> Home > Government > Department Directory > Special Districts > Wastewater Systems > Overflow & Backups - Questions and Answers

Overflow & Backups - Questions and Answers

What do I do when I smell sewer odors/gases out in the street?

 

Immediately contact the Lake County Special Districts Administration (707) 263-0119 to report the problem. After hours, the District’s answering service will forward your complaint to emergency stand-by maintenance personnel.

 

 

 

How do I report sewage overflowing from a sewer manhole out in the street?

 

Immediately contact the Lake County Special Districts Administration (707) 263-0119 to report the problem. After hours, the District’s answering service will forward your complaint to emergency stand-by maintenance personnel.

 

 

 

What if my sewer backs up?

 

We are on duty seven days a week, 24 hours a day. If you have a backup, contact the Lake County Special Districts Administration (707) 263-0119 to report your problem. We will dispatch a maintenance crew to your address to find out if the stoppage is in the District’s main or your private line (building sewer). If the sewer main is found to be clear, it is the responsibility of the property owner to call a licensed plumber or drain cleaning service  to correct the problem. The property owner is responsible for maintaining adequate flow to and through the building sewer from the property structure to the property line cleanout. If the stoppage is in the District’s main, we’ll fix it as quickly as possible and keep you informed about what is being done.

 

 

 

Who is responsible for cleanup as a result of a sewer backup?

 

If a problem with a District main caused the backup, we can help with the cleanup. If a cleanup crew is required, the superintendent will make the necessary arrangements to have the property cleaned and sanitized. If the problem is on the private side of the line (building sewer), it is the responsibility of the property owner to call a licensed plumber or drain service to correct the problem and cleanup the spill. 

 

 

 

How do I prevent a backup?

 

As soon as you notice slow-running drains you should stop using your home's drainage fixtures, call a plumber or the District office. If the problem is in the building sewer, call your plumber to clear the blockage before it gets bad enough to become a backup. Roots, grease and debris are the most common cause of blocked sewers. Take these precautions:

 

 

  • Roots: Don’t plant trees or large shrubs near sewer lines. Roots grow toward breaks and cracks in lines in search of a ready water source. If roots get inside the pipe, they form balls that clog the line.
  • Grease: Dispose of grease and fats with your trash – not down the drain! Grease in drains collects and hardens into a plug.
  • Illegal plumbing connections: Don’t connect French drains, roof gutters, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It’s illegal and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to undo any illegal connections.