It’s happened more times than you would think: a drainage issue at the end of your sewer line is your responsibility, and not the city’s. You are likely to wonder, “When is the city responsible for your sewer lines?” But the answer is quite complicated.

First off, you, the homeowner will always be responsible for the sewer line that runs from your house to the street. That much is certain. However, even if the city sewer line clogs and water backs up into your home, you can be responsible for the repair bill.

Once that sewer line reaches the main underground sewer pipe, that is when the city takes responsibility. The design of the main sewer line depends on your neighborhood’s age and other factors like geography. That main line exists outside the reach of your property, where it will carry waste and wastewater to the municipality’s treatment plant or other locations.

The pipes that connect your home to the main sewer line are the upper lateral and lower lateral sections. The upper lateral pipe extends from your home to the sidewalk and then stems off to the lower lateral beneath the street. The lower lateral then runs from your property line to the main sewer line.

Although the lower lateral section does not lie on your property, they can still hold you responsible for tree roots and other clogs that extend from your property.

Sometimes, your insurance might cover the costs of repairs. Check your coverage to see if your insurer can help with problems in the sewer lines.

If you are buying a new home, consult a plumber to inspect the quality of the pipes, and that can give you an idea of whether you will need repairs.

Most of the time, you will be responsible for any drainage problems, even if they occur at the street sewer line. Luckily, you can prevent those problems from becoming emergencies with regular inspections. For more information on your responsibilities, or for any plumbing services, call Kellermeier Plumbing at 616-866-5134 today.