Buried underground, your sewer line plays a vital role in your home. However, few notice the inconspicuous sewer line until it comes under duress or fails entirely. And that’s when homeowners hit the panic button. If a sewer line bursts or backs up, it’s certainly a cause for concern. But before you decide to call the insurance company or gather estimates, you should know when the repairs are your responsibility or the city’s responsibility. Here’s what you should know.
An upper lateral sewer line is an underground pipe that carries waste and wastewater from your home to the edge of your property line. Here it meets the lower lateral sewer line which feeds the wastewater to the public sewer.
Almost every type of damage to a sewer lateral is the responsibility of the homeowner. This includes both the upper and lower lateral, even if it goes beyond your property. In some cases, the lower lateral may be the responsibility of the city, but this is rare. More times than not, the homeowner is on the hook.
Sewer laterals most often fail or burst due to age, tree roots, or the material they’re constructed from. In particular, old clay pipes are especially perceptible to damage, as they’re far more brittle than modern PVC pipes. In other cases, a blockage or a pipe handling both sewer and storm drainage can, also known as a combined sewer, can cause the sewer lateral to become overloaded, backing up into your home.
Fortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage to the sewer lateral. However, these policies can be costly and you may have to pay a hefty deductible before the contractor breaks ground.
At EPS Engineering we specialize in underground sewer. Our team of San Mateo Plumbers and engineers can help you assess the situation in order to move forward with the most affordable and feasible solution.
While some cities may fix the lower lateral sewer line, a majority of municipalities only repair the main sewer line. To determine who’s responsible, the city may have to send out workers to assess the damage. Once they dig, they can find out who has to pay for the repairs and they may even provide you with a formal letter notifying you that you must fix the sewer main.
Regardless of who has to repair the damaged sewer line, hiring the right contractor is tantamount to success and preventing backups or other damage from happening in the future. A company that has the right equipment, expertise, and staff is integral to the success of the project.
Moreover, completing the repairs with minimal interruption to traffic or the ground above is essential. If you can find a reputable company that uses trenchless technology, both municipalities and homeowners can mitigate the amount of money and time needed to repair roads, lawns, or landscape above ground. So rather than pay a high deductible or let the insurance company sort out your contractor, do your due diligence and give us a call. Your home and your wallet will thank you with our team of San Mateo sewer experts.