class will inform haulers about the City’s Septage Receiving Program and the operational process at CBWTP.  Certification renewals may be requested on an annual basis and shall be required upon request of the Director or when permittee personnel changes occur.
    7. 7.  The City shall impose appropriate conditions in permits to ensure compliance with requirements of this Chapter.
  4. C.  No provision of this Section shall be construed to create any right to the disposition of septage at a City facility inconsistent with the public interest of the City.

17.35.030 Septage Discharge Limitations.

(Amended by Ordinances 166674 and 185397, effective July 6, 2012.) 

  1. The City will accept discharge of septage at the CBWTP that originates within the Tri-County area and is subject to the provisions of this Chapter.
  2. A.  Discharge of process waste from commercial and industrial locations is prohibited.
  3. B.  Unauthorized discharge of septage into the sewer system within the jurisdiction of the City or the Tri-County area is prohibited.
  4. C.  The City will have full authority to refuse a load, limit the amount of discharge and/or establish necessary restrictions on discharge under the following conditions:
    1. 1.  Unacceptable acidic or alkaline strength or corrosive properties;
    2. 2.  Septage is from a non-approved source;
    3. 3.  Failure to supply complete, accurate and verifiable septage information;
    4. 4.  Operator observed inconsistencies between certified contents and actual contents;
    5. 5.  Operational or capacity limitations at CBWTP.  Loads will be rejected during wet weather events.

17.35.060 Performance Guaranty.

(Amended by Ordinance 166674, effective June 23, 1993.)

  1. Each applicant, except governmental agencies shall post a performance guaranty in a form including but not limited to a surety bond, penal bond, performance bond, irrevocable letter of credit, pledge of assets, or other form which shall be approved by the City Attorney. The amount will be determined by the conditions of the permit and the number and capacity of the applicant’s vehicles. Minimum coverage shall be $10,000. All changes in personnel and equipment shall be reported to the City within 30 days. The value of the performance guaranty shall be forfeited to the City under any of the following conditions:
  2. A. The discharge of septage in violation of 17.35.030;
  3. B. The discharge of septage at unauthorized locations in the Tri-County area (or the City of Portland);
  4. C. Effective July 1, 1994, failure to make timely payment, pursuant to 17.35.090 B, of charges billed under this Chapter. (Forfeiture of guaranty up to amount of overdue charges only, after notice of intent to demand payment from guarantor.)

17.35.070 Fee Schedule.

(Amended by Ordinances 156500, 160886, 162109, 165136, 166674, 167692, 168857, 170190, 171224, 172288, 173414, 175620, 176524, 177530, 178449, 179274, 180189, 181006 and 181846, effective July 1, 2008.)

  1. A. Discharge permit holders are subject to the following septage discharge fees:
    1. 1. Annual Discharge Permit Fee. Fees are to be paid on an annual basis at time of permit application.
    2. 2. Discharge Rates. Each delivery received at the plant is subject to discharge rates, which will be applied to full tank capacity of the delivery vehicle. The plant may accept partial loads on a pre-approved basis. Measurement disputes between septage haulers and City personnel will be resolved by a process established by the Director.
    3. 3. After-Hours Fee. Deliveries received at the plant outside of normal business hours are subject to an after-hours fee.
  2. B. Septage discharge fees and rates are adopted, annually, by general ordinance to establish sewer and drainage rates and charges.

17.35.080 Collection and Billing.

(Amended by Ordinances 166674 and 181483, effective January 18, 2008.) 

  1. The operator is directed to provide one copy of the load certificate to the permittee, retain two copies of each load certificate executed by permittee, and to convey one copy of each load certificate to the office of the City as may be required by the Office of Management and Finance.
  2. The City shall mail a monthly statement of account to each permittee.  Failure to pay the amount shown within 30 days of the date of billing shall result in imposition of interest fees, as named in Title 5, Section 5.48.040, on the amount past due.

17.35.085 Inspections.

(Added by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. A. Right of Entry. To the extent permitted by law, BES may enter all private and public premises at any time for the purpose of inspecting for potential violations, connections or for any other lawful purpose. This authorization includes but is not limited to inspection, sampling, testing, photographic documentation, record examination, copying, and installation of devices. Entry may not be conditioned upon BES representatives signing any type of confirmation, release, consent, acknowledgement, or agreement. 
  2. B. Entry Protocols.
    1. 1. The BES representative will present a City photo identification card at the time of entry.
    2. 2. The BES representative will comply with reasonable, routine safety and sanitary requirements of the facility or site as provided by the facility operator at the time of entry. The facility operator must provide the BES representative with any facility-specific safety protective equipment necessary for entry.

17.35.110 Enforcement.

(Replaced by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. A. Violations. It is a violation for any person to fail to comply with the requirements of this Chapter or associated rules. Each day a violation occurs or continues may be considered a separate violation. BES will hold the person or persons solely responsible for complying with BES enforcement actions. Violations of this Chapter or associated rules include, but are not limited to:
    1. 1. Failure to obtain a septage hauler permit;
    2. 2. Failure to comply with training requirements;
    3. 3. Discharge of wastes violating Section 17.35.050;
    4. 4. Failure to pay discharge fees or provide a performance guarantee; or
    5. 5. Failure to comply with enforcement actions as identified in the BES Enforcement Program administrative rules (PPD item ENB-4.15)
  2. B. Enforcement Tools. BES may use any or all of the following tools to enforce this Chapter or associated administrative rules: notice of investigation, warning notice, notice of violation, compliance order, requirement to obtain a permit, notice of termination, withholding of permits, violation abatement, legal action, criminal case referral, or referral to other regulatory agencies. BES enforcement actions are described in program-specific administrative rules and the BES Enforcement Program administrative rules (PPD item ENB-4.15).
  3. C. Civil Penalties. Persons violating this Chapter or associated rules may be assessed civil penalties of up to $10,000 per day per violation according to program-specific administrative rules and the BES Enforcement Program administrative rules (PPD item ENB-4.15). Penalties and other charges will accrue interest from the date of initial City notice assessing the penalty until the penalty is paid in full.
  4. D. Cost Recovery. The Director may recover all reasonable costs incurred by the City that are attributable to or associated with violations of this Chapter or associated administrative rules per PPD item ENB-4.15.
  5. E. City Summary Abatement. To the extent permitted by law, the Director may recover from the person causing the violation all costs incurred by the City to summarily abate the following:
    1. 1. A violation that is not remedied through required corrective actions;
    2. 2. A situation that poses an imminent danger to human health, public safety, or the environment; or
    3. 3. Continued noncompliance with PCC or associated rules.
  6. F. Nothing in this Chapter is intended to impose liability on the City for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of any person to comply with the provisions of this Chapter.

17.35.120 Revocation or Amendment of Permit.

(Added by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. All septage discharge permits issued to an applicant by the City may be revoked for any of the following reasons:
  2. A. Failure to accurately certify the source of a load of septage prior to discharge.
  3. B. Failure to pay all charges for discharge within 60 days of billing by the City.
  4. C. Any act that is named as a cause for forfeiture of the performance guaranty, as outlined in Section 17.35.060.
  5. D. Septage permits may be amended for the following reasons:
    1. 1. A change occurs in a permittee’s operations that affect the applicability of this Chapter’s provisions.
    2. 2. The amendment is required by the applicable State or Federal laws or regulations.

17.35.130 Administrative Reviews, Appeals, and Compliance Cases.

(Added by Ordinance 186192; Amended by Ordinances 186902 and 189750, effective November 29, 2019.)

  1. A.  Administrative Review and Appeal. A person may request a modification to a BES decision related to this Chapter via an administrative review with BES staff, unless administrative review is limited by administrative rule. After the requestor has exhausted all BES administrative review, the requestor may file for an appeal with the Code Hearings Officer per PCC Title 22, unless appeal is limited by administrative rule.
  2. B.  BES Code Compliance Cases. BES may file a case before the Code Hearings Officer under PCC Title 22 to compel compliance with City regulations. The person committing the violation will be offered the opportunity to present evidence.

17.35.140 Conflict.

(Added by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. This Chapter supersedes all ordinances or elements thereof to the extent that they are inconsistent with or conflict with any part of this Chapter.

17.35.150 Severability.

(Added by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. If any provision, paragraph, word, or Section of this Chapter or associated administrative rules is invalidated by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions, paragraphs, words, and sections shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect.