The City of Utica is responsible only for "sewer mains" in the city. The Sewer Department's primary job is to maintain these sewer lines and storm lines. The sewer mains for the most part are found in the middle of the city streets but, there are exceptions.
Catch basins and Manholes:
Catch basins are found along the city curbs and are there to collect storm water. These basins are connected to storm lines and for the majority of these lines, are separate from the sewer sanitary lines. However; there are exceptions.These lines are called "Combination lines" because they carry both sanitary and storm water in the same line.
Manholes are found in the center of the road and have a solid top with small holes around the edges. These are the access points that the Sewer Dept. needs for maintenance purposes of these lines.
Attached to City's main sewer lines are the "Lateral lines" which come from a particular home or business. Lateral lines and their upkeep, are the responsibility of the home or business owner. If that lateral line fails in any way, the home or business owner is responsible to have that line replaced or repaired (even if the main sewer line is across the street!).
On occasions, a city main becomes plugged (usually with grease or tree root debris). The grease is formed by the build up of soaps that flow from homes and businesses. This grease also builds up in laterals and is the most common cause of blockage in laterals.
DO NOT THROW GREASE ( COOKING OILS, ETC.) OR OTHER FOREIGN MATTER IN YOUR SINKS, TOILETS, OR CATCH BASINS OUT IN THE ROAD!
On rare occasions, a city main sewer line will fail and collapse. When that happens, the Sewer Dept. must make a cut and repair that line. The bad line is replaced with new PVC lines which will last virtually forever.