Code 700.040 Update
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Understanding Your Private Sewer Lateral After the code 700.040 Update
Posted on 04/26/2023

Sewer Lateral Diagram

Each home or commercial building has a separate connection to the public sewer main called a sewer lateral. Under current Municipal Code, Section 700.040, it is the property owners' responsibility to maintain and repair their own sewer lateral up to the point of connection with the public sewer main. This includes both the portion on private property and the portion located beneath the sidewalk and street. 

How do I find out where the problem is?

When a sewer backup or other problem occurs, in most cases it will not be obvious whether the problem area is in the sewer lateral or the public sewer main. If this occurs, call the City of Warrenton at 636-456-3535 during business hours or 636-359-4108 after business hours. A representative of the water department will be dispatched immediately to inspect the problem free of charge. If a problem is found within the public sewer main, a work crew will be dispatched and it will be repaired immediately. If the public main is found to be clear, the property owner will be informed that the blockage is in the sewer lateral. In this case, the property owner is responsible for maintenance or repair. 

How do I proceed with a sewer lateral problem?

If the problem is found to be in the sewer lateral, the property owner can hire a contractor to make repairs or, if equipped, can make repairs themselves.

Once you are aware of a sewer lateral problem, it must be repaired as soon as possible. Sewer laterals that leak or overflow are a public health risk and can damage the environment. 

How can I avoid damage to other utilities?

When digging to make sewer repairs, it is very important to know where other utilities are located so that damage can be avoided. Most utilities subscribe to a locating service called the Missouri One Call System. By calling 811 or 1-800-DIG-RITE (344-7483), the utility companies will be notified that you are planning to dig and will mark the location of their utility lines.

What permits are required for repairs in a street?

If a sewer lateral repair involves digging in a street or other public right-of-way, an excavation permit will be required before any work may begin. Any excavation area within a city street must be completely backfilled with rock. Excavation permits are available from the City. For more information please contact City Hall at 636-456-3535.

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