Water and Wastewater Services - How to Prevent Backups in Your Sewer Lateral and in the City Main


  • Properly dispose of grease.
    Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water is unsatisfactory. As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.

  • Properly dispose of paper products.
    Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers, hygienic wipes and feminine products do not deteriorate quickly and can cause a great deal of trouble in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main.


  • Periodically cut tree roots.
    If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your lateral, you may have to regularly have the roots cut by a professional.

  • Replace your line with new plastic pipe.
    Plastic pipe will prevent tree roots from entering your line.  Our recommendation is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe.

  • Install a backwater prevention valve.
    A backflow prevention valve is a fixture installed into a sewer line (and sometimes into a drain line) in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in. Be sure to use a qualified plumber.

  • Correct illegal plumbing connection.
    Do not connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer.  It is illegal to do so, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any pre-existing illegal connections.