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A private sewer lateral is an underground pipe that is part of your home’s plumbing. It conveys wastewater or storm water from your property to SD1’s public sewer system. As a private property owner, you own your lateral from the end of the building’s plumbing to the connection with SD1’s sewer. You are responsible for maintaining your lateral, just like other pipes in and around your property.
When private sewer laterals deteriorate, they can affect community services, public health and safety by causing sinkholes, destabilizing nearby structures and leading to sewer overflows and backups. When these laterals run beneath roadways, repairs can be cost prohibitive to the private property owners responsible for them. To assist property owners in addressing this issue in a timely and affordable way, SD1 funds a private sewer lateral repair program. The program will allow SD1 to perform work on defective private sewer laterals beneath public roadways that may be contributing to a visible pavement failure, building backup or sewer overflow.
Private property owners are responsible for maintaining their private sewer laterals, just as they are responsible for the pipes inside their home. As a result, SD1 is not responsible for investigating or demonstrating the cause of roadway failures, sewer backups or sewer overflows resulting from a damaged or faulty lateral. The private property owner must investigate and demonstrate that such a problem is due to a lateral defect beneath the public roadway before SD1 will perform the necessary lateral repair work. Private property owners remain responsible for repairing any lateral damage that does not fall under the public roadway and for any damage to private property caused by a defective lateral, regardless of where the defect is located.
If your home is experiencing blockages or sewer backups, or if sewage is overflowing into the environment, your private lateral may be defective. Sinkholes also can be a sign of defective laterals.
If you suspect a defect in your sewer lateral is contributing to a visible pavement failure, a building backup or a sewer overflow, you should call SD1 at 859-578-7450. If SD1 determines the issue is not related to the public sewer line, you will need to call a licensed plumber to investigate your private sewer lateral. If the plumber determines the defect is in the lateral below the public roadway, the following requirements must be met in order for SD1 to perform services through our lateral repair program:
SD1’s role in this program is limited to the repair of the private sewer lateral under the public roadway. SD1 also will restore the affected public roadway and any curbs, sidewalks and drive aprons disturbed through SD1’s lateral repair work.
In order for residents to benefit from SD1’s private lateral repair program, the public roadway owner (the city, county or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet) must have entered into an interlocal agreement with SD1.
Funding for this program is determined during SD1’s regular budgeting process. Once the budgeted funds run out, SD1 will perform no further repairs to private sewer laterals until additional funds are allocated in the next annual budget.
Because funds are limited, SD1 also will prioritize projects based on the impact to public health and safety rather than on a first-come, first-serve basis. Factors SD1 may consider when prioritizing repairs include the presence and severity of building backups, sewer overflows and sinkholes. SD1 may also consider the traffic count of affected roadways.
To learn more about how you can maintain your private sewer lateral, visit our Your Private Sewer Lateral page.
Call SD1 at 859-578-7450 and report your issue to our customer contact agents. SD1 will dispatch a crew to visit your property and investigate your concern.
Did you know that if sewage backs up into your home, insurance does not generally cover damage and cleanup costs? In most instances, if a backup occurs, the homeowner is responsible for repair, cleanup and replacement costs, including the arrangement of repairs and cleanup. Most insurance companies offer optional backup coverage on homeowner policies to protect your home in the case of a potential backup. Please contact your insurance agent for coverage premiums and deductibles.