Sanitary Sewer Backups
You can call us and wait to the call the plumber until you are sure the problem is a private one. Local plumbers often ask that you call the Sanitary District to rule out a public problem before they investigate a private one.
Before You Call a Plumber, Call 815 758-3513
If you live in DeKalb Sanitary District and are experiencing a sewer backup, please contact the DeKalb Sanitary District before you call your plumber.
The District will check (at no cost to you) the public sewer to make sure the public system is not creating your problem .
If your problem persists after the District informs you that the public system was inspected, cleaned or found to be operating properly, you may then wish to call your plumber to check your private service lateral.
The sewer pipe (usually 4" or 6") between a building and the public sewer, commonly referred to as the "building sewer" or "service lateral," is the property and responsibility of the building owner.
Problems in private laterals can be caused by:
- flushing items that should not be flushed
- pouring grease into the sink or stool
- cracks or collapsing of the pipe themselves
- improper connections between the lateral and the main
- intrusion of tree roots into the service lateral
Public Sewer Problems
The Sanitary District is responsible for the public sanitary sewer system. In most cases, the sewer main runs down the middle of the street in front of the residence or business, although there are exceptions to this in the older parts of town.
Because of the larger size of sewer mains, they do not become blocked as often as the private laterals, but if they become blocked, they prevent private laterals from emptying.
- Tree roots grow into public mains and eventually block them.
- Grease is illegally put down drains and congeals, plugging the mains.
- Construction debris gets into opened sewer lines.
- Lines with minimal use can't flush themselves properly and fill with sediment.
Preventing Public Problems
You'll see us around town doing preventative flushing of main sewer lines to forestall some of these problems. But we can't always know about backups and slow downs until you call us.
Since taking over the responsibility for the "Collection System" (public mains) from the City of DeKalb in 1987, the DeKalb Sanitary District has been working to reduce the number of problems that are caused by the public system.
Each year, District crews televise and test sewers to identify those most in need of repair or replacement. After evaluation, projects for lining, spot repairs, root foaming and sewer replacement are developed and put out for bids each spring with work taking place every summer.
Reporting Public Problems
The District can be reached at 758-3513. Someone is available at the plant 24 hours a day. If you are unable to reach anyone at 815 758-3513, you can call 815 762-1933.