About the Sanitary Sewer System When you wash your hands, the "wastewater" that goes down the drain flows through the interior plumbing, out of the house, and into a pipe called a sewer lateral. Like the interior plumbing, the sewer lateral is owned by the private property owner that it serves. The sewer lateral connects to the City operated sanitary sewer main usually in the street.
The City of Dubuque has a separate sanitary sewer system so that wastewater is collected in the sanitary sewer system and it is conveyed to the City wastewater treatment facility operated by the City's Water & Resource Recovery Center. There it is treated and cleaned before it is discharged into the Mississippi. Stormwater is collected by the stormwater management system and conveyed and discharged directly into area creeks, streams, and rivers - without treatment.
The City’s wastewater collection and treatment system operates as a self-supporting enterprise fund which means that it is funded with revenue from user fees. The user fees fund maintenance activities performed by the Public Works Department, the treatment of the wastewater performed by the Water & Resource Recovery Center, and the construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer collection system performed by the Engineering Department. The collection system consists of over 300 miles of sewer and serves over 20,000 properties.
To report a backup, contact the Public Works Department at 563.589.4250. The Public Works Department will inspect the city main. In many instances, the problem is in the private lateral that runs from the house/building to the city main.