|City of Salisbury|
Salisbury Public Works
A Team of Teams Making A Difference !
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Q: What should I do if I experience a sewer stoppage?
A: Before calling the plumber, call the City of Salisbury Water & Sewer Branch at (410) 548-3103 or the City of Salisbury Service Center at (410) 548-3177, Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After normal business hours you may contact the Salisbury Police Department at (410) 548-3165.
If the property line sewer cleanout is accessible, an emergency crew will be able to determine if the sewer stoppage is in the property owner's pipe or the publicly owned and maintained portion of the wastewater collection system. If the stoppage is in the public portion, the responding crew will be able to clear it ending the backup.
If there is no property line cleanout, or if the cleanout cannot be located, you will need to contact a plumber to assist you (also see below).
Q: What is a "sewer stoppage"?
A: A sewer stoppage can cause a sewage backup through the drains in your home or business resulting in an unpleasant event. There are steps you can take to protect your property.
Wastewater flows through small pipes in your building and on your property to the larger public sewer mains in the public right-of-ways and easement, normally in the street. From there, the wastewater travels by gravity or pressure to the City Wastewater Treatment Plant were it is treated , reclaimed and returned to the environment.
A sewer stoppage in the private and/or the public wastewater pipes causes a backup through floor drains, fixtures or toilets at the lower point in your building. The overflow continues until the stoppage is cleared, removed or until the wastewater flow stops.
The Salisbury Public Works Water & Sewer Branch provides sewer backup information which is posted on ths website. In addition, a flier is inserted in the Water Quality Report which is mailed annually to all property owners billed for water and/or sewer by the City of Salisbury.
Q: What causes a Sewer Backup?
A: Anything, which should not be in a sewer line, has the potential of causing a blockage. For example:
Q: What can I do to prevent Sewer Backups?
A: Do not put anything in the sewer system that does not belong there. Locate and keep accessible the sewer property line cleanout. If you do not have a property line cleanout, have on installed by a plumber. The property line cleanout plus any additional cleanouts located on your property, are the property owner's responsibility.
Buildings with floor drains and/or plumbing fixtures subject to backflow of sewage from the public sewer must have a "Backwater Valve" installed. For additional information regarding backwater valves, please contact the City of Salisbury Master Plumbing Inspector at (410) 548-3130.
Purchase an endorsement on your personal homeowner insurance policy. Effective October 1, 2008, all homeowner insurers that sell policies in Maryland must offer this coverage to policyholders in writing by certified mail within seven days after the date the policy is initially placed or at the time of each renewal.
Q: How do I know if I have a property cleanout?
A: The property line cleanout is located outside the public right-of-way or easement on private property, just back of the property line. It is to be kept above grade and uncovered. This property line clean out is used by the City to determine if the stoppage is on the public portion of the wastewater collection system, or on the property owner's portions. If the stoppage is on the public portion, the City will clear the stoppage through this property line cleanout or if necessary, use equipment to clear the public sewer main.
Quite frequently, the property line cleanout becomes buried or hidden over the years and is forgotten. In some cases, older homes may not have had a property line cleanout installed by the plumber.
As a property owner, you are responsible for the property line cleanout. If this cleanout cannot be located, a registered plumber should be able to locate and raise it to grade for you.
If it is hidden by landscaping or other objects, you will need to make it easy for the City crew to access. Contact the Salisbury Public Works Water & Sewer Branch (410) 548-3103 to help with the location of the property line cleanout, if one has been installed.
This page was last updated in April 2009. If you have any questions, corrections, or comments on the Public Works web pages, please contact Salisbury Public Works at (410) 548-3170.