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Home Owner Responsibility (SLMP)

Home Owner Responsibility (SLMP)


Did you know that YOU, as a homeowner, have a responsibility with maintaining the sewer system?

Homeowners are required to maintain the lateral connection from their home, to the main sewer line, typically located in the street, or nearby easement. Maintaining the lateral includes keeping the lateral line flowing and free of debris such as roots, or grease.


The sewer system within the City of Fullerton is comprised of a series of underground pipes. Many are publicly owned; however, the sewer laterals are entirely owned by the private property owner they serve. The laterals extend from the building to the mainline within the street (or within an easement at the rear of your home). The laterals are typically four inches in diameter while the City’s mainline is typically at least eight inches in diameter. The private property owner is responsible for the entire length of the lateral, which includes that portion that may be located within the public right of way (under the asphalt and street landscaping).

Sewer backups can cause tremendous damage to the interior of a home. In order to minimize these, the City provides continual maintenance services for the public sewer mainlines.

Unfortunately, sewer laterals are often not maintained by private property owners until a disaster strikes. Out of sight, out of mind is a typical approach to sewer lateral maintenance and operation by many. It is our hope that we can provide you various means of addressing these issues and thus minimize your risk of an overflow entering your home. The three methods we suggest are:

  1. Maintain your lateral through proper cleaning, repair, and replacement. Tree roots can enter the pipe through cracks or loose joints.
  2. Do not place improper items into the sewer or make improper connections to the sewer
    1. Keep rainwater out of the sewer lines as it overwhelms the capacity of the sewer lines and may cause sewer spills.
    2. Do not pour fats, oils, and grease in your drains as these products harden and stick to the inside of the sewer pipes, which build up and may eventually cause a blockage in the sewer pipe.
  3. Install a backflow preventer and cleanout in your sewer lateral. Refer to examples pictured above.

Taking these simple steps can help keep the flow going, and prevent costly overflows and damage. The City of Fullerton Sewer staff is here to help answer any sewer related questions or concerns. Call us at (714) 738-6897.