Am I Responsible for Sewer Problems?

Your home has its own sewage disposal system and line that runs out to the municipal sewer system. Problems in the municipal system are the responsibility of the city to repair. But at what point are you responsible for taking care of sewer problems? Where is the divide between what the city repairmen must fix, and what you have to call professional plumbers to fix?

We hear these questions frequently at Larry & Sons. Nobody wants to take on the responsibility of dealing with sewer problems, but if the trouble falls outside the municipal sphere, then you’ll need to have the best plumbing service you can find on your side. If you have questions about your responsibilities for sewer repairs, contact Larry & Sons. If it turns out that you need to take care of those repairs on your Frederick, MD sewer system, we can handle the job for you with the backing of our more than half a century of experience.

When are you responsible for the repairs on a sewer problem?

We need to explain a bit of how your sewer system operates and connects to the municipal system to answer that. The pipes in your home that remove waste water from drains and toilets all lead to what is called the lateral sewer line. This line runs in a trench dug beneath your property, under the lawn, patio, and sidewalks in front of your house, and eventually connects to the sewer main line that runs down the middle of the street. The sewer main is in the domain of the city—but you are responsible for the lateral sewer line, as well as anything that leads into it.

The lateral sewer line can experience a number of troubles that will damage it and require that you get professional plumbing repair. The most insidious problem comes from tree roots, which grow toward the nearest source of water and can apply pressure that will snap even the strongest, most flexible piping. The roots can also infiltrate the pipes and block them. Other dangers to your sewer line include landslides from catastrophic weather and solid objects accidentally sent down drains.

If you notice your toilets and sinks backing up, or noxious smells wafting from your basement, then you may have a broken or blocked lateral sewer line—and it’s up to you to get it repaired. Don’t try it yourself: you’ll need experts to dig down to the line and perform the necessary work. Larry & Sons has handled this kind of work on Frederick, MD sewer problems for decades, so make us your first call when the trouble with your sewer falls outside the city’s jurisdiction.