Private Lateral Repair Program

When private sewer laterals deteriorate, they can affect community services, public health and safety by causing sinkholes, destabilizing nearby structures and leading to sewer overflows and backups. 

When these laterals run beneath roadways, repairs can be cost prohibitive to the private property owners responsible for them. To assist property owners in addressing this issue in a timely and affordable way, SD1 funds a private sewer lateral repair program. 

The program will allow SD1 to perform work on defective private sewer laterals beneath public roadways that may be contributing to a visible pavement failure, building backup or sewer overflow.

The Responsibility of Private Property Owners

Private property owners are responsible for maintaining their private sewer laterals, just as they are responsible for the pipes inside their home. As a result, SD1 is not responsible for investigating or demonstrating the cause of roadway failures, sewer backups or sewer overflows resulting from a damaged or faulty lateral. 

The private property owner must investigate and demonstrate that such a problem is due to a lateral defect beneath the public roadway before SD1 will perform the necessary lateral repair work. 

Private property owners remain responsible for repairing any lateral damage that does not fall under the public roadway and for any damage to private property caused by a defective lateral, regardless of where the defect is located.

When to Contact SD1

If you suspect a defect in your sewer lateral is contributing to a visible pavement failure, a building backup or a sewer overflow, you should call SD1 at (859) 578-7450. 

If SD1 determines the issue is not related to the public sewer line, you will need to call a licensed plumber to investigate your private sewer lateral. If the plumber determines the defect is in the lateral below the public roadway, the following requirements must be met in order for SD1 to perform services through our private lateral repair program:

  • You must provide SD1 with conclusive evidence, including a plumber’s video recording, showing that the problem is below the public roadway and cannot be fixed through routine maintenance. Routine maintenance issues, including root or grease obstructions or removable blockage, remain the responsibility of the private property owner. Video evidence must clearly show the cause of the sewer lateral malfunction.
  • Your plumber must locate the problem using a “locating device” and clearly mark the location on the surface of the roadway with spray paint or another appropriate material. Merely measuring the distance to the problem will not suffice.
  • Before SD1 will perform any work, the private property owner must sign an agreement holding SD1 harmless from any litigation resulting from the lateral repair project.

Who to Contact

If you are able to demonstrate that the lateral defect is located beneath the public roadway and cannot be corrected through routine maintenance, you should call SD1’s Customer Care Center at 859-578-7450 to request service through the lateral repair program.

SD1’s Role in the Program

SD1’s role in this program is limited to the repair of the private sewer lateral under the public roadway. SD1 also will restore the affected public roadway and any curbs, sidewalks and drive aprons disturbed through SD1’s lateral repair work.

Public Roadway Owner’s Role in the Program

In order for residents to benefit from SD1’s private lateral repair program, the public roadway owner (the city, county or Kentucky Transportation Cabinet) must have entered into an interlocal agreement with SD1.

Prioritization of Private Sewer Lateral Repairs

Funding for this program is determined during SD1’s regular budgeting process. Once the budgeted funds run out, SD1 will perform no further repairs to private sewer laterals until additional funds are allocated in the next annual budget.

Because funds are limited, SD1 also will prioritize projects based on the impact to public health and safety rather than on a first-come, first-served basis. Factors SD1 may consider when prioritizing repairs include the presence and severity of building backups, sewer overflows and sinkholes. SD1 may also consider the traffic count of affected roadways.

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