Who Is Responsible for Sewer Maintenance and Who Can Help?

Sewer maintenance should be a top priority for any of the 80 percent of Americans who have a sewer system as their home's form of waste removal. Systems that are not cared for can create a health emergency, so this is nothing to ignore.

Doesn't the city take care of this?

While many homeowners assume the city is supposed to take care of their sewer lines, this is unfortunately not true. While the city keeps up to date with the care and maintenance of the main sewer lines, there are parts of a homeowner's sewer system that the city leaves in the owner's hands.

The city's responsibility begins after the sewer lateral

The sewer lateral is the part of a sewer system that transports waste from a person's property to the main sewer line. The sewer lateral extends from the building structure on the property to the property line and from there to the mainline sewer (or main sewer line). In most cities, it is only the government's responsibility to maintain the mainline sewer, and it is the property owner's responsibility to maintain any part of the sewer system that is on the person's private property and the part of the sewer that extends from the property to the mainline.

Where the problem is will determine who is responsible for sewer maintenance

The biggest concern for many homeowners is knowing whether a slow drain or sewer line leak is their responsibility. This solely depends on where the problem lies. If the problem exists within the sewer lateral or in parts of the plumbing within the home, it is the homeowner's responsibility. Identifying the cause of the problem is the first step to determine whether the homeowner needs to fix it.

Signs an inspection is necessary

If a homeowner is concerned about a potential sewer problem, an inspection and sewer maintenance should be scheduled. Possible signs of the need for maintenance on private property include:

  • Slow drains
  • A foul odor only noticed around the home
  • The sound of running water
  • Large trees in the yard
  • An aging sewer system
  • An older home
  • Patches of bright green grass in random places the yard
  • Gurgling toilets
  • Standing water in the yard

If any of these warning signs exist, it is time for sewer maintenance. Sewer inspections and maintenance should be performed once a year to ensure the sewer system on private property is kept in the best shape possible. Accomplishing this will keep expensive repairs at bay.

Get the opinion from a plumber

Since it's hard to tell whether a problem extends from the main sewer line or the sewer lines on private property, the help of a plumber is often required. A professional plumber can perform a quick and thorough inspection using tools like a sewer line camera to determine where exactly the problem is located. This information will help determine whether the city should be contacted and notified about a needed repair.

Maintenance could be your responsibility, but we can help.

If you live in a home attached to a sewer system, do not assume any sewer issues are the city's responsibility. It is important to receive regular sewer maintenance to ensure expensive damages do not incur on your property.

Call (562) 457-4206 today to reach Prodigy Plumbing Inc.

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