Sanitary Sewer System

MCES 1-GV-461 Reliever Project

Sub Head
Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) is installing a new 18-inch regional sanitary sewer force main in Golden Valley (see project website). Most of the work along Xenia Ave and Turner's Crossroad will be completed during the 2013 summer construction season. The City will provide weekly construction updates.

Anything that goes down an indoor drain in your home or building enters Golden Valley’s sanitary sewer system. These pipes carry wastewater from homes and businesses to the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is located on the Mississippi River in St Paul and which treats wastewater for the seven county metropolitan area.

Operated by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES), this is the largest wastewater treatment facility in Minnesota, processing about 300 million gallons of wastewater every day from 104 communities and 800 industries.

Maintaining the Public Sewer System

Golden Valley’s 120 miles of sanitary sewer system consists of gravity pipes (trunk lines and lateral lines) and force mains (lift station discharge pipes) buried 5 to 50 feet underground, and lift stations.

The City cleans about 40 miles of sanitary sewer each year, completely cleaning the entire public system every three years. This process includes televising the sewer pipes to detect defects and potential problems.

Each year the City also evaluates the condition of utility pipes in its current Pavement Management Program (street reconstruction) areas and repairs and replaces pipe as needed.

Property Owners' Responsibilities

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.

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.

Cross Connections

Property owners are also responsible for making sure sump pumps, foundation drains, and roof gutter downspouts, are not connected to the sanitary sewer system. To monitor this, the City mandates a sanitary sewer inspection before a home goes up for sale.

Sewer Back-ups

If your sewer backs up only when a faucet is running or toilet is flushed, then the sewer back-up is probably in your sewer service. Please call the Public Works Department whenever your sewer service is backed up. If it is determined that the blockage is not in the City main line, Public Works personnel will instruct you to call a plumber about removing the blockage from your service.

If your sewer is backing up when there are not faucets running or toilets flushed, the back-up may be in the City sewer main. Call the Public Works Department immediately. Public Works personnel will respond 24 hours a day to remove the blockage source and remedy problems in the sewer line.

Who to call

  • During regular hours (Mon–Fri, 7 am–3:30pm): 763-593-8038 (Public Works–Utilities Maintenance)
  • After hours/weekends: Call the City at 763-593-8079. There is no charge for this 24-hour service.

Fats, Oils, & Grease (FOG) In Sewers

Congealed FOG coats the surface of manholes, pipes, and pumping stations. Blockages then cause sewage spills, manhole overflows, and sewage backups in homes, businesses, and local waterways, potentially causing a loss of business and severe public health impacts. Golden Valley is one of many cities with ordinances and regulations to control the release of FOG into the sewer system. [Learn more.]