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Procedures for Correcting a Sewer Service Problem


Occasionally a homeowner will experience a problem with the sewer service; i.e., facilities blocked, not draining or draining extremely slowly. Following these procedures should result in prompt alleviation of the problem.

1.     Call the Authority at 215-675-3301 between 8:30am and 4:30pm weekdays. Report your problem and ask to have the sewer main checked. Authority personnel will check the main and if blocked, clear the blockage. If no blockage is found and the main is flowing freely, the homeowner should then…


2.     Contact a Plumber  The plumber should first try to clear the line by use of routing snake inserted through the house sewer line. If this does not clear the pipe, the sewer line should be excavated at the point where the building sewer connects to the sewer lateral. Once the plumber has exposed the line at the connection, the pipe can be broken open to determine the cause and location of the blockage. The Authority is not responsible for blockages cause by debris, objects, waste solids, or tree roots in the lines.


            If the problem is in the sewer lateral such as a broken or crushed pipe, the plumber should immediately contact the Authority. We will correct the problem with in the lateral.


            If the problem is in the building sewer between the lateral and the house, the plumber can correct the problem without involving the Authority since the building sewer is owned by and the responsibility of the Homeowner.


3.     Tree Roots are one of the most common cause of problems with the sewer line. In fact, tree roots account for 99% of such problems. When trees are planted close to the connection between the building sewer and the lateral, roots often penetrate the line causing blockage.

            If this occurs, the plumber should remove the roots and repair the pipe in accordance with  Authority specifications. Before the excavated site is re-covered, the pipe repair and   connection to the Authority lateral MUST be inspected and approved by Authority     personnel.


            The best way to avoid problems caused by tree roots is to plant trees farther back on your lot. Avoid planting trees in the grass stripe between the sidewalk and street. Remember, even small trees grow, and their roots may eventually cause a problem.