Public Works

Sewer and Storm Drain Unit
24-Hour Hotline (612) 673-5625
or call 311 for non-urgent issues

Home Sewer Maintenance

What is the property owner's responsibility?

The property owner is responsible for the sanitary service lateral which connects your home or building to the public sanitary sewer system. The sanitary service is the pipe which extends from inside the building to the sanitary sewer main in the street. The connection to the sewer main is a part of the service lateral and is also the property owner's responsibility.

As a homeowner, what is my role regarding sewage overflow?

You are responsible for the maintenance and repair of your lateral. A cracked, deteriorated or root filled lateral can allow groundwater to seep into your sanitary service, as well as the sanitary sewer system, which contributes to the problem. If your lateral is in poor condition, or restrictions exist in your lateral, blockages of the flow of sewage from your property to the sanitary sewer can occur. This can also result in backups into your basement, causing property damage and potential health concerns.

You are required to correct any improper connections, such as roof drains, downspouts, driveway drains, foundation drains or sump pumps connected directly to the sanitary sewer. The stormwater collected from these devices must be disconnected from the sanitary sewer, This stormwater must be managed on your property or redirected to the storm drain system. Read more about the Combined Sewer Overflow program.

Is my service affected by what I put down the drain?

Yes! Do not dispose of Fats, Oil & Grease (known as FOG) down any sink drain or the toilet inside your home.


Wipe or scrape plates, pots & pans before washing them, placing this food material in the trash. Limiting what goes down your drain will help keep your sanitary service working properly. Sanitary napkins, bandages, coffee grounds, eggshells, kitty litter, diapers or any items that will not totally dissolve should be placed in your trash. Hazardous materials such as motor oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze, paint, turpentine and household cleaners should be properly disposed of at hazardous waste collection sites. Be careful what you put down your drain!

What kinds of problems do Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) cause?

If FOG enters your service lateral and then the sewer system, it will solidify as it cools. This material can cause your sewer to back-up into your building, as well as other buildings on the same line.FOG can also lead to property damage.

Last updated Feb 14, 2017



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