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Wastewater Disposal

The City of Woodbury has an underground sanitary sewer collection system that transports sewage from homes for wastewater treatment at a Metropolitan Council Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. Gravity sewer service lines slope away from each house to combine in city gravity sewer mains. The collected wastewater flows through nearly 280 miles of underground piping within the city to sanitary sewer lift stations where pumps convey the wastewater to another sanitary sewer line or main interceptors for gravity flow to a Regional Treatment Facility. The city is charged for the total flow treated by Metropolitan Council. We add in the costs of maintaining and operating the pumps and piping systems and charge each resident for their proportional use. The volume of wastewater generated in the city is consistent throughout the year. To avoid increased sewer rates in the summer when water may be used that does not enter the sewer system, we use the winter quarter water use to establish the sewer use and billing rate for the entire year.

The city maintains and cleans the underground piping on a regular basis. The homeowner's service line is the homeowner's responsibility for maintenance and cleaning. If the city receives a call on a sewer backup, staff will verify the city line is maintained and flowing properly and correct any problems in the city line. The city also does preventative maintenance and repairs or replaces any failed equipment at city lift stations. The City has at least one backup pump and control system at each facility as well as generators and portable pumps to handle emergencies. There is 24 hour a day communications with each site and 24 hour a day on call public service workers to immediately respond to any problems.

Why do I smell sewer gas in my home?

When a sink or shower is seldom used, the water in the trap under the sink or shower can evaporate, allowing sewer gas to enter the room.  This can also happen with floor drains.  Periodically adding water to those drains that are used infrequently can help prevent this problem.

Every plumbing fixture has a trap, which prevents sewer gas from coming into the home. When a lot of water drains through a plumbing fixture, it can be enough water to create a siphon effect, which has the potential to pull water out of the plumbing trap. When water is siphoned through the drain, the water in the trap gets siphoned.  This can lead to sewer gas coming into the home.  Plumbing vents prevent traps from being siphoned.  If you are having problems with smelling sewer gas, you may want to check your vent stack.