A lateral, also known as side sewer, is the pipe that carries sanitary waste from your home or business to the City’s main line. The responsibility for installation, maintenance, and repair of laterals is the responsibility of the private property owner for which the lateral serves pursuant to BGMC 13.125.050.

It is important to properly maintain your lateral so that blockages do not occur. Blocked laterals can cause major damage when wastewater backs up into a home or business. There are some simple things that you can do in order to keep your lateral in good working order:

  • Never pour grease or oil down your sinks or toilets. Instead, keep a jar or can under your sink or in your freezer and pour grease and oils into it. Once the jar or can is full, you can throw it away in your garbage can. Always use a thicker jar and let the grease or oil cool off before pouring it into the jar. Hot grease can melt through plastic.
  • Scrape food into the trash or compost food scraps, which can be good for your garden.
  • Flush only toilet paper down the toilet. Regardless of what the wipe pack says, they don’t break down the same way as toilet paper and can harm your system.
  • Material such as rags, baby diapers and wipes, prescription drugs, bandages, hair, latex, personal hygiene products, and cleaning wipes should be disposed of in the trash.

For wastewater problems that appear to be coming from the City’s main line, please call the Public Works Operations Division at 360-342-5350.