What Are Sewer Laterals and Who is Responsible for Them?

A sewer lateral is the sewer line of any individual residential or commercial building which carries all of the collected wastewater from that building’s drains to a Victoria sewer main. The drainage experts at Victoria’s Drainscope strive to inform all of our clients about the important role that their sewer lateral plays in ensuring that wastewater is effectively directed away from their property.

Many homeowners don’t know much about their own sewer lateral, and some are under the mistaken impression that some or all of the lateral is supposed to be maintained by the city. On the contrary, the entire sewer lateral, from where it leaves the building to where it connects with the Victoria sewer, is the responsibility of the property owner.

All maintenance costs associated with the sewer later must be covered by the property owner. Unfortunately, many sewer laterals go unmaintained because property owners simply don’t know what their maintenance responsibilities are.

Unmaintained sewer laterals are a major cause for concern, as they can cause drainage issues and sewage backups on the property they lead from, as well as a backup of the public Victoria sewer main that the lateral is connected to. Unmaintained laterals will eventually break down and become compromised.

Sewer laterals can cause sewer backups when they become blocked or clogged. This blockage can force the sewage back up through the drains which lead to it. If the clog makes its way to the sewer main, then the sewage will overflow to the nearest upstream outlet, which will typically be a Victoria sewer manhole.

Sewer laterals can become clogged by foreign objects sent down a home’s drains, such as sanitary pads, diapers, food, grease, garbage, and other debris. Sewer laterals are also often susceptible to infiltration by tree roots, which damage and clog up the laterals, preventing the flow of water. Unmaintained sewer laterals on older properties are very likely to corrode, crack, and deteriorate, and to simply collapse in on themselves.

One of the telltale signs that there is a blockage on your property’s sewer lateral is if multiple plumping fixtures on your property are not draining correctly. For example, if only your toilet is having issues, then the problem is likely high up in your drainage system. If, however, toilets and sinks in different area of the property are all malfunctioning, then you know you’ve got a blockage much further down.

If you notice that your drains are backing up, then it is wise to call an experienced plumbing company as soon as you can. You don’t want to risk more damage to your property’s drainage system, and you don’t want to risk causing a backup of the Victoria sewer either.

Drainscope’s experienced and knowledgeable technicians can quickly figure out what is causing your sewer lateral problems and come up with an effective strategy to get your drains going again. We can also perform regular inspections and maintenance. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by getting in touch with Drainscope today.

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