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Sewer Lateral Services

Did you know homeowners have a responsibility to maintain their portion of the Sanitary Sewer Collections System?

Homeowners are required to maintain the full length of the Private Sewer Lateral which extends from the property to the sewer main located in the street or a nearby easement. Maintaining the Private Sewer Lateral includes keeping the line flowing and free of debris such as grease build-up and tree roots.


What is a Private Sewer Lateral?

The Private Sewer Lateral, also known as "Sewer Lateral" and "Service Lateral Line," is a pipe that conveys a property's wastewater to the public sewer main in the street. Maintenance and repair of the full length of the Private Sewer Lateral is the responsibility of the property owner. The portion of the Private Sewer Lateral that extends beyond the property line in the public right of way is also the owner's responsibility to maintain and repair.

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What is a Sewer Main?

A Sewer Main, also called a "Sewer Main Line" is a publicly owned pipeline that receives wastewater flows from Private Sewer Laterals for the collection of wastewater. Sewer Mains convey wastewater through the City's portion of the Sanitary Sewer Collection System for wastewater treatment.

What can happen if a Private Sewer Lateral is not properly maintained?

If a Private Sewer Lateral is improperly maintained, it may create a blockage in the line which can cause raw sewage to back up into the property. Unfortunately, many Private Sewer Laterals go unmaintained until a leak or backup occurs and causes damages to the interior of the property. Unmaintained Private Sewer Laterals that become blocked or fail can also contribute to Sanitary Sewer Overflows in the public wastewater collections system, risking a public health hazard.

How can I manage my Private Sewer Lateral?

Repairing a crack or correcting a backup in the Private Sewer Lateral is generally much more costly than performing regular maintenance and adopting best practices. The following measures can help minimize the risk of a backup or failure of the Private Sewer Lateral:

Maintain your lateral through proper cleaning, repair, and replacement. It is generally recommended to inspect the sewer lateral every 5 to 10 years.
Install a cleanout pipe in the Private Sewer Lateral if one is not already present.
Never pout fats, oils, or grease in drains as these will harden and stick to the inside of pipes, potentially causing a blockage.

What is the difference between a sewer and a lateral drain?

What's the difference between a drain and a sewer? A drain is a pipe that drains water and waste from a building and other buildings which belong with it, for example a garage. A lateral drain is a length of pipe which carries wastewater away from your property to a sewer.

How deep is a typical sewer lateral?

Residential sewer line pipe depths range from as shallow as 18 to 30 inches in depth or 5 to 6 feet deep. However, in colder climates where freezes occur, you often see sewer line depths ranging from 4 to 8 feet deep. This ensures the pipes are below the freeze line.

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