Sewer Overflow Maintenance

Sewer Laterals & Cleanouts

A sewer lateral is the pipe that carries the wastewater from the house to the sewer main line in the street. Every building receiving sewer service from Milpitas has a sewer lateral. It is divided into the “upper” lateral and “lower” lateral.

The lower lateral is from the property line cleanout to the sewer main and its structural integrity is the City’s responsibility; however, the City is not responsible for keeping the lower lateral clear.
A sewer cleanout is a point of access at the property line where the lower lateral can be serviced.
The sewer main line is the pipe that carries wastewater from connected laterals to the treatment plant.

The upper lateral is also the property owner’s responsibility. The property owner must maintain sewer lines on the owner’s side (everything past the property line cleanout, including the upper lateral and plumbing within the home). A permit is required to repair sewer laterals. It is also the property owner’s responsibility to install a cleanout if they do not have one already.