What is a Sewer Lateral

If you live within a city, or near city limits, your home’s sewer lines likely connect to the public sewer – rather than an individual septic tank. The public sewer lines are the responsibility of the city in which you live, just as the lines within your home are yours.

It is important to remember, however, that there is a line that runs from your home to the main sewer line. This long pipe, known as the sewer lateral, is your responsibility. As a property owner, you are responsible for keeping it flowing freely and repairing any blockages and breaks, even if the line extends past your property boundary.

How to Maintain a Sewer Lateral

Know Where Your Line Is

As a homeowner, you should know where your sewer lateral is located. This knowledge alone can prevent damage from digging or rooting, should you plant above it. Accidentally making contact with your sewer lateral can lead to major problems and expensive repairs, including sewage cleanup, remediation, and water damage.

It’s also important to know where this line is should you suspect a buildup. Being able to tell a professional where the line and cleanout are will help them quickly get started to diagnose and remedy your issues.

Prevent Sewage Backups

Simple habits can make a huge difference in the life of your pipes. Avoiding the following actions can keep your pipes clog-free.

  • Do not pour fats, oil, or grease down your drains. The more grease that makes it down your drain, the more grease there will be coating the inside of your pipes. Scrape standing grease from pans before washing, and if baked on, use a paper towel as a filter when pouring the soapy water out a soaked pan.
  • Do not flush wipes, diapers, or hygiene products, even if they are labeled flushable. There is almost always debris within your lateral pipe. It is an inevitable part of its lifecycle. If a flushed product catches onto any of that debris, it can begin to act as a dam, blocking all other exiting materials that come behind it.
  • Do not plant trees or large shrubs near the pipe. The taller the plant, the longer the roots – and roots grow towards water.
  • Get a video inspection of your system so that you understand your starting point and can address issues before they become problems.

Call Pipelining Technologies if You Need a Sewer Lateral Inspection


Should you experience a backup, break, or other issues with your below-ground pipes, our professionals can perform a non-invasive video inspection to find the root cause. From root intrusion to breaks, blockages, and backups, we are able to quickly and effectively examine and diagnose the issue and propose a non-invasive solution.

Beginning with a video inspection, we can map out your sewage system, including the lateral pipe. Based on the information obtained through the initial video, we then create a plan to clean, line, and connect any elements needed within the piping network.

If you are located within our South Florida service area, and would like a sewer lateral inspection and/or a sewer lateral repaired, reach out to us. Call 561-763-7202 today to schedule your appointment.

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