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Property Owner Information

As shown below in these photos, repairs to your private sanitary sewer service can be very expensive.  On this page you'll learn how to avoid the kind of damage that can lead to costly sewer repairs. 

Consumer Protection Public Service Video for Property Owners  Watch to learn more about what your city Sewer Utility can do for you.

2008 Sewer repair 4.jpg Sewer excavation.jpg 2008 Sewer Repair 3.jpg

Residential Sanitary Sewer Problems
If you have encountered a problem with your sanitary sewer service (e.g. sewer backup), your first call should be to Sewer Maintenance at (651)-266-9850.  All other calls can be directed to our Service Desk at (651)-266-6234.

 public private sewer graphic.jpg Do you know where your private sanitary sewer pipe is located? This pipe extends from the house's foundation and includes the connection to the City's sanitary sewer main. This pipe is referred to as a service or line. (See illustration at left.) 

Watch the Award Winning video: THE SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM: Whose Pipe is it Anyway?

Practices to Properly Care for and Maintain Your Sanitary Sewer Pipe

Does your basement floor drain backup, drain slowly or give off an odor? When a sewer pipe is emitting odors through your floor drain it can be the result of a pipe that is clogged either by tree roots or debris from a broken or collapsed pipe.

Has your private sanitary sewer pipe ever been cleaned and inspected?  Periodically have your private sanitary sewer pipe cleaned and inspected (using closed circuit camera). You should consider cleaning and televising your service if:
  • You have experienced problems with your sanitary sewer service
  • Your pipe is more than fifty years old

Televising costs generally range from $175 to $250. It's advisable to call several contractors for quotes as prices can vary. Once you've decided to have your sanitary sewer service televised, insist that the DVD be in color, have adequate lighting, include audio stating your address and date, and show footages. Be sure to keep a copy of the DVD. Televising Inspection Contractors.

To find a sewer contractor and cleaner, search the Yellow Pages, or call the Sewer Utility Division at (651)-266-6234. City-licensed House Drain Contractors. Call Xcel Energy's dedicated 24-hour Natural Gas Emergency Line @ 1-800-895-2999 before you have your sewer pipe cleaned.

Is there a sinkhole/depression near the house, on your property, in the boulevard/street or has rodent damage been observed?  Contact City Animal Control.

Inspect your yard for roots that might intrude on your sewer pipe -- lilacs, maples, willows and elms will invade sanitary sewer pipe during dry weather through cracks and offset joints.

Store grease in a container, let it harden and then dispose in trash. Never put grease in the drain or the toilet.
The garbage disposal is not a substitute for trash or compost. Use your disposal sparingly and flush with for at least one minute with clean water. Large food scraps should be placed in the trash or composted.

Cat litter, diapers, baby wipes, feminine products, hair, cigarettes, cotton balls, q-tips, and tissues belong in the trash and not down the toilet or sink.

Coffee grounds, eggshells and almost all kitchen scraps (except meat, cheese, bones, dairy products) can go in the compost pile, or should go in the trash.

How to dispose of hazardous household materials

Disposal of pharmaceutical waste

Repairing your Sanitary Sewer Pipe - Saint Paul Financial Assistance Programs

Saint Paul Sewer Utility Assessment Program:
for repair of private sanitary sewer pipes and connections.  Through this program homeowners can have their sanitary pipe repaired from the public main to the house.  The City finances the repair cost upfront, and allows you to repay the loan through your property taxes over a twenty-year period:  Assessment Program Application

Are you at least age 65 or disabled?  You may qualify for additional time in which to pay your assessment. For more information call the City's Office of Financial Services Real Estate-Assessments at (651)-266-8858.  Delayed Payment Requirements and Application Form 

Receive financial assistance for emergency home repairs:  Saint Paul Emergency Deferred Payment Loan

Saint Paul's rehab adviser services for very low-income homeowners:  CITYLIVING Home Improvement Program 

Saint Paul's Purchase/Rehab Refinance/Rehab Program:  Learn more about CityLiving.  

Repair of Private Sanitary Sewer Pipes & Connections and Private Rainleader Disconnect: contact the Saint Paul Sewer Utility at (651)-266-6234.

Residential Street Vitality Program (or RSVP) - If your residence/property is within a RSVP project you can have your sanitary sewer pipe replaced from the City's sanitary sewer main to the property line. NOTE:   Having a private sanitary sewer pipe replaced during a RSVP project allows the homeowner to avoid paying the street restoration costs.  For more information contact the appropriate project manager at (651)-266-6080. 

Helpful Links:

Storm Sewer System Charge 2015 Policy

History of the Saint Paul Sewer Separation Program 1986 - 1996

The Sewer Utility Division also maintains the City's storm water system.  Visit our storm water page and learn more about the system.

Learn more about damage to sewers caused by inflow and infiltration (or I & I), and how we test for this kind of damage.

Visit Saint Paul Regional Water Service page.

Xcel Energy's dedicated 24-hour Natural Gas Emergency Line 1-800-895-2999.  Xcel Energy site click here.

Call before you dig: Gopher State One Call 651-454-0002. GSOC site click here.


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