Sewer Stoppage Policy

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Sewer stoppages on private property are the responsibility of the property owner or property tenant. State law prohibits the City of Carrollton from expending public funding for repairs on private property. It is also an established policy of the city not to be in direct competition with private enterprise. Policy effective since November 1, 2002.

The City of Carrollton is responsible for maintaining the sewer mains located in public right-of-way and public utility easements. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of all service lines which extend from the City mains to the residence or business.


Who should I call if my sinks don’t drain or my toilets are overflowing?

Most common household plumbing stoppages are caused by grease or foreign objects clogging the service line from the house to the City sewer main. Call your plumber. There are several pages of plumbers listed in the yellow pages of your phone book. Consumer tips for selecting a plumber are available from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

Is there anything that I can do before I call a plumber?

Yes. Become familiar with where the sewer service line cleanouts are on your property. Some service cleanouts may have been covered with landscaping or with dirt when the lawn was installed. Look for these various types of devices near your home.

Depending on the age of your home, you may have a property line cleanout. This is an access point that is installed at the property line. With a property line, you or your plumber can tell more about the location of the sewer service line stoppage.

What do I do if I see sewage in the street?

If you see what appears to be sewage in the street or if any of your neighbors also have sewer stoppages at the same time, immediately call the City’s 24-hour emergency number 972-466-3425.  This is an indication there may be a stoppage in the City’s main - a condition which requires an immediate response by Public Works.

My plumber said I have tree roots in my service line. Isn’t the City responsible for removing tree roots?

The property owner is responsible for all obstructions which might occur in the service line. Your plumber should be equipped to remove and prevent the return of tree roots in your service line.

My plumber said that my service line is broken where it connects to the City’s sewer main but the City will not let him dig it up to fix it.

Plumbers are not permitted to excavate sewer services in the public right-of-way. There are several utilities in a small area which must be protected. These include telephone, gas, electric, water and Cable television service. Only City Public Works may repair sewer services in the right-of-way. Please contact Public Works at 972-466-3425 and request a sewer service call. Public Works staff will verify that the service line requires repair within the right-of-way and will schedule the repair.

How can I avoid paying a City of Carrollton service fee?

Contact a plumber to verify that the problem is not on your property or the City right-of-way. If a sewer crew is called out, you will be charged a $75 sewer service call fee during normal business hours ( Monday - Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or a $150 sewer service call fee after normal business hours.

My plumber said the problem is on the City side.  What do I need to do to get you to fix the problem?

The phrase, "it is on the City side" has many meanings.  So, the first step is to clarify the meaning with your plumber.

  • If there is a blockage or offset in the line beyond the City's right-of-way, the plumber still needs to unblock the line.  City policy defines the lateral service line beginning at the house and ending past the tie in to the city main as the property and responsibility of the homeowner.  There is no such thing as a "City side" on a lateral service line.
  • If there is a structural defect on the sewer lateral line somewhere in the right-of-way, then the responsibility of excavating and repairing the sewer line falls under the Public Works/Water Utilities Division.  This does not change the fact that the lateral line is owned by the resident.  Before the city will excavate and repair a structural defect in the right-of-way, the resident must provide a video tape of the sewer lateral line (provided to you by your plumber) that shows the defect needing repair.  After the Wastewater Supervisor reviews the tape, he will contact the resident to discuss the findings.  If the tape does indeed show a structural defect that needs repair, Public Works will repair the line at no cost to the resident.

I’m not happy with the work of my plumber. What should I do?

Plumbers are licensed by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. More information is available at Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

What is a property line cleanout?Property Line Cleanout located in the middle of a sidewalk.

A property line cleanout is a 4" round stack with a 4" sweep that is installed in the ground. It has a plastic or steel removable lid that is at ground level. The property line cleanout is made of a strong plastic pipe and it is usually installed at the edge of the easement just behind the sidewalk, roughly 9 to 11 feet from the curb. The property line cleanout is connected to the sanitary sewer service that leads from the house to the sanitary sewer main. A property line cleanout can be very convenient for you or your plumber to access the sewer service line for clearing stoppages. It is also helpful when it is necessary to send a TV camera through the sewer service line for assessing the conditions of the pipe.  Without the property line cleanout, you or your plumber can only access your sanitary sewer service from the cleanouts at your house.Property Line Cleanout located in the grass, near a sidewalk.

I don’t have a property line cleanout. How can I have one installed?

Contact your plumber. He will need a permit from the City of Carrollton Building Inspection before starting any work to install a property line cleanout.  Consumer tips for selecting a plumber are available from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

I have raw sewage in my house. Who is going to clean this up?

Your costs for cleaning may be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Companies that specialize in cleaning and restoration can be found in the yellow pages under "Fire and Water Damage Restoration."

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