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Home > Government > Village Services > Sewer Problems

Sewer Problems

Your home is connected to the Village sanitary sewer via a 6-inch underground pipe called a “lateral.” These laterals are the responsibility of the homeowner up to the inside edge of the public sidewalk.


Common causes for sewer backups are blockages caused by misuse (e.g.: paper products, grease or objects flushed.) Another problem is tree root intrusion into the lateral through a joint or failed pipe. If the offending tree is on Village property, between the sidewalk and street, the Village will rectify the blockage.

If you experience a backup in a sink or tub and the other facilities in the home drain properly, chances are that the one drain is blocked and the main sewer lateral is fine.

In the event of a sanitary backup call 630/279-2140. For after-hour emergencies, call the Addison Police non-emergency number at 630/543-3080.

Backflow Prevention

Due to the way certain homes were constructed, a backflow prevention device may be placed on the sanitary lateral prior to it leaving the home. This device prevents the backing up of the sanitary sewage into the home during periods of heavy rainfall. These devices should be located in the home and should be inspected and maintained on an annual basis. The recommended, most positive means of home protection is an overhead sewer system.


If you experience sewer odors coming in your home, chances are that you have a drain trap in the house which has evaporated the water seal. This usually occurs in the lower levels of a home in floor drains which are not used very often. Just pour one gallon of water in the offending drain and this will usually rectify the problem.

Household Grease Disposal

The disposal of Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) into household drains is strictly prohibited by the Village of Addison. Chapter 23, Section 23-32(b) of Addison Code states that a person may not contribute a solid or viscous substance that may cause an obstruction in the sewer line, or interfere with the operations of the wastewater treatment facility.

Restaurants, food manufacturing plants, and other businesses are regulated by the Village of Addison. They must install and maintain grease traps and other treatment equipment to meet local codes. They are routinely inspected and monitored by our Industrial Pretreatment Department and our laboratory staff to ensure compliance.

Addison, and other local communities, are now observing that a significant amount of oil and grease comes from single and multiple family homes.

Harmful Effects of Grease

Grease discharged to the sewer system can create several mechanical and environmental problems such as:

  • Grease build-up causes blockages to occur in both the household plumbing and public sewer system.
  • Sewers lines become coated with solidified grease and have less capacity to convey wastewater
  • This can lead to increased sanitary sewer back-up and flooding into homes during rain events.
  • Increased costs of maintenance and repair of sewer pipes means higher sewer bills to all residents.
  • Excessive grease that enters the treatment facility causes interference and operational problems.
  • Blocked sewer pipes, if not detected early, can cause the release of untreated sewerage (Sanitary Sewer Overflow) onto the streets creating an environmental and public health issue.

Steps to Take

Residents can help the environment by taking several steps when handling and disposing of household grease:

  • Never pour liquid grease or oil into a drain.
  • Collect cooled oil and grease in a glass or metal, sealable container and allow it to solidify. It can then be disposed of in your regular trash.
  • Dry wipe all plates, utensils, pots, and pans with disposable paper products such as paper towels or napkins before rinsing (using towels will only transfer grease into your washing machine rinse and back into the sewer)
  • Inform and encourage all members of the household to follow proper grease handling steps.