Homeowner Responsibilities

Tech cleaning pipe in basement

Stormwater laterals (services) are pipes that carry stormwater from buildings or land to the City’s stormwater mains. These pipes are typically between four inches and twelve inches in diameter and are made of concrete, clay, plastic or cast iron. The maintenance and repair of stormwater services are the responsibility of the individual property owners.

If you have a sewage backup into your building
First: Call a plumber or drain cleaning contractor to clear the pipe from the building to the city sewer main. If the plumber is unable to clear the pipe call the Sewer Division at 617.349.4861, Monday- Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm or the Off-hours Division at 617.349.4860 any other time. Please provide your name and phone number and the name and phone number of the plumber or drain cleaner. If this is an urgent matter, please call the Operations Center at 617.349.4800 and be sure to state that it is urgent.

Help prevent sewer odors
Residents can help to prevent odors by never dumping anything into a catch basin. The engineering intent of a catch basins is to collect rainwater only. Please call the Operations Center at 617.349.4800, or the Sewer Division at 617.349.4861 and leave your name, phone number and nearest address or street intersection where you smell the sewer odor.

Backflow Preventers: Sewer permits for below street grade units
In order to reduce sewer problems that often occur when residential, office, industrial or other uses occupy below street grade units, the following regulations are hereby adopted by the Department of Public Works consistent with Section 13,16,020 – B/2 and 13.16.020 – C of the Cambridge City Ordinance Learn more

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm