Storm/Sanitary Sewer Collection Citizen Guide

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Collection System Maintenance

The Underground Utilities Division is responsible for keeping both the sanitary and storm sewer system clean and clear of obstructions. This is done using high pressure sewer cleaning trucks and combination vac trucks. The City is divided into three sections each covered by a truck. The crews respond to sewer back-up complaints as well as perform regularly scheduled cleaning in their area.

Sanitary Sewer Backups

If you suspect a sanitary sewer backup in your building first check to see if it only happens when you use water or if it is continuous or rising without you using water. If it only happens when you use water it is most likely a private blockage, if it is continuous or rising without you using water it is most likely a City main blockage. The Underground Utilities Division will come and check the sewer main free of charge 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This can be accomplished by calling 279-6164. Any blockage determined to be on the private service line is the responsibility of the property owner. All sewer cleaning contractors must abide by our Standard Operating Procedures during any backup that is of an unknown cause. See Tips for preventing sewer back-ups to help prevent future problems.

Manhole and Storm Inlet Maintenance

The Underground Utilities Division performs maintenance on all sanitary sewer manholes, storm sewer manholes, and storm sewer inlets. If you notice a storm inlet that is not taking water or if you drop something down the storm inlet please contact our office and we dispatch someone to address the issue. Please do not attempt to enter a manhole or inlet to retrieve a dropped item. These locations are NOT safe for public entry.

Storm Sewer Maintenance

The storm sewer system is designed to take rain water from the streets and direct it to a natural water way by a series of storm inlets, storm piping, and open drainage ways. This system does not go through any type of treatment prior to entering a water way therefore anything that goes into the storm system goes into our lakes, rivers, and streams. For ways you can help protect our waters see Storm Inlet Protection Tips.

Sewer Smoke Testing

The Underground Utilities Division will periodically conduct smoke testing of both the sanitary and storm sewer systems. This is done to help identify connection problems that may exist in the system. Prior to smoke testing in a neighborhood you will receive a Smoke Test Door Hanger.

Sanitary Sewer Overflow

In the event that you have a clean-out on your sanitary sewer service within the Right-of-Way or a private manhole you may experience sewage flowing on top of the ground due to a blockage in your private service line. This is considered an illegal discharge and must be dealt with immediately. If one of these situations takes place you will be notified either in person or by a Sanitary Sewer Service Discharge door hanger if you cannot be reached. Failure to comply with the correction order will result in your water service being discontinued to the property.

Sanitary and Storm Sewer Lift Stations

All the lift stations in the City of Sioux City are maintained by the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Sewer Televising

The Underground Utilities Division conducts televising of both the sanitary and storm sewer mains, utilizing a remote camera system mounted in a truck. This unit will conduct televising during all shifts, which allows us to work around traffic and other situations that may make doing the work during the day. It is a relatively quiet operation and should not affect your residence.

We televise storm and sanitary sewer mains for the following reasons:

  • Following a sanitary sewer back up
  • Investigate paving or soil failures over a sewer main
  • Condition assessment to Capital Improvement Projects
  • New mains prior to paving and post paving to ensure quality control

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