Every Portland resident, business, and visitor relies on the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. Located in North Portland, the plant serves more than 600,000 customers every hour of every day. Plant operators work around the clock to manage an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater through the treatment process each day. On rainy days, the amount of wastewater going to the plant can increase up to 450 million gallons.
Prior to the plant opening in 1952, sewage, agricultural, and industrial waste went directly into the Willamette River and Columbia Slough—a practice that today would be unthinkable. Today, more than 150 Environmental Services employees work at the plant. They monitor and control treatment activities, unclog pumps, run tests, and fix problems. Their work ensures the plant keeps working to protect public health and the water quality of our region’s rivers while recovering valuable resources from Portland’s wastewater.
Over the years, Environmental Services has expanded the plant to meet important federal and state requirements along with the needs of Portland’s growing population. Learn more about the treatment process, our resource recovery programs like biogas and biosolids, and Portland’s sewer and stormwater system.