Sewer Overflows & Maintenance

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What To Do If There's a Spill

  1. Notify the Public Works Department at (650) 780-7464. However, some Redwood City residents’ sewer service may be provided by San Mateo County. If your home is serviced by San Mateo County, call (650) 363-4100. To find out who provides your sewer service, visit Sewer FAQ.
  2. Minimize the spill by shutting off water and central heat and air conditioning.
  3. Prevent sewage from reaching the storm drain system or vents.
  4. Call a plumbing professional to clear blockages and make repairs. DO NOT attempt to clean the mess yourself. If the spill is on public sewers according to the diagram (blue area), city crews will come and remove the blockage.
  5. For more spill tips, check out the Sewer Spill Reference Guide.

Maintaining My Pipes

DO NOT pour fats, oils, grease (FOG), or food scraps down the drain. FOG may solidify in the pipes and cause blockages.

DO collect grease and food scraps in a container and dispose them in the garbage or organics cart.

DO NOT use the toilet as a trash can for garbage, chemicals, or baby wipes.

DO place a trash can in the bathroom to dispose of sewer clogging items.

DO NOT plant shallow root systems near your sewer lateral. These roots seek water sources and may cause sewer overflows.

DO plant trees more than 10 feet away from sewer lines on your property.

  DO have a city-accessible cleanout so the City is able to service your lower lateral system when necessary. In the diagram above, this means having the blue cleanout. You may also consider installing a backflow device.

For more tips on maintaining your pipes, please visit