SE Lambert and 19th Main Replacement

Under Construction
The Water Bureau is investing in Sellwood, replacing 4,800 feet—just under a mile—of an aging water main (pipe) along SE Lambert and 19th Ave. The existing main was installed in 1927, and has had multiple breaks. This new pipe will make your water service more reliable and improve water quality.
Three construction workers in bright vests and hard hats dig use shovels to dig chunks of broken up concrete out of a trench. A new pipe will be placed in the trench when work is complete.
Spring 2022 to fall 2023
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Project overview

As part of our ongoing investment in southeast Portland’s water supply, the Water Bureau is replacing 4,800 feet—just under a mile—of an aging water main (pipe) along SE Lambert Street and SE 19th Avenue. The existing main was installed in 1927 and has had six breaks over the past decade. The new pipe will reduce the frequency of breaks and improve water quality.

Map showing that the pipe will be installed on SE 19th Avenue between SE Marion and Se Lambert Street, and on SE Lambert Street between 19th Avenue and Milwaukie Avenue. Hashmarks on both sides of the pipe route show that Water Bureau Crews will install new pipes and other components in on either side of the intersections the pipe crosses.


  • SE 19th Avenue from SE Marion Street to SE Lambert Street
  • SE Lambert Street from SE 19th to SE Milwaukie Avenue

What’s happening now

SE 19th Avenue between Umatilla and Marion

Good News! We are nearing one of our first big milestones on this project. Crews will begin flushing and sanitizing the first section of new pipe to prepare it to be connected to the existing water system. After testing shows the pipe is clean and ready to be installed, Water Bureau crews will connect the new pipe.

Work is starting near SE 19th Avenue and Nehalem

Starting in August, workers will begin to install a new water main at the intersection of SE 19th Avenue and Nehalem, working south towards Umatilla. 

What to do if you experience discolored water

As we tie additional sections of the new pipe into the existing water system, you may experience discolored water. Our crews will be taking extra care to minimize impacts; however, despite our best efforts it is possible there may be discolored water because of this work.

If you experience discolored water:

  • Avoid drinking, using hot water, or washing light fabrics/whites. Instead, consider using bottled water, a water filter, or water from your emergency kit.
  • Check one cold tap every hour by running the cold water for one to two minutes to see if it has cleared. The stirred-up sediment often clears after a short time.
  • If the water has not cleared after a couple hours, contact the Water Bureau’s Water Quality staff at or 503-823-7525.

After the water has cleared, flush any remaining discolored water by running any unused taps. Visit this webpage to learn how to identify the source of discolored water. Find out the steps you can take if you are impacted by a discolored water event

What can I do to prepare for this?

It’s always a good idea to prepare ahead for water emergencies. You might already have what you need – jugs or a water filter for camping. Those can also serve you in an emergency. If you’re setting water aside (and we strongly recommend you do that regardless), put aside a gallon per person per day for about two weeks, plus more for pets. Find answers to your questions about setting up an emergency water supply at

What’s happening next

  • Water shutoffs in the southern project area: Once testing shows the new pipe on SE 19th Avenue between Umatilla and Marion is clean and ready to be installed, Water Bureau crews will connect it to the City's water system and your water meter. This will require brief water service disruptions. We will continue to provide notice of scheduled water disruptions at least 24 hours ahead of time by doorhanger.
  • Traffic impacts on Tacoma and Spokane Streets: In the coming month or so, you can expect traffic impacts where SE 19th Avenue intersects with Tacoma and Spokane.
  • Final Paving Comes Later: The contractor will install temporary pavement after they’re done with each section and return to do a final paving after completing the project.

What to expect during construction

  • Work hours: Work will take place on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. and occasionally on Saturdays.
  • Parking restrictions: We want you to be safe, so you might not be able to park your car next to construction zones, equipment, or materials. We will post signs before we start work, and we do our best to make sure driveways and parking lot entrances stay open. Crews might need to leave equipment on the street overnight. 
  • Street closures: Streets will be closed during work hours, with detours in place.
  • Erosion control and tree protection: Orange fencing around trees for protection and erosion controls on the street will stay in place throughout the project. 
  • Mail, garbage, and delivery services will have access.
  • Construction work may cause noise, dust, and traffic delays. 

Water shutoffs

  • If your water will be shut off, you will receive a separate notice on your door from the Water Bureau at least 24 hours ahead of time. You can expect shutoffs to be for up to a day between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. 
  • Keep your eye on your front door, especially if you typically enter your residence from a different place like a garage. 
1. Marking the street  2. Cutting the road and digging a trench  3. Installing or replacing pipe  4. Flushing/sanitizing and connecting to the water system  5. Restoring the road surface
Steps for replacing a water main include (1) Marking the street. (2) Cutting the road and digging a trench. (3) Installing or replacing pipe. (4) Flushing/sanitizing the pipe and connecting it to the water system. (5) Connecting the new pipe to people's water meters. This will require water shutoffs. We will put a notice on your door at least 24 hours before a water shutoff. (6) Restoring the road surface.