Frequently Asked Questions: Wastewater Department

1. As a property owner/user what do I own and what are my responsibilities?
2. What do I do if I see water/sewage and or debris coming out of my sewer vent/trap in my yard or sidewalk?
3. What do I do if I see water/sewage and or debris coming out of a sewer vent/trap that is not mine or on my property?
4. What do I do if I cannot find my building sewer vent/trap or cleanout?
5. What would cause a backup in my building sewer?
6. What should I do if I see water/sewage flowing out of a manhole in the Borough’s sewer system?



1. As a property owner/user what do I own and what are my responsibilities?

The owner/user is responsible for all internal house plumbing, the building sewer, vent/trap, and all cleanouts.  The building sewer connects to the lateral which is tapped into the sewer main.  The lateral and main are owned by the Borough.  In most cases, the Borough owns and is responsible for the main and lateral, from curb to curb or edge of road to edge of road.  Please see the general diagram which is on the Borough Web site under Wastewater Department brochures and handouts:  http://www.kutztownboro.org/departments/wastewater/index.php

2. What do I do if I see water/sewage and or debris coming out of my sewer vent/trap in my yard or sidewalk?

The building sewer and components (see FAQ #1) are the property owner/user responsibility.   A “backup” can be caused by a number of reasons, including debris or solids in the building sewer vent/trap, tree roots, broken or damaged building sewer, etc. Call a plumber or other qualified technician immediately.   Also notify the Borough’s Wastewater Department at 610-683-3404 or the Community Development Office at 610-683-3290.  If after normal hours, weekends, or holidays please call 610-683-6131 and follow the phone prompts.  Follow this link to see a list of plumbers licensed in the Borough as a guide: http://kutztownboro.org/departments/communitydevelopment/contractors.php 

The owner/user must be sure any debris is cleaned up and removed as soon as possible from the site.

3. What do I do if I see water/sewage and or debris coming out of a sewer vent/trap that is not mine or on my property?

Notify the Community Development Office at 610-683-3290 or the Wastewater Department at 610-683-3404.  If after normal operating hours, weekends, or holidays please call 610-683-6131 and follow the phone prompts.

4. What do I do if I cannot find my building sewer vent/trap or cleanout?

In the case of a backup in a building sewer or house plumbing, call a plumber or other qualified technician immediately.  If the vent/trap or cleanout cannot be located by you or the plumber, the Borough’s Wastewater Department may be able to assist in finding the location of these components.  However, each property is unique and these components may be covered up by you or the previous owner, proving difficult to find.  Some examples may include the vent/trap or cleanout being covered by landscaping, flower beds, mulch piles, shrubs, etc…  It is important for a property owner/user to know the locations of the building sewer vent/trap and cleanouts and to keep them clear and accessible.

5. What would cause a backup in my building sewer?

In most cases, backups and clogs are caused by users of the plumbing system discarding items into the plumbing system that should not be.  Tree roots can also enter a building sewer or there could be a break in the building sewer.  Please see brochures and handouts under the Wastewater Department’s Web page for guides on what not to flush or dispose into the building plumbing system:  http://www.kutztownboro.org/departments/wastewater/index.php

6. What should I do if I see water/sewage flowing out of a manhole in the Borough’s sewer system?

Call the Wastewater Department immediately at 610-683-3404.  If no one can be reached or after hours, weekends, or holidays please call 610-683-6131 and follow the phone prompts.