Sanitary Sewer


Sewer Cleaning/Televising. The Department of Public Works cleans City sewer lines on a regular basis. In conjunction with the cleaning operations, City sewer mains are regularly inspected using a remote-controlled closed-circuit television camera specially designed to move through sewers. This device is used to check for blockage and damage in the sewer system. By spotting small problems early, they can be remedied before they turn into real trouble. 


Sewer treatment is provided through the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). 

Reporting a Sewer Backup

We hope you do not experience a backup. However, if one does occur in your home, cease to run water and report it immediately by calling City Hall at 414-228-1710 or after-hour Glendale Police Department at 414-228-1753. City personnel will determine if a blockage has occurred in the sanitary main. If the sanitary main is running clear, your sanitary lateral is plugged and you will need to contact a plumber to clear the blockage. 

Tips to Avoid Sewer Backups

Here are some tips to avoid sewer backups:

  • Never flush diapers, feminine hygiene products, or other paper (except toilet paper) down toilets. Paper materials swell up and lodge in sewer lines, causing backups. 
  • Flushable Wipes? THINK AGAIN...What we put down our drains and toilets can negatively impact our environment and put our health at risk. Even items labeled flushable can clog pipes, tangle pumps and result in messy and costly sewer backups. By educating ourselves and each other, we can avoid expensive and dangerous mistakes while improving our sewer system practices. There are only two items that we should ever flush: human waste and toilet paper. If you cannot avoid purchasing and using items that have been labeled "flushable," throw them away after use rather than putting them into our sewer system. 
  • If you need to discard hazardous materials such as used motor oil, antifreeze, paint, etc., visit the clean sweep collection site. You can find more information at: Home Hazmat Collection
  • Dispose of unused medicines at the Glendale Police Department Med-Collection Dropbox. 
  • During heavy rainfalls, do not run dishwashers, laundry, and avoid showering. 
  • Next, if you have trees in your front lawn, there is always a possibility of root intrusions into your sewer line. If you suspect roots growing into your sewer line, have your line cleaned out annually. Symptoms of clogged lines include slow drainage and frequent backups. You can find more information here.

Who is Responsible for the Lateral?

As a homeowner, you are responsible for the maintenance and care of the sanitary lateral from your house to the sanitary main. The City is responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the sanitary mains. If you experience sewage backup in your basement floor drains or sinks, cease to run water and contact the City Hall at 414-228-1710 immediately, or after-hours, the Glendale Police Department at 414-228-1753.