Combined Sewer System
Historic Sewer System Serves Older Areas of the City
The Combined Sewer System provides sewage and drainage service to more than 24,000 parcels in Downtown, Midtown, Land Park, and East Sacramento. The system, oringally established in the 1800's, collects sewage and stormwater in the same pipe. The combined wastewater is pumped to the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District's Treatment Plant in Elk Grove where it is treated and released back to local rivers. During heavy rain events, excess stormwater is also treated at several City facilities before being released back to the river.
Living in the Combined Sewer System
Residents and businesses in the Combined Sewer System may not notice any difference between living in a combined sewer system area and living in an area with a separated sewer and drainage system, but there are a few key things you should know:
1. Be sure to keep gutters free of debris, such as leaves or garbage that can block storm drains and pipes. Not only can these items cause street flooding. They can also lead to increased habitat for mosquito breeding and increase the risk of West Nile Virus.
2. When storm drains back up in the Combined Sewer System during heavy rain events, the water could contain sewage.
3. If a building has a basement, the property owner is required by City code to get a backflow device put on their sewer service to prevent combined wastewater from backing up into the basement.
4. If combined wastewater should back up into your home or onto your property, you should use precaution when cleaning it up. You might also consider hiring a professional to assist you in cleaning up your property.