The City is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the sanitary sewer system that lies beneath city streets. The City provides sanitary sewage service. A monthly service fee is included in the utility bill. Because there is no effective way to gauge sewage output from each house, the fee is based on water consumption.
The sewage fee is capped when a household uses more than 21,000 gallons of water in a month, in recognition that water consumption above that likely reflects lawn irrigation or filling a swimming pool, neither contributing fluid to the sanitary sewer system.
The homeowner is responsible for the line between the house and its connection at the street to the major sewer line. When a sewer stoppage occurs, the source of the problem is not always immediately apparent.
Report a sewer backup by calling (901) 757-7350 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays, or (901) 757-7338 after hours, holidays and weekends.
The sewer lateral is a private line that carries all wastewater from the home to the city sewer main. Because it is a private line, the repair and maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowner. The sewer lateral has an access point called the 'cleanout' located on the homeowner's premises; if a sewer backup occurs in the home, the cap on the cleanout may be removed to relieve the pressure and protect the home from sewage backflow. However, if the homeowner suspects a sewer blockage, it should be reported to the Germantown Public Works office at (901) 757-7350 for an inspection of the sewer main.
It is the homeowner's responsibility to flush or clear the sewer line on their property. The exception would be if a problem in the homeowner's lateral is caused by a blockage in the city sewer main.
A sewer clean-out is an access point on the sewer lateral that allows the line to be flushed or cleared in the event of a sewer blockage. The clean-out can also be used to prevent sewage back-up inside the home. The sewer clean-out is usually located close to the structure and is made of PVC (plastic) or metal. Shrubs and plants should be kept away from the clean-out.
Help Prevent Sewer Blockages
There are simple steps that residents can take to help prevent grease buildup that adversely affects homes and businesses. The easiest way to prevent grease buildup and help prevent sewer blockages is to keep grease out of the sewer system.
Garbage disposals can be useful when properly used. However, grinding meat and dairy products or other cooked foods allows grease to be introduced into the sewer system. When grease accumulates in the sewer lines it eventually forms a blockage and may cause a sewer backup. Most grease is a product of cooking and is usually found in food scraps, oils, butter or margarine, sauces, meat products and dairy products.
To help prevent grease buildup and reduce the threat of a sewer blockage follow these few steps. Never pour grease down a sink drain, toilet or garbage disposal. Dispose of grease and grease products by soaking up grease and oils with paper towels and disposing of them in the trash. Before you wash dishes or put dishes in the dish washer, scrape meat and food into the trash.
Following these few steps could save you a costly plumbing bill and help protect your home and the environment.