How do the pipes work

Wastewater piping

Wastewater piping within your residence collects wastewater from the plumbing fixtures (faucets, shower valves, toilets, etc.), and transports that waste to a larger line within the property called a building sewer lateral. The building sewer lateral starts at the exterior of your residence and connects to a District sanitary sewer main that is either located in the public right-of-way or within a District sewer easement, and then your wastewater is transported through various sanitary sewer mains and ultimately treated at the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility.

Device for wastewater backflow protection

A device for wastewater backflow protection (BPD) minimizes the risk of harm to human health, property, and the environment by closing a flap when a backup of sewage located away from your residence is detected. The flap could also close due to a malfunction from not being properly maintained. When the BPD flap is closed, sewage from your residence will not flow to our system and will start backing up in your building sewer and could potentially enter your residence through plumbing drains and damage your residence floors and furnishings

The BPD should be regularly inspected at intervals recommended by the BPD manufacturer (typically every three to six months) to determine that it is operating correctly.

When a building has a plumbing fixture with a floor elevation that is twelve (12) inches or less above the ground surface of our sanitary sewer main upstream manhole, then a device for wastewater backflow protection will be require by the District and will need to be installed per the local jurisdiction building code requirements.

Call us first

Sometimes unforeseen blockages occur in the District sewer main lines, your building sewer lateral, or in your residence indoor plumbing. These blockages could be due to clogs from flushing such things as diapers, feminine hygiene products, flushable wipes, and cooking food grease; tree roots growing through cracks in pipes carrying sewage; or broken or collapsed pipes carrying sewage from ground movement, underground utility construction, or severe tree root intrusion.

If you ever experience sewage backing up in your residence or on your property and you are within the District's service area, call the District first Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 4:30 pm at (408) 385-3090, or after hours at (408) 299-2507. We will inspect our sewer main line and your building lower sewer lateral - at no additional charge as its included in the monthly sewer service and use charge you pay.