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Customer FAQs

Common Questions & Answers

The plumber says that the problem is in my sewer line in the street. Will you fix it?

Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their own building sewer and lateral pipes, up to and including the connection to Carmel Area Wastewater District’s main sewer line located in the street.

Why do I need a permit to fix my own sewer line?

Carmel Area Wastewater District has permit authority and inspection jurisdiction for building sewer repairs.  A permit is needed before starting any work to ensure the repair will function properly and not contribute to overflows. It also creates a record of when and how the work was done to show compliance with our sewer lateral and repair ordinance. You or your contractor can obtain a permit at our District offices at 3945 Rio Rd, Carmel, CA. The cost is $110 for on property and $225 if you are opening the street. This includes the inspection fee. The District accepts cash or check only; sorry, no credit cards accepted at this time.

Your crew was working on my street; now my toilet is making funny noises. Why?

Our cleaning equipment uses high-pressure water to clean sewers. During this process, air within the main pipe is displaced and sometimes goes up the private lateral pipe and releases through the toilet. This is sometimes referred to as a “bubbling toilet” and is normal. 

Can you fix a manhole cover that rattles every time a vehicle rolls over it?

Yes. The District has two main types of sewer structures:

  1. Manholes that vary in size from 25 to 42 inches in diameter; and,
  2. Rodding inlets which are round or oval and vary in size from 9 to 18 inches in diameter

Both structures have solid covers with "Sanitary Sewer" normally imprinted on top. Occasionally, a separation between the base and the cover may cause the cover to rattle when a vehicle rolls over it. Call the District at 831-624-1248 to report a rattling manhole or rodding inlet cover.

When there is a backup what should I do?

If the backup is coming from somewhere on your property, try to contain it onsite and call a plumber.  If the backup is from a District-owned manhole or rodding inlet, contact CAWD's main office at (831) 624-1248 during normal business hours from  (8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday) or after hours contact the Carmel Police Department at (831) 624-6403. This includes our service areas outside of the city limits. The Carmel Police Department will forward your message to the CAWD standby operators.