Your Home Sewer Plumbing
The sewerage system for a home or property is connected to the City sewer main through a sewer lateral. The owner is responsible for the maintenance of that lateral from the property all the way to the connection with the sewer main. This connection may be in the street, past the property line; on an easement; or in a canyon. Usually after clearing the lateral, a licensed plumber will assess the condition of the pipe by televising it. If the pipe has a break or a crack, the homeowner must repair the portion of pipe that lies between the house and the property line.
If the plumber finds a break in or collapse of the lateral beyond the property line, the licensed plumber should call the City's Sewer Emergency Line at (619) 515-3525 to file a Plumber's Report. The City will investigate within 24 hours.
If you are planning on buying a home, in addition to the Home Inspection specialist who will look at the property in question, it is a good idea to also get a report on the condition of the house's lateral connection by a licensed plumber.
The leading causes of public sewer spills, roots and cooking grease, are also the leading causes of lateral spills on private properties. Maintaining your sewer lateral, keeping it clean and open, can save you a great deal of money in plumbing and cleaning bills, and eliminate the aggravation a sewage backup will cause.
Keeping your sewer lateral in good shape
- Never pour cooking grease down the drain. Freeze it in a suitable non-recyclable container and dispose of it in the trash.
- Recycle large amounts of residential cooking oil or grease by disposing of it at the Miramar Landfill Recycling Center.
- If any cooking oil or grease gets in your drain, immediately flush the drain with cold water.
- Never flush non-soluble objects down your toilet. This includes food, tampons, sanitary napkins, cleaning rags, diaper wipes, etc.
- If you are having problems with roots infiltrating your sewer lateral, use one of the commercially available rooticides available at most home improvement stores.
- If you have a property cleanout, flush your lateral through the cleanout using a high pressure hose at least once a year.
- Be sure to use a licensed plumber when having your sewer lateral televised or repaired.
- Sewer Lateral Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Building Service Lateral Illustration (PDF)
- Maintenance of Street/Alley Sewer Laterals Policy (PDF)
- Sewer Main/Lateral Connections in Easements and Easement Maintenance Policy (PDF)
- Encroachment Sewer Lateral Connections and Maintenance Policy (PDF)
- Claims Related to Water Main Breaks and Sewer Backups (PDF)