Water ResourcesSewer System
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Residential Sewer Problems

To report a sewer problem, please call:

Monday - Friday
8AM - 4PM
Outside Business Hours 960-8160

What should you do when your toilet, tub, or other drain in your house is draining slowly, or has stopped altogether?


If the problem appears to originate outside the house, call the Water Resources Division (see numbers above) prior to calling a plumber. Water Resources staff will be dispatched to check the main sanitary sewer line at no cost to you. The inspection information may be useful  to you should you need to call a plumber.

diagram delineating city and property owner responsiblity for sewer laterals

Diagram delineating City and Property Owner responsibility

diagram delineating city and property owner resposniblity for sewer laterals in cases with grassy strip between sidewalk and street

Diagram for situations with grassy strip between sidewalk and street

What Is the Customer's Responsibility?

The customer is responsible for all normal maintenance of the sanitary sewer service line on his or her private property. All problems on private property are the sole responsibility of the customer. If your plumber is unable to restore service, and the blockage is in the right-of-way (the area between the property line and the sanitary sewer main line) call the Water Resources Division while the plumber is still on site, if possible.

What Does Normal Maintenance Mean?

Normal maintenance is removal of materials that are flushed, dropped, or inserted down the sanitary sewer service line. These materials include, for example, toys, diapers, construction debris, and tree roots in the line between the property line and your house.

What Is the City's Sewer Lateral Program?

Effective July 1, 2000, the Livermore City Council approved a sewer lateral program for residents of singe family homes.

For Homes With a Curbside Two-Way Lateral Cleanout

  • If the problem is determined to be in the sewer lateral within the public right-of-way, the City will clean the lateral at no charge to the resident.
  • If the problem is determined to be between the home and the two-way cleanout, it is the customer's responsibility to correct the problem.

For Homes Without an Approved Curbside Two-Way Lateral Cleanout

two-way cleanout

If a home's sewer lateral does not have a two-way cleanout, clearing a stoppage requires additional plumbing work that will not be performed by the City. Residents are encourage to install a curbside two-way lateral cleanout. This will allow the City and plumbers to maintain the sewer lines. If a sewer lateral without a two-way cleanout requires replacement within the public right-of-way, it becomes the customer's responsibility. A cost-effective time to install a cleanout is when a plumber is already repairing or replacing a deteriorated or root-damaged lateral. Before replacing a sewer lateral or installing a two-way cleanout, the plumber is required to first obtain a permit from the City's Permit Center. The permit is required to ensure the sewer lines and cleanouts are properly installed. Call the Permit Center at 960-4440 for more information.

Questions about the City's Sewer Lateral Program? Call the Water Resources Division at 960-8100, or send an email.