What is a sewer lateral?
A sewer lateral is the pipe that carries the wastewater from the house to
the sanitary sewer main line in the street. Every building receiving sewer
service from Redwood City has at least one sewer lateral.
What is the sewer main line?
A utility pipe that carries wastewater from the connected laterals to the
wastewater treatment plant (via sewer force or gravity main).
Redwood City provide a sewer lateral (cleaning) service?
Yes. Upon request and only to households that have sewer cleanouts located
at the resident’s property line (near the sidewalk), Redwood City
will provide a cleaning (snaking) service from the cleanout to the sewer
does the “public” side and the “private” side of
my sewer lateral mean?
The “public” side (also called the lower lateral) of the sewer
lateral is the city’s responsibility. It refers to the section of the
lateral between the sewer cleanout (usually located at the resident’s
property line) and the sewer main line out in the street.
The “private” side refers to all plumbing lines that are located
inside the property line from sewer cleanout to the house. The private side
of the sewer lateral is the property owner’s responsibility and is
not serviced by city maintenance personnel.
Does the city
fix sewer lines on private property?
No. The area between the sewer cleanout and the house (owner’s side)
is the responsibility of the property owner and must be repaired/serviced
by the owner or designated service personnel.
Do I need a permit
to repair my sewer lateral?
Yes. A permit is required to repair the sewer lateral. A city engineer will
inspect the lateral to validate that the work was performed according to
code. If you need guidance as to policies or procedures please contact the
Engineering and Construction Division at 650-780-7380.
How do I get a permit?
Permits can be obtained at Redwood City Hall, 1017 Middlefield. They are
issued by the Engineering and Construction Division. Just ask for a permit
for sewer repair.
can I get my sewer lateral repaired so I will not have anymore sewer backups?
First, request servicing by city maintenance staff. Go to the Report
Problems web page and submit a report or call 650-780-7464. If the problem
recurs following the maintenance services, the sewer lateral may be damaged,
call 650-780-7464 and request a tv/video inspection of the lateral between
the cleanout and the main line.
do I do when I smell sewer odors/gases out in the street?
Immediately contact Public Works by calling (650) 780-7464, if calling
between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or go to the Report
Problems web page and submit a report. For after hours service you may
call dispatch at 780-7190.
do I report sewage overflowing from a sewer manhole out in the street?
Immediately contact Public Works by calling (650) 780-7464. After
hours, call dispatch at 780-7190.
What is a sewer cleanout?
A sewer cleanout is a point of access at the property line where the sewer
lateral can be serviced. It usually is 4” in diameter and has a steel
or plastic cover over it.
How can I tell
if my home has a sewer cleanout?
Visually inspect your front or rear yard for a sewer cleanout box.
I cannot locate
my sewer cleanout? What can I do?
If you are unsuccessful in locating one, you either do not have one or it
may be buried under dirt or concrete. A plumber can assist you in locating
I get Redwood City to install a sewer cleanout if I do not have one?
No. Sewer cleanouts belong to the property owner. It is the responsibility
of the property owner to install a property line cleanout.
do I have to do to get a sewer cleanout installed at my home/business?
Contact the Engineering and Construction Division at 650-780-7380 and request
a permit for a sewer cleanout installation. Then hire a licensed plumbing
contractor to perform the installation.