Nothing lasts forever, and a sewer pipe is no exception.
Property owners are responsible for the sewer pipe (called a lateral or side sewer) that connects the plumbing of their house or building to the public sewer under the street. The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San) is responsible for the public sewers, only.
While modern PVC (plastic) pipes last for up to 100 years, older pipes made from clay tile, cast iron, or other materials wear out much sooner. If your house was built before the 1970s, there’s a good chance the pipe is clay and could soon wear out.
As older pipes deteriorate, hair-thin tree roots can squeeze into joints or cracks. The moisture and nutrients within the pipe enable the roots to thrive and grow until they block or even break the pipe.
Sewer pipes can also get clogged by an accumulation of grease and debris (such as disposable wipes).
DO: Dispose of grease, wipes and debris in the trash.
How Do I Know if My Sewer Pipe Needs to be Repaired?
Have your sewer pipe inspected by a licensed plumbing contractor if:
• You have a sewage backup;
• A toilet or household drain empties more slowly than usual;
• Patches in your yard are always wet.
DO: Get a video inspection of the inside of the pipe to determine whether it is damaged or simply clogged.
How Much Will Repairs Cost?
The cost of a sewer repair can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars and will depend on several factors, such as location, accessibility, length of the pipe, depth of the pipe, cause of failure, type of material, and the number of connections.