City of Sisters

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Public Works


Each of us is touched daily by the services provided by the Public Works Department. Under the leadership of Public Works Director Paul Bertagna, Seven full time employees provide the resources and expertise to help make Sisters a safe and healthy place to live, work, visit and recreate. The services provided by the Department vary widely from maintaining traffic signs and streets to treating wastewater. We encourage and appreciate citizen involvement and invite you to contact us with your comments and questions.

Department Contacts

Director of Public Works
Paul Bertagna
(541) 323-5212

Operations Coordinator
Nicole Abbenhuis
(541) 323-5220

Maintenance Supervisor

Wanda Braughton 
(541) 588-0444 Cell

Utility Staff
Robin Bentz 
(541) 280-9786 Cell

Josh Stotts 
(541) 419-0975 Cell

Dale (Gus) Johnson
(541) 588-0919 Cell

Doug Mcintosh
(541) 419-2561 Cell


The City of Sisters has contracted with Becon Engineering out of Bend Oregon to provide Engineer of Record services for the city.  The City Engineer develops and implements water, wastewater, storm water, and transportation facilities master plans to ensure short- and long-term public infrastructure needs are being addressed as the community expands and grows. They establish standards for the construction and maintenance of the city's Infrastructure.

The City engineer monitors projects to ensure compliance with City, County, State and Federal rules, regulations, codes, and engineering standards. By preparing, reviewing, and overseeing plans and designs, engineers provide technical assistance to developers during the planning process. They inspect construction and manage public works projects. These projects include sanitary and storm sewers, water distribution, water and wastewater treatment, streets, and traffic control.

The City Engineer works with City planners to review all proposed subdivisions, Site Plans and other related land use applications as well as coordinating infrastructure projects with County, State, and Federal agencies. 

An extensive collection of maps, aerial photos, record drawings, plats, property ownership, and other infrastructure records are maintained in City Hall and are available upon request.

For more information on City Engineering Services please contact

Erik Huffman, PE, PLS, CWRE, LEED AP
549 SW Mill View Way, Suite 105
Bend, OR 97702
Phone (541) 633-3140
Cell (503) 730-5274

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Permits & Fees

Utility Billing

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The City of Sisters is working hard to keep you driving, biking and strolling safely on our city streets.  Stay updated on the latest closures, street conditions and construction reports.  “Don't fear the cone”

Barclay Drive Street Improvements, completed December 2015. Funding provided by the Infrastructure Finance Authority and Immediate Opportunity Funds.



Creekside Campground – New Restroom & Shower Building – April 2017

N. Larch Street  Pavement Overlay Project – June 2017

N. Cedar Street Pavement Overlay Project – June 2017

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Recycle Center


Location: 328 W. Sisters Park Drive 
Hours of operation: 7 days a week from 7 AM to 4:30 PM.
For basic Information: Recycle Center

The Recycle Center will be closed on the following Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas
For questions regarding your garbage bill, please call High Country Disposal at (541) 548-4984. 

For questions regarding your water & sewer bill, please call the City of Sisters utility billing staff at (541) 549-6022 from Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM or e-mail:

For more information about garbage disposal in Sisters, please go to High Country Disposal at:

For more area Disposal and Recycling locations, please go to Deschutes County Solid Waste at:

For more information about the Sisters Recycle Center, call Paul Bertagna, Director of Public Works, at (541) 323-5212.

For after hour emergencies, please call Public Works On-Call staff at  (541) 480-7634.


The City of Sisters Recycle Center will accept the following materials for recycling: Card Board,  Glass, Commingle Materials and Used Motor Oil.

Please follow the instructions posted by each container and when in doubt, just leave it out. There are regular garbage containers for items that cannot be recycled.
The Commingle Recycle Container accepts paper products, plastic products and tin and aluminum.  It does NOT accept: 

  • Paper and Plastic Plates
  • Paper Napkins
  • Paper and Plastic Cups
  • Waxed Card Board
  • Plastic Lids and Caps
  • Liquid in Containers
  • Glass Bottles and Jars
  • Lightbulbs
  • Batteries
  • Foil Wrapping Paper/Ribbons

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Solid Waste

Weekly curbside collection of solid waste is done by High Country Disposal on Tuesday or Thursday. Roll carts for recyclable materials and yard debris are also available and are picked up every other week. 

Click Here for roll cart preparation guide.

Click Here for High Country Disposal Winter Announcement.

Please go to:  or call (541) 548-4984 for more information. 

The Department of Solid Waste oversees the management of solid waste in Deschutes County. Solid waste disposal for the rural areas occurs at 4 transfer stations. Closest to Sisters is the Northwest Transfer Station and Recycling Center, located at 68200 Fryrear Road, Sisters, OR, 97759. Opening hours are Wednesday - Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM. For more information please go to: or call (541) 317-3163.

Click here for Sisters Recycle Center

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Storm Water


The incredible landscape surrounding the City of Sisters inspires us all. As citizens, officials, business owners, and developers, it is important to protect and preserve the natural resources we interact with daily.  Local waterways have long been used for recreation, visual retreats, wildlife habitat, and a driver for the local economy.  Unfortunately, human impact has left many streams and rivers in a degraded state.  The City of Sisters is working hard to protect this valuable community asset through its stormwater program.


What is stormwater?
Water that flows over hard surfaces, such as roads and driveways, is considered stormwater. As it moves, it can pick up pollutants like trash, dog waste, lawn fertilizers, car washing soaps, bacteria, and oils. Stormwater is then transported through a network of underground pipes and infiltrates into the surrounding soils

City Staff assisted in the development of the Central Oregon Stormwater Manual (COSM) that is used as a guidance document to set standards for designing and constructing stormwater facilities throughout Central Oregon.  The Public Works Department uses the COSM to help design and build the Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater facilities that work very well in our city and prevents the discharge of stormwater to Whychus Creek.

Why should we manage stormwater?

Polluted stormwater that flows into local rivers can result in degraded fresh water quality, wildlife habitat, public safety, and community health.  Improperly managed runoff also impacts local infrastructure and requires costly repair and maintenance procedures to return to a functioning state. 

What can I do to help?

By educating yourself, adjusting current practices, getting involved, and informing friends and family, you can make and immediate difference.  Look below for a list of things you can do today! 

1. Pick Up Dog Waste
2. Avoid Dumping Anything Down Stormwater Drains
3. Use Fertilizers, Herbicides, and Pesticides Sparingly
4. Inspect and Maintain Leaking Vehicles
5. Cover Loose Landscaping Materials
6. Clean Up Spills with Absorbent Products (Cat Litter)
7. Take Liquids (Oils, Etc) to Appropriate Facilities (Sisters Recycle Center)
8. Direct Irrigation Away from Paved Surfaces
9. Avoid Washing Your Car on Paved Surfaces
10. Call the City of Sisters and Report Pollution!

Have additional ideas?  Give us a call, we would love to hear them!

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The Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining 53 miles of roadway and 4.5 miles of Paths within the city limits providing asphalt maintenance services in the summer and snow removal services in the winter in addition to a lot of street tree and landscape maintenance.

2010 Transportation System Plan (pdf)

Street Operations:

Street /Lane Closures (updated weekly) Non at this time, please check back soon

REMINDER:  When clearing sidewalks DO NOT move snow into the streets or gutter, where it may be plowed back onto the sidewalk or clog storm drain inlets and lead to localized flooding in a storm event. Instead, move snow toward your property line, away from the street. 

  • Snow should not remain on the sidewalk adjacent to your property for a period longer than the first six hours of daylight after the snow has fallen in the commercial areas and one day in all other areas. 
  • Ice should not remain on the sidewalk for more than six hours of daylight in commercial areas and one day in all other areas after the ice has formed unless the ice is covered with sand, cinder, or other suitable materials to assure safe travel. 
  • In addition, maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to curb ramps and bulb-outs is imperative. This will enable people, including those with disabilities, easy access to the commercial services through the winter months. 

When public walks are found in violation, the property owner can be issued a citation. For questions regarding the snow removal ordinance or procedures, please contact Code Enforcement Services at (541) 323-5207 or at  

Good Samaritan Program

If you know of an elderly neighbor who may need help shoveling their sidewalk, please consider doing it for them. Many of our volunteer organizations are there to assist where an elderly or person with limited mobility is in need. If you know of someone who might be a great candidate or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (541) 323-5220.

Links to Winter Driving Resources

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Waste Water

The City’s wastewater system is relatively new with construction occurring during the period of 2000 – 2002.  The gravity collection system piping varies from 6” to 24” diameter with four (4) wastewater pump stations.  The Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is a 3-cell aerated lagoon system with winter holding, discharging to a dike and forest irrigation re-use system.  In 2007 the City purchased a portion of the Lazy Z Ranch for future effluent reuse as part of planning for the future wastewater needs of Sisters.

The facility operates under a permit issued from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and is designed to treat municipal wastewater using the following sequence of unit processes. 

  • Influent Screening 
  • Aerated Lagoon Treatment 
  • Effluent Disinfection 
  • Effluent Conveyance and Land Application 

The treatment facility receives all municipal and industrial waste water from the City of Sisters. For further description of these systems please call our Wastewater Operations at (541) 323-5212.

2016 Wastewater Capital Facilities Plan Update (pdf)

2006 Wastewater System Master Plan (pdf)

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Sisters water system dates back to the 1930’s.  Supply is currently provided by three wells with a 1.6 million gallon reservoir for storage.  The Groundwater is treated by disinfection for public safety, currently by gaseous chlorine and on-site chlorine generators. Transmission and distribution mainlines in the City’s water system total approximately 32 miles and vary in size from 4” to 16” with approximately 1500 active service connections.

Water Rates and Fees (tab to Master Fee Schedule water rates section)

2017 Water System Capital Facilities, Water Conservation and Management Plan Update (pdf)

How to be Water Wise


  • Adjust sprinklers to water only grass areas and not impervious surfaces such as streets, driveways and walkways.
  • Mow grass to a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Taller grass shades the roots and soil surface, which helps reduce the amount of water that is lost to evaporation.
  • Use sprinklers that spray low large drops vs. high fine ones.
  • Use hand held soakers for small trees, shrubs and plants
  • Use shut off nozzles on hoses and repair leaky hoses and fittings.
  • About one inch of water per week (including precipitation) is adequate for maintaining a healthy lawn. Use a can or rain gauge to help determine the amount of water applied by the sprinkling system and supplied by rainfall.
  • Don't use a fixed schedule for lawn watering. Apply water only when it is needed. Over watering can promote diseases and affect the health of the lawn.
  • A simple test for determining if grass needs water is to walk on the lawn and if you leave foot prints, it may be time to water the lawn.
  • Using a spade or gardening tool to check soil conditions 2 to 6 inches below the surface can provide information on soil moisture and the need to water.
  • A good soaking once or twice a week is better than watering every day. Allowing the soil to dry between watering will allow the roots to grow to greater depths and help make turf more drought tolerant.
  • Water during the cool part of the day to minimize water lost to evaporation. Early morning hours (4 a.m. to 8 a.m.) are the best, and the peak water consumption hours (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.) should be avoided.
  • Avoid watering during midday hours when it is hot and sunny to prevent scalding the turf.
  • Watering at night is not recommended because the lawn stays wet for a long period of time which can promote diseases and affect the health of your lawn.
  • Avoid watering during rainy or windy weather conditions.
An automatic timer is part of most buried sprinkler systems, but can be added to any sprinkler system for a very low cost. Automatic timers make it easy to set sprinkling systems to apply specified amounts of water during the best times of the day.
  • Set systems to turn on between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. in the morning.
  • Set the system to turn on for three 10 minute sessions with each session 2 hour apart to improve water infiltration and reduce runoff.
  • Equip the system with moisture sensors so the system does not turn on when it is raining.
  • Set the automatic timer to water every 3 or 4 days adjusting the time and frequency, as needed, to accommodate changes in seasonal water demand.

Water Tips for Cold Winter Weather (pdf of information below)

Every winter we receive those dreaded calls from property/business owners with broken water pipes and they do not know how to shut off their water.  We are here to respond as quickly as possible but In all of these cases time is critical and knowing where and how to shut off your water is imperative to minimizing property damage.

Mark Your Water Main Shutoff

Know where your main water shut-off valve is outside of your home. Typically they are located 18-inches from the foundation wall where the water line enters the building. It is very important to know where this valve is located because if a pipe bursts anywhere in the house – kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space – this valve turn will turn it off. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does. Remember that in Central Oregon the snow can pile up in the yard, so use a snow stake painted blue to mark the location of the shut-off valve and/or water meter. This will allow you and others to find the valve quickly in an emergency. 

IF YOU CAN’T FIND YOUR WATER METER: Please call (541) 323-5220.

Seal Out Cold Air

Caulk around pipes where they enter the house and close all foundation vents. This will stop cold winter air from blowing into your house. Open foundation vents are probably the greatest cause of frozen or split water pipes. You will not only protect your pipes, but you may also reduce your winter heating needs. Be sure to remember to open the foundation vents again in the spring to prevent moisture damage and dry rot.

Protect Outside Pipes and Faucets

For newer homes, the outside hose bibs are frost free, meaning that the shut off valve is actually located deep inside the insulated wall. If you are not sure if the hose bib is frost free, when you turn it off and water continues to drain for a few seconds, this is a good indication that the hose bib is frost-free. If you are not sure or if you do not have a frost-free hose bib, then you will need to wrap the hose bib with newspapers or rags covered with plastic, fiberglass, or molded foam-insulating covers to wrap the faucet. Pre-made molded foam insulating covers are available at most plumbing and hardware stores. In some homes, the outside faucet may have a separate shut-off in the basement or crawl space. If you do have a separate valve for outside faucets, shut it off. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line.

Disconnect Garden Hoses from the Faucets

Prevents faucets from trapping water and freezing by disconnecting garden hoses. With our Central Oregon winter climate it is a good idea to not only drain the garden hoses, but also store them inside a protected area. This will make them last longer.

Winterizing Your Irrigation System Safely!

Many irrigation systems require blowing the system out with compressed air from a large compressor. Compressed air presents a public health risk to the water system as it can push contaminated water back into the drinking water system if not done properly! When paying for winterization using compressed air, Oregon law now requires use of a licensed landscaping business with the proper equipment and training to avoid potential damage to both your irrigation system and the public water system. 

Though do-it-yourselfer’s will still be allowed, all must follow proper procedures to prevent blowing contaminated water backwards into the drinking water system. We recommended checking with the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board,, or call them at 503-967-6291 to verify that the landscaping business is properly licensed with either an “All-Phase plus Backflow” or “Irrigation Only plus Backflow” license and learning how to “winterize safely”. 

Fire Sprinkler Systems Need Protection Too

Some newer homes and many businesses have fire sprinkler systems. Call a licensed fire-sprinkler system professional to determine if your system is protected from freezing.

Our Water Quality Reports are available for download in PDF format here.

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