Private Lateral Repair Program

Private Sewer Laterals

A private sewer lateral is an underground pipe that is part of your home or other building’s plumbing. It conveys wastewater or storm water from your property to SD1’s public sewer system. A property owner is responsible for the sewer lateral that connects an individual building’s plumbing to SD1’s sewer. Individual property owners are responsible for maintaining their laterals, just like other pipes in and around the building. It is important that property owners take care of their private sewer laterals in order to protect their home or business and the environment. 

How can you maintain your private sewer lateral?

  • Clear roots, grease, debris or other blockages in the lateral all the way to the connection with the sewer main. This may require assistance from a plumber or the installation of a cleanout. A cleanout is a vertical pipe from an underground lateral to the ground’s surface and is installed for maintenance access.
  • Remove any prohibited storm water connections to the sanitary sewer system. Improper connections include roof downspouts, groundwater sump pumps, foundation drains and drains from window wells, driveways, etc. This extra water may overload the sanitary sewer system and cause sewage overflows or basement backups.
View our Maintaining Your Private Sewer Lateral brochure.

What are the signs of a defective lateral?

If a home or other building is experiencing blockages or sewer backups, or if sewage is overflowing into the environment, your private lateral may be defective. Sinkholes can also be a sign of defective laterals.

What should you do if you experience a backup, overflow or pavement failure?

Call SD1 at 859-578-7450 and report your issue to our customer contact agents. SD1 will dispatch a crew to visit your property and investigate your concern.

If you need a plumber, what are some factors to consider when choosing a service provider?

  • Evidence of being licensed and insured. Be sure that the plumber you hire is licensed and carries full insurance that protects you and your neighbor’s property in the event of a catastrophe.
  • Experience. Ask for and check references. Though there are many long-standing and reputable plumbers in the area, longevity does not always guarantee quality service.
  • Price of service. Ask for a flat, fixed quote so you know exactly what you will pay. Get more than one bid or quote for the job, but make sure you are comparing apples to apples for the same service level. The lowest price does not ensure the workmanship will last the longest. Ask the companies clarifying questions about the factors that may have contributed to considerable price differences.
  • Guarantee. Ask about the company’s guarantee. Is it money back? Is it limited in any way? Is it written on your bid or quote? Reputable plumbers with a history of good performance standards should be willing to provide some level of guarantee.

Does SD1 assist with private lateral repairs?

When private laterals fail beneath the public roadway, repairs can be cost prohibitive to the private property owner responsible for them. SD1 may be able to help in these situations through our private sewer lateral repair program. Check out our Private Lateral Repair Program FAQs.

Should you purchase sewage backup insurance?

Did you know that if sewage backs up into your home, insurance does not generally cover damage and cleanup costs? In most instances, if a backup occurs, the homeowner is responsible for repair, cleanup and replacement costs, including the arrangement of repairs and cleanup. Most insurance companies offer optional backup coverage on homeowner policies to protect your home in the case of a potential backup. Please contact your insurance agent for coverage premiums and deductibles.
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