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Sewer FAQs 

What is a collection system?

  • A collection system is a network of sewer lines, manholes, pumping stations and other structures used to collect wastewater and transport it to a treatment plant. The Midway City Sanitary District system is a collection system only - treatment and disposal takes place at the Orange County Sanitation District plants in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.

What is a Sewer Service Charge?

  • The purpose of the sewer service charge is to raise revenue for the cost of maintenance, operation, repair, and rehabilitation of the existing sewer system.

How do I pay my Sewer Service Charge?

  • The District’s sewer service charges are a separate line item on the Orange County Assessor’s property tax statement sent to each property owner.

How does my rate compare to other sewer service rates in the area?

  • A. The District historically has one of the lowest rates in Orange County.

When there's a sewer backup, what should I do?

  • A. When a backup occurs, contact the Midway City Sanitary District at (714) 893-3553 during regular business hours and after hours at (714) 310-9004.

What will the District do when a backup occurs?

  • The District will assess the backup to determine if the blockage is in the public sewer line or the property owner’s private sewer lateral. The District will clear blockages that occur in the public sewer line and will stay on-site until the private property owner clears the private sewer backup and cleans up the spill.

What is the purpose of manhole covers?

  • The manholes circular metal lid usually located in the middle (sometimes to the side) of the street are for access to the sanitary sewer main. Only authorized District personnel can remove the manhole cover and enter the manhole.

If I notice missing, damaged or noisy manhole covers (loose fitting) what should I do?

  • Please report the occurrence to the District immediately at (714) 893-3553.

What do you mean by sanitary sewer system?

  • Sanitary sewer systems are the sewer mains, manholes, and pumping stations that collect and transport wastewater.

What causes a sanitary sewer to backup?

  • Most sewer backups occur because the line is plugged with grease or roots or a combination of grease and roots.  Backups are also caused by a sag (or belly) in the line or a sewer lateral that has collapsed.  Never place anything in the system other than toilet tissue.  Products like baby wipes and rags and other products labeled “flushable” frequently cause backups because they do not disperse like bathroom tissue.

What kinds of problems do fats, oil, and grease (FOG) cause?

  • When fats, oils, and grease are introduced into the sewer, they are usually warm and free flowing.  However, shortly thereafter, they cool and harden and adhere to the pipe wall.  A FOG buildup will eventually cause a backup.

How large is the FOG problem?

  • FOG is the number one cause of sewer line problems and the State Water Resources Control Board has mandated through an Order that all sewer agencies in the State of California have a comprehensive FOG reduction and management program.

Where does FOG come from?

  • FOG is a by-product of the cooking process and may be discharged into the system by restaurants, institutional kitchens, and residences.

What is an easement?

  • When a public sewer line crosses private property, the property owner grants the Midway City Sanitary District a right to operate and maintain the sewer line, and this right to use the private property is termed an “easement.”  The District is usually granted a 10-foot wide strip of land over the length of the sewer.  Easement documents are recorded at the Orange County Recorder’s office.

Who owns and maintains the easement?

  • The property owner continues to own the land and has only given up defined rights on the portion of land used for the easement. Maintenance of the property within the easement is the responsibility of the property owner.  The property owner continues to use the surface of the land but may not erect a structure in the easement.

Who can enter the property?

  • The District may access its easements at any time. The District may, on occasion, have a Contractor perform specific tasks on the sewer inside an easement.

Can I make improvements within the easement?

  • Easements are typically granted to the District with the understanding that the property owner may make improvements to the surface such as fences, asphalt paving, irrigation and lighting systems or similar improvements. However, structures are never allowed inside an easement.

What is an encroachment in an easement?

  • An encroachment is a physical intrusion into the limits of the easement. The District may require that any unauthorized encroachments be removed at the property owner's expense.

Are there penalties for locating structures or improvements on an easement?

  • The property owner may be faced with the costs of removal and any associated damages resulting from unauthorized structures or improvements on land subject to an easement. .
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