The City protects both the public’s health and the region’s water quality by collecting and conveying wastewater (sewage) to the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), the main wastewater treatment plant. The City of Albany sewer collection system consists of approximately 35 miles of sewer mains, associated lower laterals, and 800 manholes. Click here to see an overview of the City's sewer assets.
Your home or business is connected to the sewer system by a service line, called a sewer lateral. The portion of the sewer lateral pipe that runs from the property to the curb cleanout (or curb line if a cleanout does not exist) is called an “upper sewer lateral”. Maintenance and repair of upper sewer laterals are the responsibility of the property owner. See Upper Sewer Lateral Compliance Program for more information.
The City is responsible for the maintenance and repair of lower laterals, sewer mains and manholes. Maintenance activities include the flushing of sewer lines to remove build-up and debris and the video inspection of lines to document the condition of the pipes.
The City has developed a Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) to properly manage, operate, and maintain all parts of the City's sanitary sewer collection system and to satisfy the requirements of the State Water Resources Control Board Order #2006-0003 and the Revised Monitoring and Reporting Program, WQ 2013-0058-Exec . The goals of the SSMP are:
- To employ best practices to properly manage, operate, and maintain all parts of the wastewater collection system
- To provide adequate capacity to convey peak flows
- To minimize the frequency of sanitary sewer overflows
- To mitigate the impact of sanitary sewer overflows
The Sewer System Management Plan was approved by City Council on June 16, 2014.
Sewage overflows occur when the wastewater in underground pipes overflows through a manhole, cleanout, or broken pipe. Common causes of overflows include:
- Grease build-up
- Tree roots
- Broken/cracked pipes
- Missing or broken cleanout caps
- Undersized sewers
- Groundwater/rainwater entering the sewer system
Keep Fats, Oils and Grease Out of the Sewer
Cooking fats, oils and grease, if washed down the drain, can lead to sewage back-ups at home, your business or in the City's sewer pipes. No one wants untreated sewage backing up into buildings or streets!
- To reduce grease-related problems at home and to locate residential cooking oil recycling locations, see EBMUD’s Residential Pollution Prevention.
- For controlling grease at restaurants and other food service establishments, see EBMUD’s Fats, Oil and Grease to develop an effective grease management program at work.
Report a Backup!
Sewage backups caused in the public portion of the system should be reported the City as soon as possible:
- During regular business hours (8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday), call the Public Works Department (510) 524-9543
- After hours, on weekends and holidays, call the Police Dispatch (510) 525-7300