City sewer maintenance

Learn more about the City's sewer maintenance responsibilities.

The City's sanitary sewer maintenance responsibility

The City is responsible for maintaining the sanitary sewer pipes in the public Right-Of-Way (ROW) and ensuring access for private connections. In Minneapolis, most sanitary pipes run down the middle of the street.

How Minneapolis inspects sanitary sewers

Sanitary sewer pipes, manholes and other system components are inspected by closed circuit TV. Emergency inspections are done as needed. 

Sanitary sewers cycle for cleaning

Sanitary sewer pipes are targeted to be cleaned every 8 to 24 months, depending on pipe size and method of cleaning. Emergency back-up calls are cleaned when crews respond to the emergency. Areas with a history of heavy root infestation or high levels of fats, oil and grease (FOG) typically require a higher level of maintenance and are cleaned more frequently.

Cleaning frequency of pipes

Sewer Maintenance has a scheduling system to provide historical information when sewer pipes were cleaned.

How we address infiltration and inflow problems

Sewer Operations records defects in sanitary sewer pipes that might contribute to Infiltration and Inflow (also known as I & I).

City's responsibility regarding private sewer laterals

The sanitary lateral is the responsibility of the property owner. The property owner is responsible for maintaining private sewer laterals so that sewage can flow through the sanitary lateral (also called a sanitary service) to the main sanitary sewer pipe. Please note that part of your sanitary lateral is in the Public ROW, as it extends all the way to the sanitary main and includes the connection point on the main sanitary pipe. 

When a failure or blockage of a private sanitary lateral occurs, Minneapolis Sewer Operations will verify that the main sanitary pipe in the public ROW is operating properly. If the sanitary pipe is working properly, the property owner should call a licensed plumber or drain cleaning service to fix the problem with the sanitary lateral.

Contact us

Public Works

Surface Water and Sewers


24-Hour Hotline 612-673-5625

Stand-by employee 612-490-5568 (outside business hours)

Call 311 for non-urgent issues


7 a.m. to 3:30 pm

Call the sewer operations stand-by employee outside normal business hours.