Public Works

Sewer and Storm Drain Unit
24-Hour Hotline (612) 673-5625
or call 311 for non-urgent issues

Sewer Repairs Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do if my sanitary service lateral was broken by a plumbing contractor I hired?

If a plumbing contractor damages your sanitary lateral, they are responsible for repairing the damage.

Who is responsible if my sanitary lateral was broken by a private contractor or a utility company doing work in my street?

If a plumbing contractor or utility company damages your sanitary service lateral, they are responsible for repairing the damage.

Is a permit required to repair my sanitary lateral?

Yes, a permit is required to repair a sanitary lateral to make sure the work is done properly and meets Minneapolis code. If you are hiring a plumbing contractor to do the work, they would usually get the permit. Plumbing permits for sewer repairs done by a licensed plumber outside your building are available by calling (612) 673-2451. 

Who can repair my sanitary sewer lateral?

A licensed plumbing contractor can perform outdoor plumbing work. Some contractors specialize in cleaning & repairing sanitary laterals.

Who can help me find the exact location of a public sewer on my property?

Minneapolis Sewer Operations at (612) 673-5625 or Surface Water & Sewers at (612) 673-2405 can help you get this information.

How can I find the location of my private sanitary lateral?

Minneapolis Utility Connections can help provide a general estimate of where your sanitary lateral enters the sanitary main. Call (612) 673-2451 for assistance. If you are doing excavation or sanitary lateral repair, you are required by Minnesota Statute to contact Gopher State One Call (GSOC) at (651) 454-0002 or at the GSOC website.

Do I need a sewer backwater valve on my sewer lateral?

Call (612) 673-2406 and describe your situation. City staff can help you determine if you need a sewer backwater valve.

Will the City of Minneapolis clean my sanitary lateral for me?

No. The City is only responsible for maintaining the main sanitary sewer and periodic sewer main cleaning.

Does the City repair sewer lines on private property?

No. The property owner is responsible for their sanitary lateral. Occasionally, there are instances when the City owns a sewer pipe on an easement or private property. In these cases, the City would maintain these pipes.

If I believe my sanitary lateral has a blockage, can the City determine what the problem is?

It is not the City's responsibility to determine the cause of a blockage in a private sanitary lateral. You can hire a company to televise your sanitary lateral.

What steps can I take with my sanitary lateral to reduce the possibility of a future sewer backup?

It is a good idea to regularly clean your sanitary lateral to keep it in good working order. If you believe there may be a problem with your sanitary lateral, contact a plumbing contractor to investigate the issue. 

I paid a plumbing contractor to repair my sanitary lateral, but the problem was in the public sewer. Can I be reimbursed?

If a property owner hires a plumbing contractor to correct a sanitary lateral problem, and issue was in the public sewer, the City will reimburse the homeowner for a portion or all of the repair cost.

You can obtain a claim form at the Risk Management Claims Office (330 2nd Avenue S, Suite 550, Minneapolis, MN 55401) or you can download the claim form from Minneapolis Claims Process.

Can the City provide a list of Licensed Plumbing Contractors?

Minneapolis Utility Connections provides a list of for Licensed Plumbers for both Indoor and Outdoor work, but cannot give personal recommendations.

Last updated Oct 22, 2018



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