Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to maintain sewer?

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (DPW) serve the unincorporated area of the County and 39 cities. A Preventative Maintenance program consisting of regular inspection and periodic maintenance of the sewer system and appurtenance are summarized below.

Public Works visually inspect all sewer manholes approximately every six months. Sewer inspection typically involves examining the pipe at a manhole to observe flow conditions. Flow is checked for depth (which should be less than 1/2 pipe diameter), smoothness, and restrictions or stoppages. Abnormal flow conditions are scheduled for cleaning to restore normal flow.

The Department of Public Works operates a 24-hour, toll-free emergency Hotline (1-800-675-HELP) for use by County staff, cities and the public in reporting incidents. Calls received are immediately dispatched to the appropriate DPW personnel for investigation and resolution. During weekday working hours, calls are dispatched to the DPW yard that is closest to the reported incident. For evenings, weekdays and holidays, the DPW designate a maintenance crew to be available, or on-call, to respond to incidents. All complaints are investigated and immediate appropriate actions are taken.

Materials impeding flow in the pipe are noted and recurring problems are placed on a periodic maintenance schedule to prevent a reoccurrence. Sewer pipes not fixed by cleaning or periodic maintenance are typically video-inspected using a closed circuit television camera to determine the source (i.e., structural failure, illegal discharge, inflow/infiltration, etc.). Based on the results of the video inspection, further action to remedy the situation may be taken. This could include replacement or rehabilitation of the segment of pipe.

The objectives of the Preventative Maintenance program is to protect the health and welfare of the community by insuring the continuous uninterrupted operation of the public sewer system; and to protect the storm drain system and receiving waters from the impact of sewage overflow.

SMD Sewers sewage treatment drain