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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

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Nonconforming Sewer Information

Nonconforming Sewer Information

diagram of a direct connection to a public sewerThis page provides information about what is and is not a legal sewer connection in the City of Portland.

Here you can find information about different types of sewer connections, what is and is not allowed, and the remedies available to you if you have a nonconforming sewer connection.

The city changed its nonconforming sewer rules in 2012. If you were familiar with the rules in the past, you may want to review the new information provided here.

In some cases, the city may accept or adopt a private line in the right-of-way.

Code Requirements

City of Portland code requires your property to have an independent connection and legal route of access to the public sewer. The diagrams on the right show legal, direct connections to the public sewer.

diagram of a direct connection to a public sewerIf you own a property with a nonconforming sewer connection, Portland City Code also requires you to abandon the nonconforming sewer connection within 180 days of receiving notice from the city that an individual and direct sanitary sewer connection is available to your property.

The following sections of the Portland City Code regulate nonconforming sewers:

  • 17.32.020 defines a party sewer
  • 17.32.070 establishes that responsibility for private sewer systems stays with the property owners served by that system

Three Basic Kinds of Nonconforming Sewer Connections

  1. Party sewers are nonconforming sewer connections with two or more private sewer laterals joining in a single pipe before connecting to the public sewer in the public right-of-way.
  2. Cross property line connections are nonconforming sewer connections that cross into another property to connect to the public sewer in the public right-of-way.
  3. A private sewer line that extends beyond the property boundary into the public right-of-way to connect with the public sewer is another kind of nonconforming sewer connection.

Nonconforming Sewer Recommendations

Contact Us

Contact city staff with nonconforming sewer questions

Private Sewer in the Right-of-Way

Information and Recommendations

Evaluating Private Sewer Lines in the Right-of-Way

Acceptance and adoption criteria

Temporary Easements

How to apply

Acceptance or Adoption Application

Print and fill out the PDF form

Exploring Your Connection to the Public Sewer

How to determine if you have a nonconforming sewer connection

Sewer Extensions

Information and options