Bureau of Environmental Services Simplified Sewer Permit

All mainline sewer extensions must request a public works permit. However, short sanitary sewers (less than 100 feet) can be considered for permitting under a BES Simplified Sewer Permit. Learn more and how to apply for a BES Simplified Sewer Permit.

For questions about the BES Simplified Sewer Permit, submittal process, invoices, or other related issues, please call the Environmental Services Development and Sewer Construction Hotline at 503-823-7761. Option #3 will connect you with BES sewer permitting staff.

Is your project eligible for a simplified sewer permit?

All mainline sewer extensions are by default reviewed under the Public Works Permit process. Short sanitary sewers (less than 100 feet) may be considered for permitting under a BES Simplified Permit if none of the following situations apply:

  • Construction of a manhole 12 feet deep or more.
  • Construction in arterial streets or requiring extensive traffic control.
  • Crossing major utilities.
  • Extensions from brick manholes.
  • Extensions from City storm sewers, interceptor lines, or combination sewers where the proposed pipe size will need to be engineered.
  • Extensions of brick or clay sewers.
  • Conflict with standard proximity rules pertaining to utilities.
  • Excavations at or near structures and/or retaining walls.
  • Excavation close to water bodies or involving groundwater areas.
  • Outside public right-of-ways.
  • Sewer main proposed is greater than 18 feet deep.
  • Requires a design variance from the standards of the City of Portland's Sewer and Drainage Facilities Design Manual.

If any of the above criteria apply to your project, don't apply using the simplified sewer permit process. Instead, follow the instructions for public works permitting.

How to apply

If your project fits the limited range of the simplified sewer permit process, then to apply:

  1. Submit engineering plans for your project. See requirements below.
  2. Pay the application fee. Current fee and instructions included in the application form.

​​​​Engineering plan and profile requirements

  • Proposed and existing conditions (with any nearby structures, retaining walls, and/or water bodies shown)
  • Elevations at rim and IEs of all manholes and pipe (existing and proposed)
  • Pipe material, size, and slope (existing and proposed)
  • Manhole material (existing and proposed)
  • Existing utilities (type, size, material, and dimension from proposed sewer)
  • Clearly marked right-of-way (ROW) lines and sewer dimensioned from ROW
  • Profile required for Inquiry, if proposed sewer is less than 5 feet deep or if there are probable utility conflicts—show crossings on profile
  • Description of how private (on-site) stormwater will be disposed of. Simplified permits are for sanitary sewers only.

Plan review and permit forms

Environmental Services will review your application. If your application is accepted, proceed with the following:

  1. Pay the plan and permit fee. See the Plan Submittal Checklist for current fee.

Note: At permit issuance, a Temporary Street Use Permit (TSUP) is required to close sidewalks and any portion of the public right-of-way, prior to beginning excavation work. 


Environmental Services Development and Sewer Construction Hotline

Bureau of Environmental Services
phone number503-823-7761For sewer and stormwater questions for BES about land use/early assistance, development review, public works, sewer lateral permits, and nonconforming sewers.