When your drains or sewers give you trouble, you want immediate help, but it can be hard to know who to call. These questions and answers are intended to help you figure out where the problem is and how to get help as soon as possible. You can also download a PDF of the Residential Flooding brochure to learn what to do in case of a sewer backup or storm-related flood.
When should I call the City of Tacoma?
When should I call a private service?
What is a side sewer?
How do I know where my side sewer is located?
Which private sewer company should I call?
- Rooter services unclog plumbing and private side sewers using water pressure or mechanical "snakes." Make sure the rooter service's snake cable is long enough to reach from your side sewer to the City's main sewer line (typically located underneath the street or alley). Rooter companies also might repair and/or replace side sewers.
- Side sewer contractors repair and/or replace structural problems, such as breaks or holes in side sewers. Some contractors also might unclog lines.
- Plumbers repair leaky or broken fixtures and install systems in new construction and remodeling. If only some of your fixtures are not draining, or if your pipes are leaking, a plumber might be able to remedy the problem.
What questions should I ask the service provider?
How do I Fix the Problem Myself
How do I pay for side sewer repairs?
What if I have a septic tank?
Can I connect to the City sewer system?
If you have sewer available to you, the City could give you 50 percent off the hook-up fee to switch from your private septic system to the available sewer system. See if you qualify for this Septic Amnesty Program.
In addition, your costs to build a side sewer system connecting to the City's sewer line may qualify for our low-interest Sewer Conservation Loan Program.
If your question isn't answered here, contact us for more information at (253) 591-5588.