It’s an age-old question if by age-old you only refer to modern times:
If there’s a sewer backup, who is responsible? The property owners, or the city, in this case, Santa Cruz, which oversees the entire sanitary system, made up of 160 miles of pipes?
The short answer? In most cases, it’s the homeowner, but let’s look a bit closer to understand why.
How the Sewer System Works
Any wastewater generated inside buildings like your home from showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, and other such utilities are moved from your indoor plumbing and into the sanitary sewer system of Santa Cruz. It’s designed for the controlled disposal of human waste as hygienically as possible, making sure your life is more comfortable, and the environment isn’t tasked with handling such a big amount of waste.
The public sanitary pipeline is the 160-mile line that transports the waste, and Santa Cruz is in charge of its maintenance, repairs, replacements, and improvement. But, the city is not responsible for the estimated 16,000 private sewer laterals that carry the waste from the homes and buildings into the public lines.
So the issue here is, where is the backup located? If it is in the public system, then Santa Cruz is responsible for clearing it, and maybe even liable for any property damages that result from it.
But, if the sewer backup is caused by anything located in your private lines, then the responsibility falls to you.
The city makes it clear that property owners must make sure the building’s sewer lateral which connects the home to the public line works properly. The mainline is usually located in the middle of the street, and the owner’s responsibility includes the portion of the builder sewer pipes under the city street, and the connection to the main sewer pipes.
How Can You Prevent Costly Damages?
Sewer backups can be caused by a lot of different things:
- Tree roots
- Damaged sewer pipes
- Heavy rainfall, etc.
Proper pipeline maintenance can help homeowners remove some of these risks, but the best thing you can do to avoid some costly repairs is to have a professional inspect your lines from time to time.
Some signs that could indicate a sewer line problem can include:
- Bathroom or kitchen clogs
- Strange odors
- Hearing water dripping, etc.
Having the pipes inspected recurrently helps you identify any problems with your pipes well before they get bigger and lead to more expensive repairs or even replacements. Additionally, your plumber will also make sure your piping system is up to code with the city standard, and make maintenance recommendations that can help you prolong the lifespan of your pipes.
Contact a Team of Dedicated Professional Plumbers
If you’re in the Santa Cruz area, and are in need of a team of plumbers to help you maintain, repair, or even replace your system, look no further than Anytime Plumbing Inc!
We also know that plumbing problems can hit at the most inconvenient times, which is why we offer round-the-clock services. Feel free to reach out to us at any hour, and rest assured we’ll promptly come to inspect your pipes, even if it’s in the middle of the night!
To find out more about us and how we can help, contact us here.