Public Works

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

Sewer Repairs


I hired a sewer cleaning company to clean out my sanitary service lateral.  During this procedure, the lateral was broken.  What should I do?

If a sewer cleaning company breaks or damages your sanitary service lateral, they are responsible for repairing the lateral.

My sanitary service lateral was broken by a private contractor or a utility company doing work in my neighborhood.  Who is responsible?

If a private contractor or utility company breaks or damages your sanitary service lateral, they are responsible for repairing the lateral.

Do I need a permit to repair my sewer lateral?

Yes.  A plumbing permit is required to repair your sanitary service lateral to ensure that the work is done properly and meets current Minneapolis code.  If you are hiring a plumbing contractor to repair your sewer lateral, the contractor typically would obtain the plumbing permit. 

Plumbing permits for sewer repairs outside the building can be obtained by a licensed plumber by calling (612) 673-2451.  A list of plumbing companies that perform outside plumbing work on your sanitary sewer lateral is available from Minneapolis Utility Connections.  This list is revised each January.

Who can repair my sanitary sewer service?

You can hire any licensed plumbing contractor of your choice.  Some plumbing companies specialize in cleaning & repairing sanitary service laterals.  The City provides a list of licensed plumbing contractors.  This list is revised each January. 

There is a public sewer on my property.  How can I find out the exact location of the pipe?

Call Minneapolis Sewer Operations at (612) 673-5625 or Minneapolis Surface Water & Sewers at (612) 673-2405.  We have a number of information sources to help you get you this information.

How can I find the location of my private sanitary service lateral?

Minneapolis Utility Connections can help you determine the location of your sanitary service lateral.  They can be reached at (612) 673-2451.  The City has historical records about where your sanitary service taps into the main sanitary sewer.  Typically, the sanitary service connects from the sewer main to the sewer clean out on your property.  Please note the City cannot provide the exact location of your private sanitary service lateral.  Information provided is a general estimate only. 

If you are planning on doing any excavation, including repair of your sanitary service lateral, you are required by state law (Minnesota Statute Chapter 216D) to call or contact Gopher State One Call.  They can be reached at 651-454-0002 or at the GSOC web site

Do I need a sewer backwater valve on my sewer lateral?

Call (612) 673-2406 with a description of your situation and we can help determine your needs. 


Does the City of Minneapolis provide a sewer lateral cleaning service?

No.  The City is only responsible for maintaining the main sanitary sewer, and periodic sewer main cleaning.  The sanitary sewer main is typically located in the middle of the street.

Does the City fix sewer lines on private property?

No.  The property owner is responsible for their sanitary service lateral.  There are rare instances where the City owns a sewer pipe on an easement or on private property.  If this was the case, then the City would be responsible for maintaining and cleaning this pipe and any necessary repairs.

I believe I have a sewer blockage.  Can the City determine the problem?

It is not the responsibility of the City to determine where or what is causing a blockage in a sanitary service lateral.  You can hire a private company to televise your sanitary service lateral with a small camera.  There are sewer cleaning companies that offer this service.  We also offer a list of licensed plumbing contractors which may offer this service.

How can I get my sanitary service lateral repaired to reduce the chances of having future sewer backups?

Call the plumbing contractor of your choice.  We provide a list of licensed plumbing contractors, but we can't give personal recommendations concerning their quality of work.

I paid a plumber to repair my sanitary service lateral.  It turns out the problem was occurring in the public sewer.  Can I be reimbursed for my plumbing bill?

Occasionally, property owners call a sewer cleaning company to correct a problem with their private sanitary service lateral, and it turns out the problem was in the City owned sewer.  In these instances, the City will reimburse the homeowner for a portion or all of the cost paid to the sewer cleaning company.

You can either obtain a claim form at Risk Management Claims Office (330 2nd Ave S, Suite 550, Minneapolis, MN 55401) or you can download the form on the Claims Process web site.  Please completely fill out the claim form and return to the address above as soon as possible.

Last updated Jun 15, 2015