The City of New Brighton strives to promote a healthful and attractive environment by collecting all sewage from existing and projected development in a sanitary and economic manner. The Public Works Department maintains approximately 70 miles of sewer main, 5 lift stations, and over 1,500 manholes. Treatment of New Brighton wastewater is handled on a metropolitan level by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Service Area Number 2.
It is the City's objective to provide sewer lines of adequate size to handle existing and future sewage flows. We inspect, clean and maintain the sewer system to minimize sewer backups and other system problems. New Brighton attempts to eliminate any infiltration/inflow problems in the sanitary sewer system and meet or exceed standards set by the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission.
Treatment costs and the cost of maintaining the City's system of trunk and laterals are paid for by the sanitary sewer utility. Customers are billed quarterly and the sanitary sewer is based on the metered water used during the winter quarter. For billing questions go to the Utility Billing page or you can email utilities.
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A detailed list of things to do if your sewer backs up: If you notice water or sewage backing up into your home, call the City immediately. Call 651-638-2111 during the day, or 911 after hours or if you do not get a response from the City number. City workers are trained to respond and may stop further damage to property.
- If you experience a sewer backup call Public Works at 651-638-2111 from 8 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays or call 651-767-0640 after regular hours and on weekends as soon as possible, even if the problem is not located on the city's sewer main. The City wants to check the sewer mains for items that may be cut loose and pushed into the City system, which could cause a new plug.
- Begin the clean-up as promptly as possible. The city will report the backup to the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) and an adjuster will contact you shortly. In the meantime, don't delay beginning the clean-up. For health and safety reasons, you may wish to use a commercial service rather than doing the clean-up yourself. A list of firms that do this type of work is located under carpet cleaners in the yellow pages. Please note that the City of New Brighton doesn't require, endorse, or recommend the use of any particular firm.
- Notify your own insurance company. In many cases, your homeowner's or other insurance will cover some or all of the costs and damages from a sewer backup. The LMCIT adjuster will also ask you for information on your own insurance.
- Make a list of the items that were damaged or destroyed. Include as much information as you can on the description, age, and value of each item. Purchase receipts are helpful if they're available. If possible, it's helpful to take photographs of any damaged items that you dispose of. Keep receipts for any clean-up or repair work you have done.
If you have questions or if you don't hear from the LMCIT adjuster, contact the Public Works Department at 651-638-2111.
In order to help homeowners with the damages and the costs of cleaning and disinfecting homes after a sewer backup, the City obtained No-Fault sewer backup coverage. The coverage provides the City with a tool to assist homeowners who suffer damages from a backup that occurs. To file a claim, please fill out a Notice of Claim Form (PDF).
The City of New Brighton carries "no-fault sewer back-up coverage" with the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT). This coverage will pay for many of the costs a resident or property owner incurs for clean-up and damage caused by a sewer backup if those costs aren't covered by his/her own insurance, regardless of whether the city was at fault or legally liable for those damages and costs.
The City has a good record of inspecting and maintaining its sewer lines, and because of its good sewer maintenance practices, in many cases the City would not be legally liable for damages. Sewer lines are open systems and even the best maintenance practices cannot guarantee that a backup will not occur. An example might be if a resident flushes a diaper down the sewer and the diaper gets caught in the main sewer line, a backup could occur in the area of the blockage. The City could not have reasonably prevented this occurrence and therefore would not be considered "at-fault". In this case, the No-Fault sewer backup coverage would provide up to $25,000 coverage for each affected party.
The coverage only applies if the backup was caused by a problem in the City's lines or system. It doesn't apply if the problem is in the resident's own line.
The no-fault coverage does not apply in certain "catastrophic" situations in which large numbers of properties are likely to be affected. These include back-ups related to exceptionally heavy rainfall exceeding the "100-year" amount, back-ups due to flooding, back-ups due to an extended power outage, and back-ups in any Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster type situation.
Sewage flows by gravity though a system of underground pipes. When the flow is obstructed the sewer may back up into the property owner's building. There are three types of sewer back-ups: private service line blockage, city main blockage and catastrophic situations. Most sewer back-ups are preventable. View the sewer backup policy (PDF).
The City coverage has up to a $30,000 limit for property damages and cleanup costs. Homeowners should keep in mind that keeping sewer backup coverage in their homeowner's insurance and/or flood insurance offers the best protection against most sewer backup incidents.
Sewage flows by gravity though a system of underground pipes. When the flow is obstructed the sewer may back up into the property owner's building. There are three types of sewer back-ups: private service line blockage, city main blockage and catastrophic situations. Most sewer back-ups are preventable. View the Sewer Backup Policy (PDF).
In service line blockages, only one property is affected. These include back-ups related to tree roots and anything that will not totally dissolve that could plug the sewer service such as disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, bandages, rags, and plastics bags. The property owner is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the sewer service from the City sewer main to the house.
A sewer main blockage will most likely affect more than one property. Sewer mains may back up when the sewer main pipe breaks down. The City routinely inspects the sanitary sewer system to prevent sewer main failures. Sewer main back-ups may also be caused by the same items that cause a private service line to back up. These items sometimes manage to flow through the private service line but then get stuck in the main. Improper cleaning of a private sewer service may move the blockage problem further downstream into the sewer main. Construction activity from time to time accidentally creates blockage problems as well.
In catastrophic situations, large numbers of properties are likely to be affected. These include back-ups related to exceptionally heavy rainfall exceeding the "100-year" amount, back-ups due to flooding, back-ups due to an extended power outage, and any disaster-type situation. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) usually provides funds to assist property owners in catastrophic situations.