Can I get Redwood City to install a sewer cleanout if I do not have one?
No. Sewer cleanouts belong to the property owner. It is the responsibility of the property owner to install a property line cleanout.
Do I need a permit to repair my sewer lateral?
Yes. A permit is required to repair the sewer lateral. A city engineer will inspect the lateral to validate that the work was performed according to code. If you need guidance as to policies or procedures please contact the Engineering and Construction Division at 650-780-7380.
Does Redwood City provide a sewer lateral (cleaning) service?
Yes. Upon request and only to households that have sewer cleanouts located at the resident’s property line (near the sidewalk), Redwood City will provide a cleaning (snaking) service from the cleanout to the sewer main line.
Does the city fix sewer lines on private property?
No. The area between the sewer cleanout and the house (owner’s side) is the responsibility of the property owner and must be repaired/serviced by the owner or designated service personnel.
How can I get my sewer lateral repaired so I will not have anymore sewer backups?
First, request servicing by city maintenance staff. Go to the Report Problems web page and submit a report or call 650-780-7464. If the problem recurs following the maintenance services, the sewer lateral may be damaged, call 650-780-7464 and request a tv/video inspection of the lateral between the cleanout and the main line.
How can I tell if my home has a sewer cleanout?
Visually inspect your front or rear yard for a sewer cleanout box. Cleanout boxes say sewer on the lid and are usually round and about 10 inches in diameter or rectangular and 10 by 16 inches.
How do I get a permit?
Permits can be obtained at Redwood City Hall, 1017 Middlefield. They are issued by the Engineering and Construction Division. Just ask for a permit for sewer repair.
How do I report sewage overflowing from a sewer manhole out in the street?
Immediately contact Public Works by calling (650) 780-7464. After hours, call dispatch at 780-7190.
I cannot locate my sewer cleanout? What can I do?
If you are unsuccessful in locating one, you either do not have one or it may be buried under dirt or concrete. A plumber can assist you in locating it.
I'm experiencing brown or yellow tinted water coming out of my faucet, what should I do?
Brown or yellow tinted water from your tap can be caused by disturbances in the water distribution system. Examples of disturbances that can cause discolored water are: fire hydrant use, a water main break, maintenance work, etc. If you experience brown or yellow tinted water from your tap, allow the water to settle for a short time (about 1 hour) and then flush all faucets - cold water only - in your home or business for several minutes. If possible, first flush your backyard garden hose for a few minutes before flushing indoor fixtures. If the water does not clear up after the initial flushing, repeat the flushing every half hour. The discolored water should clear within 2 hours; if it does not, please contact Redwood City Public Works at (650) 780-7464.
What do I do when I smell sewer odors/gases out in the street?
Immediately contact Public Works by calling (650) 780-7464, if calling between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or go to the Report Problems web page and submit a report. For after hours service you may call dispatch at 780-7190.
What do I have to do to get a sewer cleanout installed at my home/business?
Contact the Engineering and Construction Division at 650-780-7380 and request a permit for a sewer cleanout installation. Then hire a licensed plumbing contractor to perform the installation.
What does the “public” side and the “private” side of my sewer lateral mean?
The “public” side (also called the lower lateral) of the sewer lateral is the city’s responsibility. It refers to the section of the lateral between the sewer cleanout (usually located at the resident’s property line) and the sewer main line out in the street.
The “private” side refers to all plumbing lines that are located inside the property line from sewer cleanout to the house. The private side of the sewer lateral is the property owner’s responsibility and is not serviced by city maintenance personnel.
What is a sewer cleanout?
A sewer cleanout is a point of access at the property line where the sewer lateral can be serviced. It usually is 4” in diameter and has a steel or plastic cover over it.
What is a sewer lateral?
A sewer lateral is the pipe that carries the wastewater from the house to the sanitary sewer main line in the street. Every building receiving sewer service from Redwood City has at least one sewer lateral.
What is an SSO?
A sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is a condition in which untreated sewage is discharged from a sanitary sewer into the environment prior to reaching sewage treatment facilities. Most sewage spills are relatively small and can be stopped and cleaned up quickly, but left unattended they can cause health hazards, damage to homes and businesses, and threaten the environment, local waterways, and beaches.
What is the sewer main line?
A utility pipe that carries wastewater from the connected laterals to the wastewater treatment plant (via sewer force or gravity main).
What is Unidirectional Flushing?
Works Services Department operates a unidirectional flushing program, which is a proactive approach to preventing water quality problems and ensuring the highest quality of water.
Unidirectional flushing consists of closing appropriate water system valves and opening fire hydrants in a sequential manner to create one-way flow in the distribution system. The rate of flow and discharge at the fire hydrants is adjusted to achieve a desired velocity or flow of water in the pipes. Water flushed at the desired velocity produces a scouring action in the pipes, removing deposits, encrustations and sediments. Hydrants are flushed until a desirable water quality is achieved.
Who provides my sewer service?
There are two main ways to find out who provides your service:
Check your sewer bill. Your sewer provider is the agency on the bill. For Redwood City residents, it should be from either the City of Redwood City or San Mateo County.
Note: The City of Redwood City may provide your water but not your sewer, so make sure to check your sewer bill.
Then, click Utilities then Sewer and check the box next to Sewer Service Area to show the map of sewer service.
If you are in the brown area, your sewer service is provided by the City of Redwood City. This includes Redwood Shores, where the brown area may not load immediately.
If not, you are serviced by San Mateo County.
Note: the brown area may take a few seconds to load. Scroll to your zone and wait for it to load.
Why does the City flush water out of hydrants?
The Public Works Services Department routinely flushes the water pipelines to remove impurities, sediment, or other materials that may have deposited in the distribution system. These deposits, which have settled out and accumulated in pipelines, may result in taste, odor, and turbidity problems. Additionally, routine flushing of dead-end pipelines removes water with low chlorine residuals and accumulated deposits ensuring, that your water tastes great and that you receive the highest quality of water from your tap.