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Private Sewer Lateral

Property Boundaries

As a homeowner or business owner, you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of a portion of the water and sewer lines that run from your property to the street.

Graphic showing the property line for the homeowner and the City and who is responsible for the pipe at different points.

Common Issues in Water/Sewer Laterals

While most modern houses have been built with robust PVC water and sewer laterals that will last many years without any needed maintenance, there are occasionally issues that may arise in your water or sewer lateral.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your pipes maintained and flowing.

Don’t flush anything but the 3 P’s: poop, pee, and paper. Flushing anything else could cause blockages in your line.

FOG - keep fats, oils, grease, and grit out of our lines- dumping any of these materials down your drain could cause blockages in your line.

Plant Roots - Be mindful of what you plant. Deep-rooted plants can find their way into sewer lines, causing blockages.

Roof Vents - Things like birds and insects can try to make nests in your roof vents. Plugged roof vents can contribute to odors and airlock your system, so keep them clear.

Be careful when digging. Calling 811 (Digline) before doing any excavation work in your yard is recommended. While Digline and the City cannot tell you where your water/sewer lines are on your property, we will mark all of the lines in the easements and streets.

Built up FOG (fats, oils, grease, and grit) in a pipe.

Built up FOG (fats, oils, grease, and grit) in a pipe.

Tree root that grew through a pipe.

Tree root that grew through a pipe.

Broken pipe still in the ground.

Broken pipe still in the ground.

Roof vent on a house roof.

Roof vent on a house roof.

Person in boots with their foot on a shovel with 811 logo

Call 811 before you dig.

Have an issue with your water or sewer line?

Call the Public Works Department and we can assist.

Water issues: 208-888-5242
Wastewater/Sewer issues: 208-888-2191

If the issue is found to be on the City’s portion of the line, we will work to get the line repaired as quickly as possible.

If the issue is on the owner’s side of the property line, the property owner will need to call a plumbing company for assistance. The City does not endorse any specific plumbing companies but would recommend you ensure the company is licensed and insured.

Private Insurance for Water/Sewer Laterals

You may occasionally receive marketing materials from private companies offering insurance, warranty plans, or service protection plans for your water and sewer lines.

The City of Meridian takes no position on private plumbing insurance. The City maintains the lines in the public right of way—outside of easements, plumbing on private property is the homeowner’s responsibility. The City of Meridian does not endorse or sponsor any of these companies. The City cannot recommend or advise on whether a property owner should or should not purchase private insurance. 

However to help you make a more informed decision, here are a few things to consider:

  • Call your insurance company and ask them if internal and external water/sewer lines are covered under your existing policy.
  • Some home owner’s insurance companies may already cover these items or may be willing to add this coverage to your policy.

  • House Age - newer homes (built after 1980) generally will have plumbing constructed of PVC- a material with a robust and long service life. Newer homes generally have a lower risk of plumbing failure.
  • If you aren’t sure when your house was built, go to the Ada County Assessors webpage to look up that information using your address.

  • Line Material - houses with PVC plumbing lines generally have a lower risk of plumbing failure.
  • To determine your plumbing material, take a look at the plumbing in your crawl space.

  • Unanticipated repairs can be a burden, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Insurance can be a way to help alleviate these costs. The City does not recommend or endorse any of these services.

  • Line length and depth limitation
  • No coverage for “acts of nature,” accidents, maintenance or negligence issues
  • Coverage limitation for “pre-existing conditions”
  • Coverage to repair, but not replace water/sewer line
  • Landscape restoration
  • Waiting period before coverage starts
  • Requirements to use the insurance provider’s contractors, rather than your preferred plumber

Read the fine print carefully.

Have Additional Questions About Water/Sewer Lines?

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