Public Works Department

Public Works News

Salem Public Works - Snow and Ice Preparations Underway

December 14, 2021

Weather forecasts indicate Salem and the Mid-Willamette Valley could continue to receive subfreezing temperatures with potential snowfall in the hills and on the valley floor this week. In anticipation of this weather event, snow and ice response staff from Public Works will be on standby to respond to road conditions in Salem.

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Salem Earns 2021 Public Works Project of the Year Award

July 8, 2021

The City of Salem’s Public Works Department has earned The American Public Works Association’s (APWA) 2021 Public Works Project of the Year Award for their efforts in restoring Pringle Creek in downtown Salem. For decades, Pringle Creek had been shaded by the concrete remnants of the old Boise Cascade paper mill. The project focused on rehabilitating the stream bed flowing under a section of downtown Salem by removing concrete pylons, enhancing the green space along the water, and restoring the beauty of the creek.

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City Crews Continue Post-Storm Repair and Clean-up

March 23, 2021

Self-service wood chip sites will continue to be replenished from storm debris

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​Salem’s Public Works Department plans, constructs, and maintains the City’s infrastructure including:

​Divisions and functions

Maintaining the water supply, transportation systems, and park systems is the responsibility of the many divisions in the Public Works Department.

Planning for current and future transportation and utility infrastructure

The Planning and Development Division plans for current and future transportation, utilities, and parks needs.

Responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing applications, issuing permits, and providing public inspection of private development activity
  • Managing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain program, landslide hazards program, and erosion control programs
  • Helping the community prepare for naturally occurring emergencies, such as flooding
  • Planning transportation infrastructure for cars, bicycles, and pedestrians
  • Planning water, stormwater, and wastewater services
  • Planning park development

Protecting health by safely treating wastewater

The Wastewater Treatment Division safely transports sewage to the wastewater treatment plant where they process wastewater for more than 216,000 people in the Salem-Keizer area. This requires the routine inspection, maintenance, and cleaning of more than 770 miles of pipeline and 29 pump stations to move wastewater across the area for treatment.

Preserving Salem’s water supply and public parks

The Operations Division is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and management of Salem’s water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities and of parks by managing:

  • Salem’s streams, ditches, stormwater piping, detention basins, and outfalls
  • Salem’s park system, which encompasses 35 neighborhood parks, six community parks, and six urban parks
  • Environmental spills
  • Street maintenance
  • Salem’s watershed protection program with constant monitoring at the City’s treatment facility and daily routine testing of the water as it travels through water transmission mains, water storage, distribution piping, pump stations, and fire hydrants, along with our customers’ service lines and water meters.  

The Operation Division ensures the highest quality water is delivered to more than 178,000 customers in the Salem area.

Providing recreation and life enhancement opportunities

The Administration Division provides overall direction to the department with a focus on regulations, finances, and communications. Other services include:

Delivering infrastructure projects to improve the city

The Engineering Division strives to provide efficient and effective project management to support Capital Improvements, construction permits, plat requests, and records programs. Three project delivery teams perform full-service project management services through every phase of the project. Technical services manage records, land surveys, and construction inspection.

This division also provides technical documentation for engineers, architects, and developers such as standard plans, construction specifications, and design standards.

Report issues by calling the 24/7 Public Works Dispatch center at 503‑588‑6311.

Contact us

Public Works Department
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301