Sanitary Sewer Lateral Program

About the Program

The City of Des Plaines is here to assist its residents in many different ways. The Sanitary Sewer Lateral Program provides limited financial assistance to residents facing sanitary sewer complications within qualifying areas. A sanitary sewer lateral is the section of the homeowner's sewer line that runs from the house to the sewer main in the street, parkway, or easement area.

Ownership and Insurance:

The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends under the street or public right-of-way. The potential for property damage from sewer backups caused by damaged sewer laterals is something every Des Plaines homeowner needs to consider. Repair or replacement of damaged sewer laterals can cost thousands of dollars and typical homeowners insurance policies do not cover these costs.

However, sewer backup insurance coverage is available from most insurers as a “Rider” or “Endorsement” to your homeowners insurance policy. These Riders may also cover the cost to repair or replace damaged sewer laterals. The City recommends you contact your homeowners insurance agent regarding this type of additional coverage.Make clear that you are seeking sewer lateral repair or replacement coverage, as well as coverage for the cost associated with a sewer backup.

There are other third party insurance or warranty products on the market that provide coverage for sewer lateral repair and replacement.  The City of Des Plaines cannot recommend any one company and advises residents to carefully research each company before making a decision.


Sanitary Sewer Rebate Form


Sanitary Sewer Program Brochure



If a Des Plaines homeowner experiences a sanitary sewer back-up, the following steps will help determine any work eligible for financial assistance (maximum of 30% reimbursement) by the City:

Step 1

Call the Public Works & Engineering Department at 847.391.5464 to inspect the sewer main and confirm that the main is not blocked and causing the back-up. The resident does not need to be present for this inspection. Any blockages discovered in the main will be cleared by the City. Public Works does not inspect/televise homeowner's lateral sewer lines.

Step 2

If the main is not causing the back-up, the homeowner will be directed to hire a sewer contractor/plumber to check their individual sewer line.

A listing of reasonably-priced sewer contractors is available from the City, by request. If the sewer contractor/plumber discovers a blockage within the right-of-way, the Plumbing Inspector must be contacted at 847.391.5305 to verify this determination.

If the blockage is within the City's right-of-way or easement and can be cleared, the homeowner will be eligible for a reimbursement of 30% of reasonable rodding costs, up to $100.

If the blockage cannot be cleared by rodding and the problem is within the right-of-way or easement, the Plumbing Inspector will make the determination to contact a City contractor or authorize the homeowner's plumber to proceed with the repairs at the homeowner's cost. Thirty percent (30%) of the total repair cost can be reimbursed to the homeowner, up to $4000.

If the blockage is not within the right-of-way/easement, the homeowner is responsible for all costs. The homeowner is also responsible for all routine maintenance costs for the section of the sewer lateral not within the City's right of way/easement.

Questions regarding the Sanitary Sewer Lateral Procedure can be directed to: Paul Berner, Plumbing Inspector at 847.391.5305.