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Slow drainage is most often caused by an issue with your private side sewer pipe (lateral), such as offset joints, or inside blockages caused by roots or grease. The District has a Lateral Replacement Grant Program that can help you pay for a significant share of the cost for qualifying applications. If neighbors are having similar slow drainage, there may be a problem within the public sewer pipes. For service call the District at 415-259-2949. If neighbors are not having a problem, you may need to call a plumbing company.
Property owners are responsible for the side sewer pipe (lateral) that extends from the building to the public sewer pipeline. This includes both the portion within private property and the portion located beneath the sidewalk and street up to, and including where the lateral connects to the public sewer pipeline.
Start by calling the District at 415-259-2949. We will check to see if any diagrams or information about your property are on file. If not, you may need to contact a licensed plumbing company that may use a closed circuit TV camera (CCTV) to view and determine your side sewer pipe (lateral) location and path to the public sewer line.
Sewer permits are required for the following:
Please refer to Regulations and Forms for an "Application for Private Sewer Connection Permit and Requirements" or call the District at 415-259-2949 for more information.
Before making any sewer repair, always know where other utility lines are located BEFORE you begin digging so that damage can be avoided. Most utility companies belong to a locating service called Underground Service Alert (USA). Contact USA at 800-227-2600, or at 811 and they will notify the appropriate utility companies to come out (free of charge) to mark the location of existing utility lines before you dig.
Try to determine if the odor is coming from inside the house or outside in the street. If an odor is coming from inside the home, there may be a problem with the internal plumbing system. Check your internal system first or call a plumbing company for assistance. If the odor or problem exists outdoors, call the District at 415-259-2949 for service.
The District has two main types of sewer structures:
Both structures have solid covers with "Sanitary Sewer" normally imprinted on top. Occasionally, a separation between the base and the cover on either type of structure may cause the cover to rattle when a vehicle rolls over it. Call the District at 415-259-2949 to report a rattling manhole or rodding inlet cover.
An encroachment permit is required if a private side sewer (lateral) repair involves digging in a street or other public right-of-way. You can obtain an encroachment permit from the agency that maintains the street, which in most cases is your town or city. Call your local Public Works Department for more information.
The District repairs private sewer lateral connections to sewer pipelines that are broken by private contractors or utilities (MMWD, PG&E, Public Works, etc.). The contractor or utility is responsible for notifying the District immediately. Residents should call the District at 415-259-2949. It is important that you are prepared to provide the address or location, pipe size, length of broken pipe, and pipe material so +the dispatched crew will have the proper supplies to repair the pipe.
There are three distinct types of sewer/stormwater structures that may call for three different responses:
If you are not using your household water outlets, there may be a problem in the public sewer main. Call the District’s 24-hour customer help line at 415-259-2949 to request service. If your household water outlets are being used, turn them off to stop the running water. This indicates a possible problem in your side sewer (lateral). You’ll need to call a plumbing company as the district is only responsible for public sewer pipes.
If the overflow is constant, remove the cap on the clean-out or overflow device (if available) located outside the building. Use towels, sheets, rags, etc. to keep the sewage from spreading and damaging other parts of the house.