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ENB-4.27 - Nonconforming Sewer Conversion Program

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number


Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureau of Environmental Services Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority


What follows is the Table of Contents and an excerpt from the administrative rules:

  1. Applicability
  2. Purpose
  3. Definitions
  4. Regulatory Authority
  5. Sewer Connection and Deferral Requirements
  6. System Improvement Decisions
  7. System Acceptance and Adoption Criteria
  8. Notices
  9. Connection Charges and Fees
  10. Enforcement
  11.  Administrative Review and Appeal


Appendix A

Background Information

The following rules describe the regulatory activities of the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) for the Nonconforming Sewer Conversion program. 

1.  Applicability

These rules apply to any property that has:

  1. A private or shared sewage conveyance system that crosses an adjacent public or private property line:
    1.  Without recorded easements or other legal agreements;
    2.  Without revocable right-of-way utility permits;
    3.  With an easement that does not meet the criteria of these rules; or
  2. A private sewage conveyance system located in the public right-of-way that has an alignment or other physical characteristic contrary to the approved standards of the Sewer and Drainage Facilities Design Manual.

2.  Purpose

The Nonconforming Sewer Conversion program is intended to advance the following City goals and objectives:

  1. Promote efficient urban development.
  2. Support and promote private economic developments and community reinvestments.
  3. Protect the public health and safety.
  4.  Protect water quality
  5. Protect and preserve the natural and built environment
  6. Preserve the financial integrity of the City’s sanitary sewer utility.
  7. Minimize the financial impact of system improvements on utility ratepayers.
  8. Apply uniform sewer connection standards for developed and developing properties.
  9. Facilitate property owner compliance with sewer connection requirements.

3.  Definitions

In addition to the definitions of Portland City Code (PCC) 17.33, the following definitions apply:

  1. “Connection” means the connection of all sanitary waste and drainage disposal lines from all development on a property to the public sanitary sewer system, and the disconnection or removal of all other waste disposal systems such as cesspools or septic systems.
  2. “Facial Challenge” means a challenge to a requirement that is based on an argument that the requirement cannot be applied fairly or reasonably in any situation. By contrast, an as-applied challenge is one based on an argument that a requirement should not be applied to the challenger’s particular situation because of factors that, in the challenger’s view, distinguish it from similar situations.
  3. “Owner-Occupant” means an owner who uses the property as their primary residence. The individual who has the responsibility for assessments and is occupying the property will be considered the owner-occupant regardless of who holds the deed to the property. An owner who lived at the property before moving to a nursing home or similar facility is considered to be residing at the property if the property is not producing income.
  4. “Way of Necessity” means a route established under ORS 376.150 to provide a continuation of preexisting sewer services to land that has access to a public road.

Historical notes


Adopted by Director of Bureau of Development Services December 3, 2012.

Filed for inclusion in PPD December 3, 2012.

Amended by Director of Bureau of Environmental Services January 24, 2014.

Amended by Director of Bureau of Environmental Services January 8, 2015.

Amended by Director of Bureau of Environmental Services March 12, 2019.

Amended by Director of Bureau of Environmental Services July 17, 2019.