What is a sanitary sewer lateral?

A sanitary sewer lateral is the pipe that carries sanitary waste from the plumbing system in a home or business to the public sanitary sewer main. The sanitary sewer lateral is located on your private property while the public sanitary sewer main is typically located in a public right of way (public streets) or a dedicated County easement located on private property. Sanitary sewer laterals are typically 4" to 6" in diameter and public sewer mains are 8" and larger in diameter. 

A sanitary sewer lateral is an underground pipe that is part of your home’s plumbing. It is also referred to as a private sewer line or private sanitary sewer lateral. If you own your home, you also own your lateral from the end of your home’s internal plumbing to the connection with Spotsylvania County’s sewer main. You are responsible for maintaining your lateral, just like other pipes in your home.

Sewer System Graphic 1000x360

Show All Answers

1. What is a sanitary sewer lateral?
2. What is a sewer cleanout?
3. Who is responsible for the maintenance of the private sewer lateral?
4. Why are defective sewer laterals a problem?
5. Why is it important to keep rainwater from entering sanitary sewer laterals?
6. How can you maintain your private sewer lateral?
7. Should you purchase sewage backup insurance?