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Sewer Maintenance & Overflows

Sewer Maintenance and Overflows

The City is responsible for maintaining, and when necessary, replacing or upgrading the City’s sewer collection system. In order to keep up with these requirements, the City developed and adopted the Sewer System Management Plan (PDF) on April 21, 2009 (Last updated: July 14, 2020).  A component of the Sewer System Management Plan is the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Emergency Response Plan (PDF)

The Public Works Department is responsible for the maintenance of the City’s sewer mainline. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of the sewer lateral that connects the building to the City’s sewer mainline (BMC Title 8, Chapter 1, Section 107). The City will reimburse for damage to sewer lateral lines usually maintained by the property owner if the sewer lateral is crushed or displaced by City-owned trees located in the City-owned parkway (BMC Title 8, Chapter 1, Section 312). The City must inspect this damage prior to the removal of the broken sewer lateral. 

Another component of the plan is the City 's Integrated Pest Management Program (PDF). Public Works prepared the City Pipeline Rating System (CPRS) (PDF) to provide a customized rating system that will assist with condition assessments of the City’s wastewater collection system (last updated: December 27, 2019). 

A permit must be obtained for any work on the sewer lateral. View our guide on Sanitary Sewer Repairs (PDF) to learn how to comply with City requirements.  A plumbing permit from the Building Division is required for work on private property. Sewer and excavation permits from the Public Works Permit Division are required for work in the City-owned right-of-way. 

Emergency sewer overflows that occur on private property and/or sewer lateral lines maintained by the property owner are the responsibility of the property owner. The property owner should contact a plumber for the necessary sewer lateral repairs (PDF)

Public reports on emergency sewer overflows can be viewed at the California Integrated Water Quality System Project (CIWQS) Public Reports website.

Any emergency sewer overflows that appear to be on the City’s sewer mainline should be reported immediately to Public Works at (818) 238-3915 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For after hour emergencies, call (818) 238-3778 or (818) 238-3000.