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Sewer Repair  

May contain: plot

Oak Lodge Water Services requires a permit and inspection for sewer repair within the public right-of-way or in a public easement. OLWSD does not require a permit or inspection for repair within private property. For residential uses, OLWSD defers authority over sanitary sewer lines within private property to the Clackamas County Building / Plumbing Department. OLWSD does have limited authority for commercial and industrial users’ sanitary sewer system facilities on private property in order to protect the wastewater treatment plant’s integrity. Repair of commercial or industrial building sewer requires an OLWSD permit. Contact or 503-654-7765.

Inspection Procedure 

Inspection requests must be made 24-hours in advance and receive confirmation from inspector. No inspections will be scheduled after 1:30 PM.

The plumber told me there are roots, cracks, falling fittings/joints in my sewer ling. What do I do and what do I need from OLWS?

During a real estate sale, the sewer line is often scoped by a plumber.  Plumbers may find deficiencies in the sewer line such as offset joints, roots, “belly” or evidence of a “common sewer”, also called a “shared line” or a “party line” which connects multiple properties to a single sewer connection.  In this scenario, a real estate agent, plumber or property owner contacts Oak Lodge wondering how to proceed. OLWS receives approximately three of these types of inquiries per week. The following are instructions and process information for this scenario.

Responsibility:   Some cities require that the property owner maintain their sewer line from the structure to the main line in the street.   In Oak Lodge, the agency is responsible for the sewer line from the main to the property boundary or public easement boundary. Most often, the public easement is 7.5 to 10 feet on either side of the public main.  The property or public easement boundary is often visible in the sewer scope video as a “test tee” or sometimes a clean-out.   If there are no defects in the public right-of-way or public easement, OLWS has no permit or repair authority.  Stated differently, if the defects are all behind or upstream of the property line, then OLWS is not involved as this is all “private sewer”.  If there are deficiencies or defects in the public portion (within the public right-of-way / from the main to the property boundary) then OLWS is involved, and OLWS should be contacted (see below).

If there are defects in the public portion, OLWS may pay for the repairs in the public portion only. 

Please submit the following: 
  • Video (sewer scope) as a link or a flash drive or DVD.  This can be emailed, mailed or hand-delivered;
  • Contact information including name, relationship to property and phone number and email address;
  • Narrative stating if the sewer is flowing or if it is backed up.

Following submission of above items, OLWS will review the video and determine the following within approximately 48 hours of submission:

  1. Confirm any defects in the public portion of the sewer line;
  2. Determine the severity of the defect;
  3. Determine the repair schedule for the defect.
Following these steps, the following will be performed: 
  • A letter to the contact person stating OLWS is aware of the defects, but no repair is advised and OLWS takes responsibility for any damage caused by backup;
  • An offer of coordination and/or payment with the plumber performing the work (meaning if there are multiple defects in the public and private portion, OLWS may pay the plumber for the public portion of the repair and the owner pays the private portion);
  • OLWS schedules its own repair.
Submittal Instructions: 

Submit materials by email at or by mail at Oak Lodge Water Services District, Technical Services Department at 14611 SE River Rd, Oak Grove, OR 97267

Questions? Please contact Marty at or by phone at (503) 353-4205.

Supporting Documents:

Sewer Line Ownership Schematic.pdf


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