What's Yours, What's Ours?

Sewer line diagramSewer Mains & Service Lines
  • Lift Station: A large tank underground where the waste collects from a large main. When the waste gets to a certain level it is lifted up so it can drain into another large main to keep flowing to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. There is a large box above ground with a red light and alarm on it.
    • If you hear an alarm going off or see the red light on at a lift station call the Department of Utilities immediately. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Main: The large pipe laid in or along a street is called a sewer main. The main is 8 inches or more in diameter with manholes to allow accessibility for service. The Department of Utilities is responsible for the sewer mains.
  • Service Line: The pipe from your house to our main. If the main is across the street, the service runs under the street. You own and maintain the sewer service line.


To protect you from back-ups and also to comply with the city's building codes you must have a backwater valve on any sub-floor drains (sinks, showers, toilets, etc.) in your basement. If you notice a backup in your basement floor drain, call the Department of Utilities first to check the main.

There is no charge to you and we are available 24/7. If the problem is in your service, you will then need to hire a plumber.


  • Service Lines: Codes require that repairs be made by a master plumber, licensed by the city. You must get a permit from the Department of Utilities before any repair is done. Your plumber determines if the sewer service can be repaired or will advise you of options.
    • You may call us to verify the type of repair needed. You are responsible for making sure repairs are made. Sewer service lines may not be relocated, repaired for modified without a permit from the Department of Utilities. Any work must be inspected by the Department of Utilities.