Customer Service FAQ’s

Yes, If you suspect it might be a sewer problem, “Call Us First.”  The District will respond 24/7 and if the District is responsible for the problem, it will be taken care of at no charge to you. Please call our office at (916) 786-8555 to report any potential problems.
Your house plumbing is designed to vent sewer gas out of your home, through vents in your roof.  Plumbing systems use “traps” that are designed to hold water and act as a stopper to keep sewer gas from the public sewer coming out of your fixtures into your home. Occasionally the water in these fixtures will evaporate, especially if they’ve not been used for a period.  If you are experiencing a sewer gas smell, run water through your sink to see if that eliminates the problem.  If that doesn’t work, call the District and we will dispatch a crew to ensure that we don’t have an odor problem within our collection system.
Yes.  Call the District for any sewer issue (24/7).  It is difficult to determine the actual issue and the location of the issue without a site visit.  The District will respond promptly for any sewer-related call.
The District’s manhole lids are round and are typically the size of an automobile tire.  They are often found in the street.  Sewer cleanouts are also round and are about the size of a dinner plate and are typically located in your yard or driveway.  Should you see water spilling from a structure such as these, immediately contact the District.  A district employee will immediately respond to the site, call (916)786-8555 24/7.

SPMUD Sewer Manhole Cover

The home owner’s portion of the sewer system can be accessed through the building cleanout, also know as a two-way cleanout.  It is usually located within 2 feet of the building.  In some cases, generally landscaped areas, it is a 4″ diameter pipe sticking up above the cap or plug on top.  In other cases, like in a driveway, that same pipe is contained inside a round box with a lid identifying it as “sewer.”  These boxes are set flush with the surface.  Should you have any questions about your cleanouts, contact the District and a representative will meet with you to discuss.
The District does not endorse one plumbing contractor over another.  It is recommended that you:

Call the District First – (916)786-8555

A representative will come out and determine responsibility.

If it is the District’s responsibility, we will take care of it at no charge to you.

If it is the property owner’s responsibility:

  • Contact more than one contractor to compare rates.
  • Ask about their warranty
  • Consult with friends and family for experiences they have had with a plumbing contractor.

  • If you have young children, they may have flushed a toy down the toilet and it is stuck in the trap built into the toilet; this will require pulling the toilet to remove the object.
  • Root intrusions from trees are common causes of a sewer stoppage.  Hairline roots grow into the joints of the sewer line, looking for a good source of water.  As these roots grow, they will hold up toilet paper and food waste, ultimately causing a stoppage.  You can purchase root inhibitor chemicals from most home improvement stores to put in your sewer-line to kill the roots.  This preventative maintenance can save you the expense of calling a Plumber, and typically does not harm your tree.
  • Flushing items such as feminine sanitary products, dental floss, condoms, Q-Tips, Handi-Wipes, Baby Wipes, diapers, paper towels, or facial tissue that are all made of materials and don’t break down can easily cause blockages in your sewer pipes.
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) should never be poured down the sink or garbage disposal. ‘FOG’ sticks to the interior surface of the sewer pipes, hardens over time and eventually may cause sewage to backup and lead to a sewage spill in your home or on our streets. Running hot water as you pour the grease down the drain will not help either. Many people are unaware that pouring hot water and detergent down the drain only breaks up grease temporarily. The best way to get rid of FOG is to let it cool/harden, mix it with other absorbent materials, place it in a bag or container and then throw it in the trash. Remember to put FOG where it belongs.