Maintaining Your Underground Utilities

underground utility diagram

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You are responsible for maintaining the utilities under your yard and corresponding right-of-way.

Routine Maintenance and Preventing Backups

Property owners are responsible for cleaning, maintaining, and repairing their sewer service (from their homes or businesses to the sewer main), including the connection at the main (see illustration at right).

Property owners are also responsible for making sure sump pumps, foundation drains, and roof gutter downspouts are not connected to the sanitary sewer system (see inflow & infiltration).

Many sewer problems can be avoided through regular maintenance. If you have your sewer service cleaned and had roots removed, please notify the Public Works Department. Roots often travel downstream to a manhole where they can cause a back-up to the main line.

The number one way to avoid sewer backups is by simply watching what you put down the drains. Pipes are like arteries. Grease and soap residue build up over time and lead to clogs. If you’ve had a history of backups, a routine sewer cleaning is recommended. In any case, a sewer check-up once every two years doesn’t hurt. Think of it as a seweroscopy.

What To Do About Sewer Backups

Because of the City’s regular maintenance program, only a small percentage of sewer backups in Golden Valley are caused by problems in City sewer lines (such as tree roots growing into the sewer). The City of Golden Valley is not responsible or liable for a sewer blockage unless there is a clear demonstration of negligence on its part. However, it’s important to call the City whenever a sewer backup occurs (763-593-8079). Public Works personnel will respond 24 hours a day to make sure the City sewer line is clear.

In many cases, sewer backups are caused by a build-up of grease and soap residue in your sewer line. Catastrophic events, such as weather problems or electricity loss, are other possible causes. To find a company that will locate and clear your sewer blockage, look in the Yellow Pages under “Sewer Cleaning” or do a web search.

What to do if your basement is flooding?