The Wastewater/Sewer System Division is dedicated to protecting public health and the environment by the cost effective operation and maintenance of the Wastewater Collection System infrastructure consisting of over 260 miles of pipe ranging from 6 to 48 inches. The Wastewater Collection Division conveys an average dry weather flow of approximately 7.2 million gallons a day (MGD) from homes and businesses to the City of Merced Wastewater Treatment Facility.


To provide a high quality and dependable wastewater collection service to ensure the health, safety, and economic vitality of our community.


  • Ensure completion of our annual comprehensive sewer line inspection, repair and preventive maintenance program elements.
  • Continue to explore the feasibility of implementing new procedures and technologies to enhance the efficiency and productivity of the division that will provide the highest level of customer service.

Sewer team with vehicles

Sewer Vocabulary

  • Sewer Lateral: Pipe that carries sewage from private property to the public sewer main.
  • Sewer Lateral Clean-Out: Pipe that allows for cleaning/inspection of sewer lateral.
  • Public Sewer Main: Sewer pipe that carries sewage from sewer lateral to the sewage treatment plant.
  • Sewer Roof Vent: Pipe running from sewer lateral line to rooftop to allow venting of sewer gasses.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for City of Merced Utilities?
Contact the Finance Department by phone at (209) 385-6841 or in person at 678 W. 18th Street. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If there is a problem with the sewer line, would it be the owner’s responsibility or City’s to make repairs?
It would depend. The sewer lateral and connection to the City’s main is the owner’s responsibility to maintain/repair. The house or building sewer lateral extends from the house or building to the City’s main line. You may need to have a certified plumber repair it. The sewer main is the City’s responsibility.

What do I do if I need assistance after hours?
If your issue is an emergency, contact the Merced Police Department at (209) 385-6912.
If your issue is NOT an emergency, call and leave a message for the Public Works Department at (209) 385-6800.

What part of the sewer line is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain?
House laterals – responsibility for house laterals belongs to the property/homeowner. Section 15.08.070 “Ownership of sewer line extensions” City of Merced Municipal Code states house and building sewer lines, including their connection to subtrunk sewers or sewer laterals, shall not be considered City property or become a part of the City sewer system, and their maintenance and repair shall not be the responsibility of the City.

Important note: If you see or suspect that there is a sewer problem, take immediate action by discontinuing the use of water inside your house or building in order to cease drainage to your sewer lateral. Contact the City of Merced, Public Works Department. City personnel will respond and inform you if the problem is in the City main or if it is in the house or building’s lateral, at which time you should call a plumber.

In the event that a house or building sewer backups, overflows, and reaches a City right-of-way, the City’s Sewer Collection Department will respond and clean up the right-of-way, as it is a public health hazard. Charges will be at the homeowner’s expense.

View information on how GREASE can affect the sewer lines