Sewer Information

Spring Maintenance

One of the most costly repairs that your home may ever require is the repair or replacement of your sewer line. Damage to or blockage of your home’s sewer line can cause flooding of your home or possibly sinkholes on and around your property.

That is precisely why most municipal wastewater management divisions recommend that all homes have their sewer pipes inspected (sewer scope). Whether your home is a new purchase, a turn of the century home, or a home that is having minor sewer problems, having your sewer pipe inspected is a simple process that will give you piece of mind and can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Roots Infiltrations

Roots make their way into a home’s sewer pipes seeking water and nutrients. These root infiltrations begin by working their way in between pipe joints until they are able to grow inside the pipe. As roots continue to grow, the infiltrated joint expands and can cause the pipe to separate at the joint. This situation can create two different problems: 1) Root balls may develop and cause sewage to collect in the sewer pipe. This can cause ongoing backup. 2)over the course of time raw sewage may leak from the joint separation or separations and can cause the ground underneath them to erode and shift. A shift of the ground can cause pipes to crack, and joints to separate and offset. As the pipes shift, they lose their required grade toward the main sewer line of the city.

Pipe Separation

Pipe separation can be caused by poor pipe connections, shifts in the ground, and roots. It is also common to see pipe separation problems after extreme weather changes such as long droughts, heavy precipitation, or a succession of the two

Fractured Pipe

Pipes can crack and form holes when the ground shifts and causes the pipe to move. It can also be caused by roots forcing their way into pipes to find water and nutrients.


An obstruction or blockage could be the result of any number of things. Any items preventing flow can cause the collection of sewage and could result in a backup into your home. Just some of the culprits are: toys, construction debris (screws, brick, tools, etc) and grease build-up (shown in photo).

Party or shared sewers

Party or shared sewers collect the sewage from multiple homes and take the sewage via one pipe to a single common lateral that is connected to the sewer main in the street. This one pipe travels across the property of one party. Unfortunately, there are not reliable records of the party sewers, so they are handled as they require repair. When a party sewer needs repair:

• The sewer lines for each property must be separated and routed on the property of each separate structure then connected independently of the others to the City’s main sewer line.

• If a City sewer service lateral or a tee/wye fitting is available to the property, a connection at that location will be required.

• Under some circumstances site conditions may hinder independent connections to the City main. In some cases, separate private sewer lines may be allowed to tie back together at the curb line to utilize a common lateral for connection to the City sewer. This requires authorization by BES and cleanouts placed at the curb for future maintenance.

• If the party sewer cannot be separated, the property owners using the shared sewer are required to sign a maintenance and easement agreement. This agreement is recorded on all the deeds involved and a copy is archived by the City. Once the maintenance agreement has been completed, the parties involved are then equally responsible for any repair costs to the party sewer.

All proposed connections and party sewer work must be verifi ed with BES before starting work. Contact BES Development Review at 503-823-7761 for sewer location and connection information.