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If you are experiencing slow drainage, there is likely an issue with your private sewer lateral. Many times, it is caused by offset joints, root blockages, or grease blockages in your sewer lateral. The District has a Lateral Replacement Grant Program that can help you pay for a significant share of the cost for qualifying applications. If neighbors are having similar slow drainage, there is a chance that there is a problem in the public sewer main. For service call the district at 415-259-2949. If neighbors are not having a problem, you may need to call a plumbing company.
The property owner is responsible for the side sewer (lateral) pipe that runs from the building to the public sanitary sewer main. This includes both the portion on private property and the portion located beneath the sidewalk and street up to, and including, the connection point where the lateral connects to the public sanitary sewer main.
Sewer permits are required for the following:
Please refer to Regulations and Forms for an "Application for Private Sewer Connection Permit and Requirements" or call the Ross Valley Sanitary District at 415-259-2949 for more information.
When digging to make sewer repairs, it is very important to know where other utilities are located so that damage can be avoided. Most utility companies belong to a locating service called Underground Service Alert (USA). When you contact USA at 800-227-2600, or 811, they will notify the utility companies that you are planning to dig and come out (free of charge) to mark the location of utility lines.
Try to determine if the odor is coming from inside the house or outside in the street. If an odor is coming from inside the home, there may be a problem with the internal plumbing system. Check your internal system first or call a plumbing company for assistance. If the problem exists outdoors, call the District at 415-259-2949 for service.
If a sewer lateral repair involves digging in a street or other public right-of-way, an encroachment permit is required. You can obtain an encroachment permit from the agency that maintains the street, which in most cases is your town or city. Call your local Public Works Department for more information.
The District has two main types of sewer structures:
Both structures have solid covers and are normally imprinted with "Sanitary Sewer" on top. Occasionally, there may be a separation between the base and the cover of the manhole or rodding inlet causing the cover to rattle when a vehicle rolls over it. To report a rattling manhole or rodding inlet cover, call the District at 415-259-2949.
The District repairs broken side sewer connections to mains and sewer mains that are broken by private contractors or utilities (MMWD, page&E, Public Works, etc.). The contractor or utility is responsible for notifying the District immediately. Residents should call the District at 415-259-2949. It is important that you are prepared to provide the address or location, pipe size, length of broken pipe, and pipe material so that the dispatched crew will have the proper supplies to repair the pipe.
There are three distinct types of sewer/stormwater structures that may call for three different responses:
If you are not using your household water outlets, there may be a problem in the public sewer main. Call the District’s 24-hour customer help line at 415-259-2949 to request service. If your household water outlets are being used, turn them off to stop the running water. This indicates a possible problem in your side sewer (lateral). You’ll need to call a plumbing company as the district is only responsible for public sewer pipes.
If the overflow is constant, remove the cap on the cleanout or overflow device (if present) located outside the building. Use towels, sheets, rags, etc. to keep the sewage from spreading and damaging other parts of the house.