Sanitary Sewer Repairs -
Information for property owners
about repairing or replacing your sewer line?
is responsible for sanitary sewer repair?"
USD maintains all public sanitary sewer
mains within Fremont, Newark, and Union City. This includes over
779 miles of pipelines which are generally located within public
streets or easements dedicated for District use.
Each home or commercial
building has a separate connection to the public sanitary sewer
main called a sewer lateral. In accordance with District Ordinance
No. 34, it is the property owners responsibility to maintain
and repair their own sewer lateral from the house up to the point
of connection with the public sanitary sewer main. This includes
both the portion on private property and the portion located beneath
the sidewalk and street up to the point where the lateral connects
to the public main. The drawing below illustrates the difference
between a sewer lateral and a public sanitary sewer main.
do I find out where the problem is?"
When a sewer backup or
other problem occurs, in most cases it will not be obvious whether
the problem area is in the sewer lateral or the public main. If
this occurs, call Union Sanitary District at (510) 477-7500 24 hours/day
Union Sanitary District
will come out to inspect the public sewer main free of charge. If
a problem is found within the public main, it will be repaired as
soon as possible. If the public main is found to be clear, the property
owner will be informed that the blockage is probably in the sewer
lateral. In this case, the property owner is responsible for maintenance
Caution: When trying to locate a sewer problem, never
open manholes or other USD structures. Due to potential hazards,
only USD personnel are authorized to open and inspect these structures.
"How do I proceed with a sewer lateral problem?"
If the sewer problem is found to be in
the sewer lateral, the property owner can hire a contractor to make
repairs or, if equipped, can make repairs themselves. Contractors
can be researched under listings such as "Plumbing Drain &
Sewer Cleaning" or "Sewer Contractors". If you plan
to hire a contractor, we recommend getting estimates from more than
Before any work is begun, a USD repair
permit is required (even for repairs on private property).
More information on how to get a repair permit is available by calling
(510) 477-7500, or see our
sewer repairs/replacements/additions webpage. Once you are aware
of a sewer lateral problem, it should be repaired as soon as possible.
Sewer laterals which leak or overflow are a public health risk and
can damage the environment.
"How can I avoid damage to other utilities?"
When digging to
make sewer repairs, it is very important to know where other
utilities are located so that damage can be avoided. Most
utility companies belong to a locating service called Underground
Service Alert (USA).
By calling USA at
811 or 1-800-227-2600 48 hours before
you dig, the utility companies will be notified that
you are planning to dig and will come out, free of charge,
to mark the location of their utility lines.
permits are required for repairs in a street?"
If a sewer lateral repair
involves digging in a street or other public right-of-way, an encroachment
permit will also be required. Encroachment permits are available
from the agency that maintains the street. In most cases, this is
the city. Call your city for more information.
Newark: (510) 578-4589
Union City: (510) 675-5305
- Obtain a USD Repair Permit; call (510) 477-7627, or e-mail ContactUSD@unionsanitary.com
- Call Underground Service Alert 48 hours before you dig
- Obtain an Encroachment Permit for repairs outside of the property
line from your city (phone numbers listed above)
- Questions? Call USD at (510) 477-7500