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Get to Know Your Sewer Laterals

Typical SF Property with Sewer Lateral InfoLower Lateral Responsibility (A):

You are responsible for maintaining it, including clearing and jetting the pipe to keep the pipe clear and in good working order. Property owners are responsible for keeping the pipe in good working order by regularly clearing it or inspecting it using Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to identify any defects. And of course, by not putting trash, grease or other materials down household drains.

Upper Lateral Responsibility (B):

The upper sewer lateral is an extension of your home, even if you can’t see it, which means you're fully responsible for it. That’s why we encourage property owners to inspect and keep their lateral clear of trash, grease and other materials (anything not human waste or toilet paper) that can clog and damage pipes. Property owners are responsible for maintenance, including clearing and jetting the pipe to keep the pipe clear and in good working order. If the pipe is found in bad conditions, property owners must also repair and replace according to latest San Francisco Plumbing Codes.


How to Protect your Property and Environment?

Keep your sewer lateral in good condition and help reduce the risk of sewer backups. Never let fats, oils or grease go down the drain; compost it instead. Dumping grease down the drain can clog the sewer pipes, result in back-ups or overflows onto your property or streets, foul odors, and costly damage to sewer infrastructure.

Remember that your toilet is an “only-human-waste-and-toilet-paper-zone.” Nothing, except the 3 P’s (pee, poop and toilet paper), go down the drains. Visit for more tips and educational resources.

Important Resources


Last updated: 3/17/2020 5:14:39 PM