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Cuyahoga County Sanitary Engineer Sewer Maintenance Schedule
Reporting Spills & Odors
Summer Sprinkling Program Application

 Residential Collection
Residential or domestic wastewater is sewage that is derived principally from residential facilities or dwellings, business buildings, institutions, industries and the like, originating as wastes from kitchens, bathrooms and showers.

Residential wastewater is collected in a number of ways. The first is through a direct connection to the sewage collection system called a sanitary lateral. A sanitary lateral is a pipe from a home or business that transports wastewater into larger pipes that lead to the wastewater treatment plant.

Another way wastewater is collected is through catch basins. A catch basin is a chamber or well used with storm or combined sewers as a means of collecting water. Catch basins also capture large grit before it enters the sewer pipes. If grit was allowed to flow freely into the sewer system, it could contribute to sewer blockages. By using catch basins, grit is captured and can be cleaned from the system more easily than if it were allowed to accumulate within the sewer pipes.

Some of the components of a collection system include: gravity sewers, force mains, manholes, regulators and lift stations. Proper operation and maintenance of the collection system ensures that the wastewater is safely and efficiently transported to the wastewater treatment plant and is not allowed to back up and overflow into the street, someone's home, or into the streams, rivers or Lake Erie.

Local Sewers - Maintenance Responsibility

Components of the collection system fall under different areas of ownership, thus affecting the responsibility for their maintenance. While sanitary laterals are generally the responsibility of the home, building or business owner, the city or municipality has responsibility for maintenance of the local sewers.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's responsibility includes construction and maintenance of intercommunity relief sewers, interceptors and wastewater treatment plants. The Cuyahoga County Sanitary Engineer has full or partial responsibility for sewer maintenance in most Cleveland suburbs (click on "Cuyahoga County Sanitary Engineer Sewer Maintenance" above). In the City of Cleveland and several other suburbs, the local Sewer Maintenance Department or Engineering Office of that city handles sewer maintenance. Some suburbs may outsource sewer maintenance activities to private contractors.