Frequently Asked Questions - Wastewater Facility


What does the Rochester Wastewater Department charge for checking or cleaning the City's main line, and are there any restrictions on what they can do for me?

There is no charge for the homeowner to have the City's main line checked or cleaned.  The Rochester Wastewater Department cannot work on the homeonwer's private sewer line, the line from the main to the home, nor will they work in the private home.


What are the hours I can call for the Rochester Wastewater Department's assistance to check or clean the City's main line servicing my home?

You may call the Rochester Wastewater Department, 24 hours a day at 574-223-3485.  You should keep in mind that, outside the normal daily working hours, there may be an additional delay or number you must dial to call a crew to respond to your call for service.  Also, during storms, the Rochester Wastewater employees are usually extremely busy and delays in answering calls or providing servcie may occur.


The drains in my house are plugged or draining slowly.  What should I do?

If only one drain is draining slowly or plugged, and all other drians are working well, it is most likely a problem you will have to handle yourself or obtain the services of a plumber or private sewer contractor

If several drains are plugged or draining slowly, the problem may still be one you must handle yourself, but you should call the Rochester Wastewater Department first to check the City's main line for any possible blockage or obstruction


I have a bad "sewer gas" order/smell in my home.  What should I do?

The most commons way a sewer order can enter your home is through sewer drains in your home.  The drians that connect to your home have a trap that has a "p" or "s" curve in them that may hold water and prevents sewer odor from coming into your home.  Sometimes that trap in the drain dries out and allows sewer order to enter.  This happens most frequently in the little used drains and more often in the colder months when heating the home may cause dry air which allows evaporation of the water in the traps.  Pour a gallon or two of water in each drain to replenish the water in the trap and ventilate the home to remove the odor.  This usually solves the problem.  If the problem persists, call the Rochester Wastewater Department to check the City's main line for problems before calling in a private sewer contractor of plumber.


I have water backing up into my home from my sewer drains.  What should I do?

Call the Rochester Wastewater Department and rquest a check for possible blockage or obstruntion in the City's main line.  If there is a main line blockage or obstruction, it will be cleaned by Rochester Wastewater Department employees and your drains will resume to normal function.  If no obstruction or blockage is found in the City's main line, or if your drains are not functioning properly after the line is cleaned, they will advise you that the problem may be in the "private" or homeowner's lateral line from the main line to the home.  The Rochester Wastewater Department is not permitted to work on that line.  You will be advised to contact a private sewer contractor.  Private contractors will charge you for their services.  They are listed in the phone book.  The Rochester Wastewater Department employees may not recommend or contact a private sewer contractor for you.


I have a problem with my sewer billing.  Who should I call?

You should call the Water Department office, located at City Hall, at 574-223-3412 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The emergency number cannot answer account or billing questions.


The street in front of my home, or at an intersection near my home, is flooding during a storm.  Who should I call?

The Rochester Wastewater Department is responsible for surface drainage from streets.  You can report blocked street drains or flooding, after the storm has abated, to the Rochester Wastewater Department at 517-223-3485.  Please keep in mind that during storm events, the Rochester Wastewater Department employees must prioritize incoming calls and may not address surface drainage until after the homeowner blockage of backup calls are complete.


Do I have to be home when the Rochester Wastewater Department checks the main line?

No.  The Rochester Wastewater Department employees will be checking the street or alley line only so the homeowner who placed the blockage call need not be present.  The employees will come to the door to advise the resident of the condition of the line, but if no one is home, they will leave an informational card or call the homeowner and leave a message.


I am digging on my property.  Can you tell me where the sewer line from my house to the City's main line is located?

In most cases, the Rochester Wastewater Department does not know where the lateral sewer line from a house to the main line is located on private property.  Several of the private contractors listed in the telephone book may have locating devices and will, for a fee, locate the prive property lateral.

The homeowner should be aware that Indiana law requires notification before digging occurs.  Call Indiana Underground Plant Protection Services at (800) 382-5544 or Indiana (811) at least 2 working days before you dig.  This number is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


I want to connet to the City's main sewer line.  How do I go about this?

You can contact the Rochester Wastewater Department at 574-223-3485 to discuss sewer tap fees and permitting.

  Links of Interest

City of Rochester     320 Main Street     Rochester, IN 46975     Phone: (574) 223-2510     Fax: (574) 223-6509