"Flushable" Does Not Mean Flushable
Cleaning wipes, baby wipes, facial wipes, and paper towels are some of the biggest causes of (or contributors to) sewer back-ups in the County of San Mateo Sewer Districts. That’s right - even if the package says “flushable” or “disposable”, they should NEVER be flushed. They belong in the trash.
Flush only toilet paper, put trash in the trash can. Help prevent costly sewer problems and keep our environment safe from sanitary sewer backups and overflows!
Our Service Districts
Public Works provides sewer collection services for residents and businesses to 10 sewer maintenance & sanitation districts within the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.
About Our Program
The sewer collection service program is primarily funded by the Sewer Service Charges that are levied on properties that receive sewer service from the Districts. The Sewer Service Charge is collected annually on the property tax bill. Sewer Service Charge rates for the ten County Sewer Maintenance and Sanitation Districts are set by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and are described in Section 4.32.020 of the Ordinance Code. Public Works personnel maintain the sewer mains in a street or easement and related facilities that comprise the collection system. Ownership and maintenance of sewer laterals -- the sewer line that connects the plumbing of a house or business to the sewer main -- are the property owner's responsibility. Section 4.24 of the Ordinance Code governs sewer mains and laterals.
The County does not operate sewage treatment facilities. Sewage flows from the collection systems in County districts to sewage treatment plants operated by the South Bayside System Authority, or the cities of Burlingame or San Mateo. The County Sewer/Sanitation Districts pay the plant or city that treats the sewage.
Sewer Service Charges are prescribed for each residential unit or residential unit equivalent per connection to each district's sanitary sewerage system, per year or portion thereof.
Report an Overflow
If you live in one of the County service areas and the Sanitary Sewer in the street is overflowing please contact the County at (650) 363-4100 (24 hours a day).
- "Rethink What You Flush"
- "Be Sewer Savvy"
- For Plumbers & Sewer Contractors
Sewer System Management Plan
The Sewer System Management Plan, adopted in August 2009, provides guidelines for the management, operation, and maintenance of wastewater collection systems in order to provide reliable service. Attention is given to minimizing infiltration and inflow, and to minimizing the frequency and impact of sanitary sewer overflows. Learn More »