Your Private Sewer Lateral

A private sewer lateral is an underground pipe that conveys wastewater or storm water from your home or business to SD1’s public sewer system. As its name suggests, the private lateral is private property. It is owned by the property owner, who is responsible for its maintenance and repair.

Maintaining 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 vertical pipe from an underground lateral to the ground’s surface that is installed for maintenance access.
  • Remove any illegal 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.

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 a defective lateral.

If You Experience a Backup, Overflow or Pavement Failure

If you experience a backup, overflow or pavement failure, you should call SD1 at (859) 578-7450 (Option 1) and report your issue to our Customer Care agents so that SD1 can send a crew to investigate.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Plumber

  • Be sure the plumber you hire is licensed and carries full insurance that protects you and your neighbor’s property in the event of a catastrophe.
  • Ask for and check references. Through there are many long-standing and reputable plumbers in the area, longevity does not always guarantee quality 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 doesn’t ensure the workmanship will last the longest. Ask the companies clarifying questions about the factors that may have contributed to considerable price differences.
  • 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.

Lateral Failure Beneath a Public Roadway

When private laterals fail beneath a public roadway, repairs can be cost prohibitive to the private property owner responsible for them. The SD1 Private Lateral Repair Program was created to assist property owners facing this situation. Through the program, SD1 repairs the private sewer lateral and restores the affected public roadway as well as any curbs, sidewalks and drive aprons disrupted during SD1’s lateral repair work.

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 cases, if a backup occurs, the homeowner is responsible for repair, cleanup and replacement costs. 

Most insurance companies offer optional backup coverage on homeowner policies to protect your home in the case of a backup. Contact your insurance provider for coverage premiums and deductibles.