Sewage Blockage Policy

Reducing Sewer Back-Ups
A back-up of sewage through the drains in your home or business is an unpleasant prospect. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help reduce the back-ups.

Understanding Your Plumbing System
Wastewater flows through the small sewer pipes in your home and on your property to the larger, city-owned lines in the street. From there the sewage travels by gravity or pumping to the Hagerstown Wastewater Treatment Plant. The flow to the plant is continuous, having peaks in the morning and evening as well as during heavy rains. Each day millions of gallons of wastewater safely reaches our plant and after treatment, is returned to the environment.

Unfortunately, a blockage in the sewer line can interfere with this normally quiet, out-of-sight process. A blockage in your private or the City line can cause a back-up through floor drains and toilets at the lowest point in your home or business. The back-up will continue, even causing an overflow, until the blockage is removed or until sewage is no longer entering the line. You should familiarize yourself with you cleanout location. The cleanout is a vertical pipe located near the property line that rises from your sewer line to ground level and is capped. Sometimes, the cleanout becomes buried or hidden over the years and is forgotten. In some cases, older homes may never have had a cleanout installed by the plumber.

Your Responsibility

As a property owner, you are responsible for your cleanout. If the cleanout is buried, a registered plumber should be able to locate and raise it for you. If it is hidden, you need to make it easy for our crew to access. The Water and Sewer Department Engineering Division may be able to provide a location of the cleanout according to our records by calling (301) 739-8577 extension 651.

Additional Resources