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Sewer Line Breaks and Repairs

Periodically sewer lines may back up or break for various reasons. By taking certain preventive actions or promptly making repairs can reduce the costs and inconveniences due to sewer backups or breaks. The following information is a guide to sewer line maintenance. 

Causes of Sewer Line Breaks
Some of the most common reasons for sewer backups or breaks is due to the age and deterioration, tree roots growing in the lines.  Another possible cause is due to freezing that may occur from extremely cold temperatures sometimes related to the lack of snow cover and frost. A clogged line may also create a break in the line under certain circumstances.

Who To Contact

  • First, Contact the City. Staff will determine if the break is located in the City portion of the line or private portion of the sewer line. If the break is noticed after normal business hours, contact 911 and City staff will be contacted.
  • Contact a Licensed Contractor.  If the break in the sewer line is located in the private portion, the property owner should contact a licensed contractor to make repairs. 

Making Repairs

  • A building permit (Sewer/Water Permit) must be obtained from the City for certain repairs. Contact the Building & Community Standards Department for permit information.
  • The contractor may be required to call Gopher State One Call at (651) 454-8388 if any digging will be required.
  • Inspections are required. In an emergency situation, the City inspector will accommodate the contractor regarding timing of the inspection. Three inspections may be required as part of the work performed. 
    1. Underground sewer/water
    2. View of type of replacement pipe and connectors, and
    3. Final inspection. 

Additional Resources