Sewer Overflow / Clogged Pipes

How Backups Occur

If you are experiencing a sewer problem, call us first at 707-644-8949, option 3 or extension 1702. 

Sewer lines can become blocked due to roots, grease buildup, or debris in the pipes. When this occurs, wastewater is stopped by the blockage and backs up to the first available outlet. This may be a manhole in the street, a sewer cleanout on a sidewalk, or, less commonly, in a toilet fixture or sink. When a sewage backup occurs, the District responds immediately. Our crew will locate the blockage and determine if it is in the public sewer. If it is, the crew will remove the blockage and clean up the affected home or business.

Property owners are responsible for internal plumbing and lateral pipes. Our crew will let you know if the blockage is occurring on your property, in which case you will be advised to call a licensed plumbing contractor to make repairs. A District permit is required for sewer work outside a building. Note: The City of Vallejo may also have permit requirements if the work affects public right-of-way, such as a sidewalk.

If you have repeated problems with your private lateral, and need to replace it, check out our Upper Lateral Program. It offers reimbursements for qualified applicants (you must be part of the program before fixing your lateral).

Preventing Backups

You can prevent sewer and stormwater backups by:

  • Never flushing diapers, feminine hygiene products, or cleaning wipes down your toilet. The only things that should be flushed are body wastes and toilet paper.
  • Never pouring fats, oil, or grease into your kitchen sink. Grease adheres to the inside of sewer pipes. It can build up and block the pipe, causing an overflow. Fats, lard, oil, butter, food scraps, sauce, and dairy products should be disposed of in the trash.
  • Properly disposing of trash, yard waste, and recyclables. These can find their way into a storm drain and cause street flooding.
  • Having your private lateral line inspected by a licensed plumbing contractor.