Questions and Answers About Sewer Laterals and Building Sewer Compliance
What is a sewer lateral?
A sewer lateral is the section of pipe from the property line to the mainline sewer in the street. This section is sometimes referred to as the “public” side. The section of pipe between the property line and the structure is called the building sewer. This section is sometimes referred to as the “private” side. Every building receiving sewer service has at least one building sewer and sewer lateral.
Who owns the sewer lateral?
The sewer lateral (the section between the property line and the mainline sewer) is owned and maintained by the District. The building sewer (the section between the property line and the structure) is owned and maintained by the property owner. It is private property, considered part of the house. Typically, a property line cleanout is installed by the homeowner at the property line.
Does the District provide a sewer lateral (cleaning) service?
For sewer laterals with installed property line cleanouts, the District will clean the lateral sewer from the cleanout to the mainline. If at the time of connection to an existing lateral, the property owner or contractor did not install a property line cleanout, it is the property owner’s responsibility to install one. The property line cleanout allows access to the county maintained section of pipe in order to clear blockages from the property line to the main.
What is a sewer cleanout?
A sewer cleanout is a point of access where the sewer lateral can be serviced. It usually is 4” in diameter and has a tight-fitting steel or plastic cap over it. Two cleanouts are typically installed at each house or building. One is located just outside of the building (plumbing cleanout), and one is located at the property line (property line cleanout).
How can I tell if my home has a sewer cleanout?
Visually inspect your front or rear yard for a sewer cleanout box. A cleanout looks like the end of a pipe with a cap on it. All cleanouts must be properly capped with a tight-fitting steel or plastic cap.
I cannot locate my sewer cleanout? What can I do?
If you are unsuccessful in locating one, you either do not have one or it may be buried under dirt or concrete. A plumber can assist you in locating it.
Can I get the District to install a sewer cleanout if I do not have one?
No. Sewer cleanouts belong to the property owner. It is the responsibility of the property owner to install a property line cleanout.
What do I have to do to get a sewer cleanout installed at my home/business?
Contact your local building department and request a permit for a sewer cleanout installation. Then hire a licensed plumbing contractor to perform the installation. This installation will be inspected by Special District staff.