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Jun 30

Sewer Lateral Plunging Policy

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 11:01 AM by Linda Rooney

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The pipes that convey sewage, both the private and the municipal/public segments of the system, can clog for a variety of reasons. Frequently the clogs result from lodged debris such as grease or non-biodegradable sani-wipes, and general pipe failure.  

In Lansdowne the entire length of a private sewer lateral - from the house to the public sewer main - is the responsibility of the private property owner. The property owner is responsible for both making sure the pipe is clear so that sewage discharge reaches the public sewer main to insure that the private sewer lateral pipe is not compromised and leaking toxins into surrounding soils.  

Lansdowne Borough sewer maintenance crews are frequently called on to clear blockages of the municipal sewer (main) pipes that collect discharge from the sewer laterals. The most frequent cause of a sewer main blockage is also grease and/or an aggregation of sani-wipes. 

An increasingly common scenario occurs when a property owner experiences evidence of an obstruction and calls the borough BEFORE investigating whether the sewer lateral is clear.  However, Inspection and plunging of the sewer cleanout should be the first step (before contacting the Borough) when investigating and taking action to clear a private sewer lateral. If plunging action does not produce results the property owner should call a plumber to further investigate the cause of the obstruction.  

If notified, the Borough can and does provide a single plunge of a private sewer cleanout but can only do so during the times between 8am and 3pm during the weekday.  If the Borough is called to clear a sewer lateral outside of this time window the borough will impose a fee of $200 regardless whether or not a clean out is plunged or if an actual plunge is successful or not. If a lateral is clogged please check with your neighbors BEFORE contacting the Borough. If more than one lateral is clogged there is a higher likelihood that the public sewer main is the root cause of the clog.