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Sewer

Have a Sewer Problem?

For sewer backup, call our 24-hour Sewer Response Service at 408-730-7400.

If your toilets are backed up, dirty water is backing up into your bath tub, or a sewer lateral clean-out in your front yard is overflowing, call us before you call anyone else.

Turn all water off and do not flush toilet, or use laundry, shower, sink, etc. until the source of the problem is located!

We will respond within two hours and will help identify what part of your system may be causing the problem if not in the mainline.

The City maintains all sewer mains through flushing, video inspection, manhole repair and removal of blockages. In general, sewer laterals (as opposed to the mainline in the street) are the responsibility of the property owner. However, as a courtesy service, the City will assist in locating blockages, and in some cases where a property line cleanout is installed, the City will even remove the blockage on your lower lateral.

Report a Sewer Issue Online

Roots and Older Pipes

Older sewer laterals with weak joints are sometimes prone to intrusions by tree roots. Contact us if it's suspected that roots from a City street tree may have contributed to a blockage in an older private sewer lateral.

Clog Prevention

Keep these out of your toilet:
Disposable wipes, even flushable ones, can clog sewer lines. “Flushable wipes” are one of the biggest causes of sewer backups. Throw all wipes and towelettes as well as condoms, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, product wrappers and paper towels in the trash, and not in toilets.

Keep these out of your drains:
Fats, oil and grease (FOG) clog sewer lines. Sewage backups and overflows can be the result of grease buildup. Never pour grease or cooking oil down drains or garbage disposals, home garbage disposals do not keep grease out the plumbing system. Only water should go down the drain.

If you live in a single-family home:

  • Scrape meat drippings, dairy products and sauces into your food scraps pail and place in food side of split cart
  • Use food strainers in kitchen sinks to catch food particles, toss into your food scrap pail, then discard in food side of split cart
  • Small quantities of cooking oil can be poured into lined food scraps pail and placed in food side of split cart

All residents:

  • Small quantities of cooking oil can be mixed with an absorbent material like kitty litter and disposed in the garbage
  • Drop off large quantities of cooking oil, sealed in screw top containers, at the SMaRT Station® for recycling.

Related

Sewer System Management Plan

Last Updated: Jun 7, 2019
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