Residents FAQs

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Sewage is backing up into my house/building through overflowing toilets, sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, and/or washing machines. What should I do?

If these problems occur and you are not using your household water outlets, there may be a problem in the public main. Call (925) 933-0990 to request service.

If your household water outlets are being used, turn them off to stop the running water. This indicates a possible problem in your side sewer. You need to call a plumbing company (located in the yellow pages of the phone book) since Central San is only responsible for sewers not on private property.

If overflow is constant, the homeowner should remove the cap on the cleanout or overflow protection device (if present) located outside the building. The homeowner can use towels, sheets, rags, etc. to keep the sewage from spreading and damaging other parts of the house.

Sewage is overflowing from a sewer structure onto the ground, driveway, street, etc. What should I do?

Overflow devices are usually located near the building. They may have lids or mushroom caps on top. Their purpose is to allow sewage from a plugged sewer to overflow outside of the building.

Manhole structures are usually located in the middle of the street and provide access for cleaning and pipe inspection. Central San manhole structures are marked with “CCCSD” on top.

Storm drains carry rain water only and are usually under curb openings in the gutters. They are usually covered with grates or slotted pieces of metal. Some solid round covers are marked with “S” or “Storm Drain.” Your city or the Contra Costa County Department of Public Works is responsible for problems with storm drains.

I have slow drainage through my toilets, showers, and sinks. What can I do about it?

If neighbors are having similar slow drainage, there is a chance that there is a problem in the public main. For service call (925) 933-0990.

If neighbors are not having a problem, you may need to call a plumbing company (yellow pages of phone book).

My side sewer or sewer main was broken by a contractor or utility. What should I do?

The District repairs broken side sewer connections to mains and sewer mains that are broken by private contractors or utilities (EBMUD, PG&E, cities, etc). While the contractor or utility is responsible for notifying the District immediately, residents can call (925) 933-0990 to report such an incident or to confirm a report has been made.

What is Central San’s service responsibility?

Central San is responsible for the public sewer mains–most of which are located in the middle of the streets and in easements.

What is the property owner’s responsibility?

The property owner is responsible for the side sewer (lateral) from the house, including the pipe that connects to the sewer main.

Is there information available on the history or cleaning frequency of a sewer line?

The District has a Sewer Maintenance Scheduling System and can provide historical information to realtors on sewer lines serving homes that are for sale.

The Sewer Maintenance Scheduling System can provide residents with information about the last time a particular sewer line was cleaned and the frequency of the cleaning schedule.

There is a manhole cover in my neighborhood that rattles and continues to irritate me every time a vehicle rolls over it. What can I do about it?

The District has two main types of sewer structures: 1) a manhole that varies in size from 25″ to 42″ in diameter, and 2) a rodding inlet, which is round or oval and ranges in size from 9″ to 18.” Both structures have solid covers and are normally imprinted on top with “CCCSD.” Occasionally, there may be a separation between the base and the cover of the manhole or rodding inlet causing the cover to rattle when a vehicle rolls over it. To report a rattling manhole or rodding inlet cover, call (925) 933-0990.

What can I do about terrible sewer odors?

First, try to determine where the odor is coming from (inside the home or outside in the street). If an odor is coming from inside the home, there may be a problem with the internal plumbing system. Check your internal system first or call a plumbing company. If the problem exists outdoors, call Central San’s Odor Hotline at (925) 335-7703.

I paid a plumber to repair my side sewer. It turns out the problem was occurring in the public sewer. Can I be reimbursed for my plumbing bill?

Yes, in part. Occasionally, homeowners call a plumber or sewer and drain service to correct a problem with their private side sewers, and it turns out that the cause of the problem was a stoppage in the publicly owned sewer. In these instances, the District may reimburse the homeowner for a portion of the cost of the plumber or drain service. To obtain reimbursement, follow these simple steps:

  1. Write a brief letter outlining the circumstances and enclose a copy of the paid invoice from the plumber or drain service.
  2. Mail the letter to:

Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
Attn: Safety & Risk Management Administrator
5019 Imhoff Place
Martinez, CA 94553

  1. Upon investigation and approval, the homeowner will be mailed a check covering up to one hour of reasonable charges by the plumber or drain service.

For property damage claim information, or if you have any questions, please contact Central San’s Safety and Risk Management Administrator at (925) 229-7320 or sdeutsch@centralsan.org.

How do I put my sewer bill in my name?

You do not need to take any action to put your sewer bill in your name. Central San’s sewer service charge is a line item on your annual property tax bill, and you will not receive a separate bill from Central San. The tax bill with our fees included is sent to the registered owner of the property.

How do I start or stop sewer service?

Service is never turned on or off. The lateral to the property is connected to our sewer system and does not require a phone call to Central San to start or stop service. If you have a septic tank on the property that is in use to collect wastewater, you are NOT connected to the sanitary sewer system. If you wish to abandon the septic tank and connect to our system, contact Central San regarding requirements and fees.