Sanitary Sewers

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Sewer Back-Ups

If a sanitary sewer backs up into your home or building, contact us. We will check out the problem. If the city sewer line is blocked, we will open the line at no cost to you. If the obstruction is in the lateral or home plumbing, you will have to have the line checked and cleared or repaired by a plumber at your cost. The responding crew will notify the homeowner if it is a city line problem (ours) or a lateral problem (homeowner).

The homeowner is responsible for the sewer lateral until it connects to the city’s sewer main. This connection is past the sidewalk and under the street.

This is different for water laterals. A homeowner’s responsibility for a water lateral is until the water shutoff valve (curb stop), and this is likely before the sidewalk and in a homeowner’s yard.

See the graphic below as an example.

Learn more from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District about managing water on your property and your privately-owned laterals.


Seasonal Services

  • Cleaning of all sewer mains and special locations on a programmed schedule
  • Responding to, investigating, and cleaning emergency back-ups
  • Doing spot sewer line repairs


For more information, please email the Department of Public Works Operations Division or call (414) 471-8422.