Property Line Cutoff

You are responsible for the entire length of your sanitary service lateral from your
building to the main line sewer. Its a good idea to take preventative actions to
reduce the potential for problems. Sewer backups in a home or business may be
caused by a number of factors:

1. A power outage can prevent your sump pump from working. To ensure that
your sump pump continues to operate during a power outage, you could consider
purchasing a backup power supply system which typically maintain power to a
sump pump for an hour or two.

2. Private service laterals can become blocked with tree roots. Roots typically
extend underground as far the tree branches extend from the tree trunk. If your
service lateral is within this area, it is more likely to have tree roots. Avoid putting
large pieces of food and grease in your sinks, dishwashers, and garbage
disposals. Sink strainers are designed to capture pieces of food that should be
thrown in the garbage. Grease can block your lateral. It is best to store grease in
something like an empty soup can. Let the grease solidify before throwing it in the
garbage. Construction near your service lateral can cause movement of nearby
ground and weaken it. If you suspect there’s a blockage in your service lateral, a
plumber can investigate it for you. Some plumbers have the ability to televise your

3. Main lines – The District televises the main lines every few years to ensure
they are in sound condition. Heavy rainfall (that’s supposed to go in storm sewers
and creeks) can enter the sanitary sewer from many sources and reduce the
available capacity of the main. If you suspect a main line is blocked, please follow
the guidelines outlined below in the section titled “Do You Suspect There’s a Main
Sewer Problem?”, and contact the appropriate government agency to investigate
the situation.