Sewer Lateral Information

Property Owner's Responsibility for Sewer Lines

In the City of San Bruno property owners own the entire sewer lateral from their home to the point at which it connects with the Main Sewer line, (typically in the street). Ownership also includes the lateral WYE connection at the City sewer main.

All repairs of the lateral (both upper and lower) are the responsibility of the property owner.


If a city approved and permitted cleanout is installed in the sewer lateral within the correct setback, the City of San Bruno will place the lower lateral portion into a maintenance program. Lateral Maintenance includes:

  1. Clearing of blockages if possible
  2. Root maintenance using a root cutter and/or chemical root foam treatment

Anytime City of San Bruno staff determines that the lateral is no longer in a condition that can be maintained, it will be the property owner's responsibility to maintain or repair.

Minimize Clogging

The following will help to minimize problems with clogging of your sewer lateral:

  1. Avoid disposing of grease in your sink; when dissolved grease touches cold pipes it immediately hardens and will clog your pipes
    1. A good practice is to pour grease into a container (coffee cans or similar) and dispose of in the trash when full
  2. Do not overload your garbage disposal, it is not made for large amounts of debris:
    • Scrape dishes, pots, etc. into trash first, then rinse into sink and disposal
    • Do not put egg shells into garbage disposal they will collect on pipe walls
    • Always run water when using your garbage disposal
  3. Do not flush:
    • Diapers
    • Sanitary napkins
    • Wet wipes (even if they say flushable)
    • Any other bulky paper products