Novato Sanitary District | Creating Worth From All of Novato's Waste

Simple Actions to Help Prevent and Report Sewer Spills


Call the District before you clean, unclog or rooter your lateral.

We will come out for free and make sure that whatever is cleaned out of the lateral doesn't go down and plug the sewer.


Call the District right away if you see a sewer spill, even a small leak or one that you aren't sure is even sewage.

We respond 24/7 to check, verify its source and clean public sewer system spills.


Maintain Your Sewer System

  • DO Put food scraps in your compost bin or the garbage for disposal with solid waste.
  • DON'T Use the sewer to dispose of food scraps.
  • DO Pour cooled grease into a disposable container and throw it into the trash. Wipe greasy pots, pans and dishes with a paper towel before washing.
  • DON'T Dump Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) into your drains. Fats can cause clogs and spills.
  • DO Place a wastebasket in the bathroom to dispose of items such as disposable diapers and personal hygiene products.
  • DON'T Use the toilet as a wastebasket for garbage or chemicals. These items can kill "good" bacteria used for sewage treatment, cost much more to treat, and can enter the Bay.
  • DO Use a backflow prevention device as needed.Generally, you need one if: your plumbing system is located below the cleanout; your plumbing system is located less than one foot above the nearest uphill sewer main manhole.

    Check out for more information about backflow prevention devices.

  • DON'T Plant trees with shallow, spreading root systems near your sewer lateral. Tree roots seek water sources, such as cracked sewer lines. Once the roots have penetrated the line through cracks, the roots can create a dense mat and trap materials.