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City of Omaha - Nebraska

City of Omaha Public WorksOmaha, Nebraska

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The Sewer division is responsible for the operation, preventive maintenance and emergency repair of the sanitary, combined, and stormwater collection systems within the Omaha Service Area. Technical Engineering support is also administered from this Division to support the CSO Control Program, Sewer Renovation, Downspout Disconnection, Backflow Prevention Program, and Regulatory needs of the Sewer Collection Systems.

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FAQs

Who do I call if I have a sewer back up?

A plumber is recommended for all potentially private service issues. If it is suspected that it is a public sewer issue, immediately phone 402-444-5332 and report the problem. A maintenance crew will be dispatched to your location as quickly as possible. If the problem is found in the city sewer line, sewer maintenance personnel will service the line and correct the problem. If the problem is found to be your private line rather than the city sewer line, we will inform you as soon as possible. It would then be your responsibility to contact a plumber to service your line and repair any damage which may have occurred. In either case, you may file a claim for damages with the City Clerk's office. The case will be reviewed and a determination made as to whether or not the claim is eligible for reimbursement.

How do I find out where my sewer line is located and where I'm tapped into the City main?

The City of Omaha is only responsible for main public sewers. For information about your private service laterals, we recommend you hire a licensed plumbing company that provides such services. Service laterals convey wastewater from the building that it originates in to the public sewer system. Maintenance and repair of service laterals are the responsibility of the property owner from the building to the point of connection to the main sewer. The City is responsible for repair of the main sewer lines.

What are the common causes of residential sewer system backups?

Blockages in private service laterals can occur due to collapsed pipe, root intrusion or accumulation of grease or other debris. Excessive discharge of grease from the home can block the service lateral and potentially cause a blockage in the public sewer. We recommend disposal of grease into the trash.

There is smoke coming out of my floor drain/manhole/inlet. What is it?

The City of Omaha performs what is called "Smoke Testing," which involves pumping non-toxic white smoke in to the sewer system to reveal defects and pipe connectivity. Sewer maintenance staff will distribute a notification letter and place it on the front door of homes in the area of planned smoke testing. The letter will include the dates of testing and instructions on how to prevent the smoke from entering your residence. Please rest assured that the smoke is harmless and is designed to dissipate within 30 minutes leaving no residue or damage to your belongings. Smoke inside your home indicates a defect in the home's plumbing. This may be as simple as a drain trap that has dried out (see next question below). If you have any questions please call 402-444-5332.

We keep getting a foul sewer odor in our home. Why is this happening?

A dry drain can lead to this condition. Drain pipes are constructed to hold a small amount of water. This retained water creates a seal to keep odors from coming up into your house. This water seal can evaporate, thus allowing foul odors to come into your house. To remedy this situation, you should pour water down your lightly used drains each month.

Why do roots grow into my sewer line?

The combination of moisture, warmth, and nutrients that exist in all sewer lines (private and city) provides an excellent environment for roots to grow. Roots from trees, plants, and shrubbery are first attracted to the exterior of the sewer line and will penetrate the smallest crack or pin hole. This growth can eventually clog sewer lines. They can be removed either mechanically (sawing) or with chemicals. Contact a sewer maintenance company to clear roots from your private service lateral.

Where can I learn more about the sewer separation / "CSO" projects?

A wealth of information about the CSO program is available at:
http://www.omahacso.com/resources
CSO Hotline (402)-341-0235

How much will my sewer rates change?

To calculate the change in your sewer use fees, please use the following link:
http://www.omahacso.com/

How do I report someone who is dumping waste into the sewer?

The following link to the Omaha Stormwater site will allow you to report water pollution to Environmental Management
http://www.omahastormwater.org/report-a-problem

Drinking water/ water questions? Questions about water main breaks:

Contact Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) at 402-554-6666 or http://www.mudomaha.com/

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