What do I do if my sewer line backs up?

If you encounter any sewer related problems or observe sewage running into the street or drainage facilities, call Public Services immediately at (650) 903-6329.

A backup typically occurs in a home's plumbing system or the lateral (the pipe connecting your home's plumbing system with the City's sewer main). Most minor back-ups in drains or toilets may be remedied with drain cleaner or a plunger.  If you are unable to clear the line on your own, call a plumber.  If the plumber determines the problem is not in your line, call Public Services at (650) 903-6329.

A City sewer main back-up is much less common and occurs when water or materials come up through a drain, toilet, or other fixture when a home's plumbing system is not being used.  This event may indicate that the City's sewer main is blocked and wastewater is backing up into your lateral line and home, and you should immediately call Public Services at (650) 903-6329.  If you call the City for assistance with a sewer problem, try to have all vehicles moved from in front of your home to ensure the crew has access to the sewer line.

City crews will clean blockages located in the City's sewer mains.  Property owners are responsible for clearing any blockages in the home's plumbing system and the lateral pipeline that connects to the City's sewer main.  If the lateral has a property line cleanout, the City as a courtesy will clean the lateral from the property line cleanout to the sewer main.  The property owner is responsible for damage resulting from an improperly constructed lateral, including lack of required backflow prevention devices (valves on your home plumbing system that prevent water from flowing into your home from the sewer system) or illegal hookups.

Where is the City's wastewater treated?
The City of Mountain View's wastewater is treated at the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant. The plant is owned and operated by the City of Palo Alto for the town of Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto.