Sanitary sewers can back up into your home or on your property when a sanitary sewer pipe is blocked. These problems may occur in your private sewer line or in the public sewer main. City crews will evaluate the condition of the public sewer main at no cost to you. Your private sewer line (lateral line) will not be evaluated by the City.
In the unfortunate event of a sanitary sewer backs up into your home or on your property, please follow these steps:
1) Contact Public Works.
a. Between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, contact Public Works Department at 532-0577 or City Hall at 532-3897.
b. During all other hours including holidays, Police Dispatch answers emergency calls at 858-3521.
2) On call personnel will be dispatched to investigate the condition of the public sewer.
a. If no blockage is found in the public sewer, the blockage is in the private sewer. The property owner is responsible for blockages in the private sewer.
b. If the blockage is in the public sewer, the city employee will call for the resources needed to get the sewer line flowing.
3) City Public Works Crew will clear any blockage discovered in the public sewer.
a. Crews are authorized only to evaluate the condition of the public sewer and repair problems found in the public sewer.
4) The homeowner must take steps to mitigate their damages.
a. Crews are not authorized to spend public resources, such as equipment and labor, to pump out basements or help you with cleaning up your private property. Even if the backup resulted from problems in the public sewer, you are responsible for cleaning up and making necessary repairs.
5) Claim Adjusters determine if you are eligible for reimbursement of costs.
a. Document any damages in writing, by taking photos and by saving any receipts.
b. You may report any damages to your homeowners’ insurance company. You may or may not be eligible for reimbursement of your costs from your homeowners insurance.
c. If the blockage was in the public sewer main, any damages may be reported to the City’s Third Party Administrator. You may or may not be eligible for reimbursement of your costs from the City. To report the claim to the City, contact Kelli Oldham, Finance Director for the City of Smithville, at 532-3897. The Finance Director will report your information to the City’s Claim Administrator. The Claim Administrator will assign an adjuster who is responsible for determining whether your costs can be reimbursed.
Although the City performs routine and periodic maintenance, blockages can still occur. Most sewer blockages are the result of people putting grease, trash or other inappropriate materials down the sewer lines or in manholes. The City’s insurance company cannot be held responsible for damages which result from such inappropriate materials.