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When is the City Responsible for Sewer Lines?


Who is responsible for sewer line repair?


That’s a question you’ll likely ask yourself when you face a repair. But even if your plumbing seems to run smoothly, you should know who’s responsible when it doesn’t.


Here are some things you should know about the sewer lines on and around your property.

Sewer water

The Basics

Of course, you’re always responsible for the sewer line from your house to the street. But even when the city sewer line is clogged, the repair costs could come from your pocket. Basically, the city is responsible for sewer lines starting at the main underground sewer pipe. That line carries waste and wastewater to your municipality’s treatment plant or other locations. The sewer main usually sits beyond the boundaries of your property.

Main Sewer Line

The main sewer line can be designed based on factors including the neighborhood’s age or geographic region.

Regardless, if the problems you have come from pipes that run to the main line, the responsibility is yours. Look for a plumber that has an “A” license and is qualified to work on those main lines.

you are responsible for sewer line up to Main Street

Upper and Lower Laterals

The pipes running from your home to the main sewer line are called the upper lateral and lower lateral sections.

The upper lateral includes both the cleanout for your house and at your property line. This pipe extends from your home to the sidewalk before stemming off to the lower lateral beneath the street.

The lower lateral runs from your property line to the main sewer line. Even though this section isn’t on your property, you could still be responsible for clogs and tree roots that extend from your property.

check your sewer with sewer line inspection

Insurance Coverage

If you find a problem exists in your sewer lines and you’re responsible, check your insurance coverage to see if your insurer will help. Usually, you discuss ahead of time whether this type of damage will be covered by your homeowner’s policy.

Sewer Line Inspection 

Your Responsibility 

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