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Wastewater Maintenance Program

The City of Auburn Hills has a wastewater maintenance program consisting of cleaning, inspecting and repairing of city’s sewer system on a three- year revolving schedule. If your home or business is affected by our operations a notice may be delivered. 

The DPW provides sewer maintenance service year-round. Sewer manholes will have to be opened, so any sod or landscaping that may be over them will have to be removed. If you see our vehicles in your neighborhood, we will be jetting (sending high pressure water) through the sewer lines to clear any debris in them. The only preparation that a homeowner needs to do is put toilet lids in your home down and make sure your sewer vent pipe is clear from blockage.

When a sewer vent pipe in your home is clean from blockages, then sewer jetting does not have any effect on your home. The pressure from the sewer jetting will go out through the vent pipe and not cause any problems in your home.

If the sewer vent pipe is blocked, then you could experience water and/or sewage coming up from your toilets and drains in your home. A blockage could be caused by any number of things, including leaves, animals or snow. 

There are a couple ways you may check your vent pipes:

  1. Open the faucets at the tub and sink nearest the roof vent pipe. Go on the roof with a flashlight and visually inspect the roof vent. If the vent is clear, you should be able to hear the water running.
  2. When it's cold outside, you can run hot water inside your home and simply check to see if you see steam coming out of the roof vent.

If you find the roof vent is blocked, run a hose down the vent pipe to flush out the debris. The water will run down through the pipe and out the sewer line. If the vent pipe begins to fill with water, you have a major blockage and should contact a licensed plumber.

After the sewer jetting is done, if you experience a smell coming from inside your sinks or toilets, run water down them. This will fill your traps with water again, and should fix the problem.

After the jetting process is performed, we follow up with our CCTV inspection equipment. Televising the sewer lines involves the use of a sewer line inspection system. A camera, mounted on a motorized sled, powers through the sewers recording any defects found. All deficiencies are then documented, prioritized by severity, and repaired.  The pipeline is given a grade which assists us in determining when a pipeline should be scheduled for repair and/or replacement. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding while our routine maintenance takes place.

Sewer Overflows


In the event of a sewer emergency, please contact the Department of Public Works at (248) 391-3777 between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday. For emergency situations after normal working hours or on weekends and holidays, call the Police Department at (248) 370-9444. 

If you experience any problems with your sanitary sewer, please call the City before hiring a private sewer repair company. The DPW will check the public sewer to determine if the backup is in the main or in the service line. Any backup caused by the public sewer main is the responsibility of the City.  Action will be taken to restore the proper operation of the sanitary sewer by the DPW. A backup caused by a service line is the responsibility of the homeowner and a licensed plumber should be contacted.

On January 2, 2002, Public Act 222 of 2001 came into effect. This new State law provides procedures to be followed in making a claim in the event of a sewage overflow or backup on your property. The following information is required to be provided, in writing, within 45 days of the date the sewer overflow or backup was discovered or should have been discovered:

  1. Your name, address, and telephone number.
  2. The address of the affected property.
  3. The date of discovery of any property damages or physical injuries.
  4. A brief description of your claim.

Please follow the link below to access the claims form. Failure to provide this information within 45 days of the date that the damage or physical injury was discovered, or should have been discovered, will prevent you from being able to make a claim against the City of Auburn Hills for economic damages. The information should be sent to:


Mark Michling, Manager of Public Utilities

City of Auburn Hills

1500 Brown Road

Auburn Hills, MI 48326


FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease)


Fat, Oil and Grease in the sanitary sewer lines is commonly referred to as FOG. The FOG enters the sanitary sewer lines through the drains in a residential home or business. Once it enters the sewer system it sticks to the pipes and lines, and can eventually block the sewer line completely, causing sewage backups and overflows.


Sewage backups as a result of FOG can have an impact on residents, everyone connected to the sewer system, and the environment. If a backup occurs within a resident's sewer line on their property, then they are responsible for the cleanup. For example, if a homeowner consistently pours grease or oil from cooking down their sink drain, it will eventually cool and harden. When the sewage backs up in their home, they will need to hire a licensed plumber to clean their lines and make any repairs if necessary. Cleaning FOG build-up from the main sewer line can increase maintenance costs for the City of Auburn Hills. The environment can be impacted by sewage backups overflowing into the streets, lakes and rivers.


Sources of FOG include:

  • Cooking oil
  • Butter, margarine or shortening
  • Meat fats
  • Lard
  • Food scraps
  • Dairy products


To keep your drains clear, follow these easy tips:


  1. Pour or scrape oily or greasy foods into a container and allow it to cool before disposing of it in your garbage. Mix any liquid oils with an absorbent material such as kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing it in the trash.
  2. DO NOT pour fat, oil or grease down your sink. Hot water does NOT dilute the FOG when rinsing cookware, utensils or dishes.
  3. Keep your drain clean by pouring one (1) cup baking soda down the drain followed by one (1) cup vinegar. Wait 10-15 minutes, and then rinse with hot water. 

Please click here to access the City’s Sewer Back-Up Policy

Please click here to access the Public Act 222: Sewer Back-Up Legislation.

Please click here to access a Sewer Claims Form.