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Who Is Responsible for Sewer Repairs in Pennsylvania?


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When your Pennsylvania home has frequent problems with clogged drains, sewer backups, or leaking wastewater outside your home, the problem may lie in the main sewer line itself. The pipe could be crushed, bellied, or cracked, or there may be tree roots growing into the pipe and cutting off the flow. If your home is connected to the municipal sewer system, you may wonder who is responsible for sewer repairs or replacement: you or the city? It will depend on the cause of the problem and the location.

When Does the City Cover Sewer Repairs?

The city will be responsible for the sewer repair only when it involves the municipal sewer main or the tap that your sewer system connects to. Older sewer mains can leak or clog, as can the wye or tap that connects to your home. If you suspect that the problem is on the city’s end, you will need to call your local water department or the appropriate office. Because the sewer pipes are buried underground, it can often be challenging to pinpoint exactly where the problem is located. Ideally, you should have a professional plumber complete a video camera pipe inspection to determine where the problem is occurring so that you can provide appropriate documentation to city personnel.

When Is the Homeowner Responsible for Repairs?

When the pipe damage occurs anywhere between the municipal sewer tap and your home, you are responsible for the repairs. This often means digging up your yard to replace the damaged sewer pipe, which is a task that needs to be done by a professional with the proper permits. Once a trench is excavated and the pipe is exposed, the damaged section will be replaced, the pipe will be leveled, and the hole will be backfilled. If the damaged area extends too far onto city property, such as a nearby easement or road, you may need to coordinate with the city to complete the repairs, even though the costs will still be your responsibility.

What Causes Damaged Sewer Pipes?

Often, it is just the age of the pipe that causes problems. Older cast-iron sewer pipes can corrode away after several decades. Fragile concrete or clay pipes can degrade with age and crack or collapse. Sometimes, defective materials can be to blame, such as failure-prone Orangeburg pipes that were made from a wood pulp composite. In other cases, an improper installation could leave the pipes cracked and damaged from the start due to things like incorrect backfilling techniques or poor pipe support. Plus, if there are any holes or gaps in a pipe, tree roots will exploit them in their search for nutrients, causing further damage.

Sewer Repair & Replacement in Chester County, PA

When you need a qualified team for sewer repairs or replacements in Downingtown or the Chester County area, turn to our experts at Mattioni Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We have served Chester County homeowners for 75 years, and we offer complete sewer, drain, and plumbing services. As a family-owned company, we offer exceptional customer service and quality. We also feature top-quality work with upfront pricing, flexible financing options, great customer reviews, and friendly, trustworthy personnel.

Get long-lasting solutions to your drain and sewer problems with help from Team Mattioni. Call 610-400-8510 or contact us online to schedule sewer repairs or replacements in the Chester County area.

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