Sewer Maintenance Division- Property Owner Responsibility

Each home or commercial building has a separate connection to the public sanitary sewer main called a sewer lateral. It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair their own sewer lateral from the house up to the point of connection with the public sanitary sewer main. This includes both the portion on private property and the portion located beneath the sidewalk and street up to the point where the lateral connects to the public main. The drawing below illustrates the difference between a sewer lateral and a public sanitary sewer main.


  • Please be aware of where your sewer lateral is located
  • Check to see if clean out is overflowing
  • Check to see if tree roots are possibly causing blockage
Note: Human contact with sewage is a serious public health risk. Many waterborne diseases exist in household sewage. AVOID CONTACT.

Lateral Service/Typical House Problems

  • Plumbing fixtures are sluggish and/or don’t drain.
  • Lavatory sink sluggish.
  • Toilet overflows.
  • Toilet only flushes partially and without much force.
  • Tub or shower drains slowly and/or doesn't drain.
  • Water backs-up into tub or shower when toilet is flushed or when washing machine is used.
  • Disposal won't run
  • Disposal makes loud racket when turned on.
  • Disposal has bad order.
  • Disposal leaks under sink.
  • Sink drain or garbage disposal backs up when dishwasher is running.
  • Sewage surfacing in yard at the sewer vent just outside the house or at/near the sidewalk.