Sanitary Sewer Program

The City has 180 miles of public sanitary sewer mains, 4,800 manholes, and 24 lift stations within its collective system. It follows the Sanitary Sewer Policy to prevent backups and extend the life of the system. It documents, trains staff, keeps maintenance records current, and provides education to the public to support the City's efforts to maintain its sanitary sewer system.

Routine Maintenance & Inspection Goals Sewer Backup

The City maintains the public sanitary sewers including sanitary sewer mains, manholes, lift stations, and other components. The City's goal is to clean the sanitary sewer system mains every 3 to 5 years.

Private property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of sanitary sewer components from their property up to and including the connection to the public system (City Code Section 28-91).

Sewer Backups
Occasionally, a blockage in a sewer main or sewer service results in a backup of sanitary sewage into a private home.

When your sewer backs up, contact the City first:

The City is not usually responsible when a sewer backs up. There are many reasons for backups, which the City cannot control. For example, people dumping items like grease or diapers into the system can create a blockage. Tree roots can grow into and obstruct the lines. Generally, the City is responsible only if it was negligent in maintaining the sewer lines. Sometimes your homeowner's insurance will pay for sewer backups. Not all policies have this coverage, so check with your agent. If you feel that the damage occurred as a direct result of the City's negligence, you can file an insurance claim by calling Amy Murray, Risk & Safety Coordinator, 952-903-5779 or [email protected].

For large clean-ups, you should probably call a cleaning service. Your insurance carrier might have suggestions on which service to use or you can look into the Yellow Pages under "Water Damage Restoration" or "House Cleaning." For smaller areas, you can clean yourself, use a solution of two tablespoons of chlorine bleach in one gallon of water. To reduce health hazards, thoroughly clean the areas affected by the backup as soon as possible.

Disposing of Fats, Oils & Grease

Fats, Oil, and Grease, known collectively as FOG, forms from food scraps and waste dumped into the sewer and drains. It damages the city sewer system, creates blockages, and is one of the main causes of sewer overflows. Avoid dumping common household items into the drains like grease, cooking oil, and butter.

Helpful Documents & Resources: