Sewer stoppages on private property are the responsibility of the property owner (or tenant, depending on your lease agreement). The Town is responsible for maintaining sewer main lines within the public rights-of-way (ROW) and public utility easements but is prohibited by law from expending public funds for repairs on private property.
Who should I call if my sinks don’t drain or my toilets are overflowing? Most common household plumbing stoppages are caused by grease buildup or foreign objects clogging the service line. Consumer tips for selecting a plumber are available from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.
Is there anything that I can do before I call a plumber? Become familiar with where the sewer line cleanouts are on your property. Some service cleanouts may have become covered with landscaping, soil, or grass. Depending on the age of your home, you may also have a property line cleanout (more information below).
What do I do if I see sewage in the street? If you see what appears to be sewage in the street or if any of your neighbors also have sewer stoppages at the same time, immediately call non-emergency dispatch at 817-274-2511.
Is the Town responsible for tree roots in my service line? The property owner or tenant is responsible for all obstructions which might occur in the service line. A plumber should be equipped to remove and discourage the return of tree roots in your service line.
My plumber said that my service line is broken where it connects to the Town’s system but the Town will not let him dig it up to fix it. Why not? Plumbers are not permitted to excavate sewer services in the public right-of-way (ROW). There are several utilities installed in these narrow areas and each must be protected. Therefore, only an approved utility contractor may repair service lines in the right-of-way. All service line repairs must be permitted by the Town.
If my plumber says the problem is on the Town's side, what do I need to do? This phrase can have several meanings. Ultimately, Town staff determines responsibility for the repair. Lateral service lines, which begin at the house and end past the tie-in to the main, are the property and responsibility of the property owner or tenant. Therefore, there is no such thing as a "Town side" on a lateral service line.
If there is a blockage or offset in the line beyond the Town's right-of-way, a plumber still needs to unblock the line. If there is a structural defect on the sewer lateral line somewhere in the right-of-way, the responsibility of excavating and repairing the sewer line falls on the property owner or tenant. Plumbers, however, are not permitted to excavate sewer services in the public right-of-way. Therefore, only an approved utility contractor may repair sewer service lines in the right-of-way. All service line repairs must be permitted through the Town.
What is a property line cleanout? A property line cleanout is a 4" (four-inch) round stack with a 4" (four-inch) sweep that is installed in the ground. It has a plastic or steel removable lid that is at ground level. The property line cleanout is made of a strong plastic pipe and it is usually installed at the edge of the easement just behind the sidewalk, roughly 9 (nine) to 11 (eleven) feet from the curb. The property line cleanout is connected to the sanitary sewer service that leads from the house to the sanitary sewer main and can make it more convenient to access the sewer service line for clearing stoppages or to send a camera down to assess the condition of the pipe. Without a property line cleanout, a plumber can only access your sanitary sewer service from the cleanouts near the home or building.
I don’t have a property line cleanout. How can I have one installed? Your plumber will need to apply for a permit before installing a property line cleanout.
I have raw sewage in my house. Who is going to clean this up? Please contact your homeowners insurance company to determine if cleaning and restoration are covered.