Sanitary sewer maintenance involving clearing obstructions with City equipment is to be restricted to maintenance of the sanitary sewer main and not private service lines. A main is generally described as having 2 or more private connections and is within public rights-of-way or easements. The following steps should be taken in the event of a sewer stoppage:
- The property owner should 1st call a plumber to inspect the private line from the house to the City's main. If an obstruction is identified or suspected, the plumber should take action to remove it from the line.
- If the plumber determines that the blockage is on the City's main, the plumber should then call the Water & Wastewater Department and either remain on-site to describe the findings, or provide enough detail on the telephone that the Department crews can accomplish their work.
- If it is determined that the stoppage is indeed on the main, the Water & Wastewater Department will clear the main.
- If it is determined that the blockage was instead on the private service line, the property owner will be responsible for the City's service call cost (minimum $25).
- The Department will be responsible for maintenance of a clear flow path in the main.
- The Department will be responsible for the structural integrity (pipe collapse or breakage) of the service lateral from the main to the right-of-way / easement property line. If an easement is not specifically defined, this point will be generally interpreted to be 10 feet from the main.
Property Owner's Responsibility
- The property owner is required to abide by the sewer use ordinance and not discharge non-sanitary waste that can cause blockages. This includes items such as rags and disposable diapers.
- Even though a portion of the service line is within a public right-of-way or easement, it is installed for the use of the customer, not the system. Therefore, its maintenance of flow and discharge capacity is the responsibility of the property owner.
- The property owner is required to maintain trees in such a manner as to avoid root intrusion in the sewer system.
- If an obstruction occurs or is suspected, the property owner should employ a qualified plumber to determine the nature of the problem.
- The property owner is required to have an approved clean-out both adjacent to the building and at the right-of-way or easement line.
- If the obstruction is in the private service line, the plumber is to clear the obstruction.
- If the plumber determines that the obstruction is not on the private service line but on the main, the plumber is to contact the Water & Wastewater Department and remain on-site to provide information to Department crews.