Private Sewers &
Sewage from private homes must be treated to destroy disease-carrying germs and protect ground water quality. Most sewage from private property is conveyed through pipes from structures to public sanitary sewers.
Sewer laterals are pipes that connect buildings on property to the public sewer system and are considered private sewers. Property owners are responsible for operating and maintaining sewer laterals.
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Properly installed and operating backwater valves are also an important part of the private sewer system.
In some parts of the City, public sewers are not available nearby for connection or homes were built before public sewers were available. In these cases, sewage is treated by On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS), also called septic systems. Since septic systems are on private property, property owners have complete responsibility for taking care of them.
The City manages a number of programs that can help homeowners and businesses avoid common problems with their private sewers and septic systems. Please click on the links on the left to learn how you can save time and money on repairs and protect the health of your neighborhood.