For help with sewers during business hours call 216-491-1490. For help after business hours call 216-491-1499.

Resident Responsibility

  1. Hire a plumber to place a camera in the sewer to look for problems in laterals on private property. 
  2. Locate test tees (property owners can contact Public Works for measurements to help in locating the tee).
  3. Repair/replace test tees, with the following exceptions:
    1. If the repair of the test tee is required in order for the City to properly repair the sewer lateral on the City side.
    2. If the City has directly caused any damage.

Note: By City ordinance, if a resident does not make needed repairs and health issues are observed, the Public Works Department will declare a nuisance. The City will then make the repair and bill the resident for labor cost + 25 percent.

City Responsibility

Preventive maintenance: cleaning thousands of catch basins on streets and in parking lots and fields; jetting water at high pressure through almost a million feet of sewer mains; catch basin repairs, manhole inspections and repairs, storm water outfall inspections; root control.

Checking the City side of the sewer lines. Residents may call 216-491-1490 to request this service once per year.

What if a problem occurs?

During business hours, residents can call the City and request a service visit to check the City side of the sewer. If the problem is found to be on the private side, the City will advise the owner to contact a sewer contractor. The owner is responsible for paying the cost of the contractor.

During non-business hours, residents can do the following:

  • Wait until the City can check the problem, usually on the next business day, particularly if it is not an emergency.
  • Hire a private contractor.
    • If the contractor finds that the problem is on the City side, the contractor or homeowner may contact the City. The contractor must leave an invoice indicating that the blockage is on the City side. In this case, the City will determine if it is an emergency situation. If so, the City will address the problem the same day. Emergencies could include situations like an entire street being flooded. They will be determined on a case by case basis.


If test tee/lateral work is needed on private property, residents may search for a contractor licensed in Shaker Heights.

If a resident knows there are roots in the sanitary and storm laterals, it is recommended that copper sulfate is used bi-annually. The general time frame for copper sulfate applications is in the spring and fall each year. This product can be purchased from local hardware stores or Home Depot. Please read the manufacturer's instructions for proper handling and use.

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