Who is Responsible for Replacing Sewer Pipes on Property

10November 2023

Who is Responsible for Replacing Sewer Pipes on Property? Understanding Your Obligations


One common question among property owners is who bears the responsibility for replacing sewer pipes.

The answer depends on various factors, including the location of the pipes and local regulations.

In this article, we will clarify the responsibilities of sewer pipe replacement to help property owners navigate this often confusing aspect of property maintenance.


  1. Homeowner’s Responsibility:
    • Private Property: Generally, homeowners are responsible for the sewer pipes that run within their property lines, including the lateral lines that connect the house to the municipal sewer main.
    • Maintenance and Repairs: This includes any necessary maintenance, repairs, or replacements due to age, clogs, or damage.
  2. Municipal Responsibility:
    • Public Sewer Lines: The city or local municipality usually takes responsibility for the main sewer lines, which are located under public streets and easements.
    • Public Works: Any issues or replacements needed on these sections are typically handled by the city’s public works or sewer department.
  3. Shared Lines or Easements:
    • Shared Responsibility: In cases where sewer lines are shared by multiple properties or run through easements, the responsibility may be shared or defined by local ordinances or specific easement agreements.
  4. Identifying the Problem Area:
    • Professional Inspection: A camera inspection by a licensed plumber can help determine the location and extent of the problem, thereby clarifying responsibility.
    • Consult Local Regulations: Check with local authorities or utility companies to understand specific regulations in your area.
  5. Insurance and Warranty Considerations:
    • Homeowner’s Insurance: Some insurance policies may cover sewer line replacement under certain conditions.
    • Service Line Warranties: Consider investing in a service line warranty or protection plan for future incidents.



Determining who is responsible for replacing sewer pipes on a property requires understanding local laws, property boundaries, and sometimes specific insurance policies.

Homeowners should proactively manage their portions of sewer lines and seek professional advice when issues arise.

Remember, early detection and maintenance can prevent costly replacements in the future.