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Side Sewer Systems

Side sewer systems (sometimes also referred to as lateral sewers) are responsible for the removal of wastewater and drainage from residential homes to the city’s water main. The pipes inside the building are referred to as interior plumbing, while a side sewer system consists of the pipes that are located outside of the building they service.

However, just like interior plumbing, a side sewer system is considered to be privately owned by the homeowner up until the point at which the system joins the city’s water main. This means that whenever issues with your side sewer system arise, the responsibility for the fix falls upon you. We’re here to help you prevent those issues from ever occurring in the first place.

Maintaining Side Sewer Systems

Maintaining the integrity of your side sewer system is fairly straightforward; the key is preventative maintenance.  Most issues that arise with side sewer systems don’t happen overnight, but rather are problems that gradually increase in severity as time goes on.  By having your side sewer regularly inspected, you can catch these issues before they arise.  Just like taking your car for an oil change or tire rotation, regularly scheduled maintenance is far cheaper than the cost of having to repair damage done by untreated issues in your side sewer.

Common Issues With Side Sewer Systems

Obstructed Pipes

External Factors:  Every side sewer system is composed of several lengths of pipes that are connected by joints.  If the joints are not lined up correctly, they become offset.  This allows for soil and sediment to enter the pipe, causing blockages that can lead to wastewater backing up into your house.  The same problem can arise if the pipes become cracked or are punctured.  This can happen in a variety of ways, such as normal wear and tear over time, erosion of the pipes if the improper material was used, or tree roots growing into and perforating the pipe.  This can also lead to sinkholes forming in your yard, as the underlying soil is being displaced into the piping.

Internal Factors:  Pipes can become clogged if anything other than toilet paper or flushable wipes are sent into the side sewer system.  Grease is one of the most common examples of this.  As the grease travels through the pipes, it attaches to the interior walls and hardens.  Over time, the grease builds up, restricting the flow of waste water through the pipe, leading to drainage issues and blockages.

Whether it is an external or internal factor at work, routine cleanings and inspections allow for the removal of debris and buildup and ensure that the structural integrity of the side sewer system is intact.

Non-Sloped Pipes

All of the pipes that compose side sewer systems are built on a downwards slope running away from your property.  This helps to ensure that wastewater is directed away from your property and into the sewer main and prevent standing water from backing up towards your house.  If the pipes are not correctly sloped when they are installed, or if soil erosion occurs that causes the pipes to sag, sediment and debris can collect at these points, leading to obstructions and blockages.

Shared Side Sewers

In some cases, residential neighborhoods can have side sewer systems that are shared between residents.  Each residence will have a portion of piping that runs to a connector, at which point the individual systems are merged into one.  In these situations, you are solely responsible for the section of the side sewer that runs from your property to the connection point.  From the connection point to the sewer main, you and the other resident(s) that share the system share the responsibility.  Due to this, it’s important to know what kind of side sewer system you have and work with your neighbors to discuss how to resolve any issues that may arise in the shared system.

How We Can Help

The team at All Seasons Earthworks LLC has the necessary qualifications required to repair and replace side sewer systems, as well as decades of experience serving our community.  We are qualified to work in Snohomish county on both residential and commercial side sewer systems.  As fellow residents, we know how stressful and expensive drainage issues can be.  Let us take that stress off of your plate and help you avoid costly damages before they can occur.  Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help.

Family owned and operated since 2000



(425) 263-2075