• Engineering & Traffic Division

Paul DeVries, P.E.
City Engineer

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Departments / Engineering & Traffic Division / Sewer Back-up Information

Sewer Back-up Information

General Information
A sewer backup creates a stressful and emotional situation for the homeowner.  In some cases it may cause health and safety concerns as well as significant property loss.  A proper response to a sewer backup can greatly minimize property damage and diminish the threat of illness.

The City of Fond du Lac makes every effort to be responsive to a resident's needs and concerns when a sewer backup occurs. The City has a sewer crew whose duty is to inspect, clean and maintain sewers on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, because a sewer is not a closed system, many things put into the sewer can clog the system.  Large amounts of grease from restaurants, paper products, illegal plumbing connections, and needles are all items that cause problems.  Tree roots are another factor that can cause backups, as they may grow into and obstruct the system. While the City of Fond du Lac tries to educate the public about these causes, there is no way we can absolutely prevent backups from occurring.
Lateral vs. Main
What is a sewer lateral?  A sewer lateral is the pipeline that connects the property to the City’s sanitary sewer main.  The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part which may extend into the street or public right-of-way.  The sewer main is located under the roadway and serves the parcels connected to it by laterals.
Contact Information
If you experience a sewer problem, please call the Municipal Service Center at 920-322-3540 and state that you are reporting a sewer back up. Backed up sewer lines, line breaks, sewage odors and overflowing manholes are considered serious.

If the problem is in the sewer lateral, the homeowner or business is responsible for correcting the problem. The owner of the property is responsible for maintaining and cleaning the sewer lateral from the building (or home) to the City's sewer main.  Locating the lateral outside the right-of-way is also the responsibility of the property owner. The City of Fond du Lac’s Plumbing Inspector may have records showing the location of these lateral lines through filed plumbing permits.

REMEMBER TO CALL THE MUNICIPAL SERVICE CENTER FIRST before calling a plumber.  We will check the sewer main and inform you of our findings.  If the problem is not in the City main you will be advised to contact a plumber or a sewer/drain cleaning service.
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