Sanitary Sewer Lateral Program

Sewer Lateral Insurance

Update: As of October 1, 2023 the sewer lateral reimbursements will go from 50% to 70%. The maximum City contribution will remain at $7,500.

The City of Creve Coeur insures sewer laterals for homes in the City for up to seventy percent (70%) of the cost to repair defective laterals, with a maximum City contribution of $7,500. A sewer lateral is the pipe that carries household waste from the home to the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) sewer main. This program covers only the portion of the lateral pipe between the house connection and the sewer main. This program does not cover a sewer line located under any part of a building or a break inside of the home. 


When a sewer lateral line breaks or becomes clogged, sewage typically backs up into the home or yard. Areas in the yard may also sink or collapse in the vicinity of the broken pipe. If you believe your sewer lateral line is broken or clogged, there are a few steps that you need to take before filing a claim with the City.

What to Do

  1. Contact a plumber or sewer cleaning service to have your sewer lateral cleaned and/or cleared of root infiltration and other debris.  If you have a sewer backup into your home, then you need to contact a company to clean and sanitize the affected areas of your home as soon as possible.  These are home-maintenance expenses that are not reimbursable by the City.
  2. If cleaning does not solve the problem, then you should have a plumber complete a video inspection of the lateral to determine the cause of the problem.
  3. Complete an application for the program and submit it and a copy of the inspection video, plumber's report, and supporting documentation to the Department of Public Works for review. The application for the program can be found here: Sanitary Sewer Lateral Application
  4. The Department of Public Works will evaluate whether the lateral has issues that warrant repairs and whether these repairs qualify for reimbursement through the program. Staff will typically review the inspection and notify the applicant of the findings within five (5) days.
 *** Please complete the following steps only if an application has been reviewed and approved by Public Works ***
  1. If the City determines that the inspection shows that the lateral has defects that warrant repair or replacement that qualifies for the program, then you must obtain at least three (3) repair bids and submit these bids to the City for review.
  2. The City will review the bids for consistency and completeness and will determine the lowest responsible bid for the work.  The City will set the reimbursement amount based upon the lowest responsible bid.
  3. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to enter into an agreement with the contractor to perform the work, to schedule the work, and to pay the contractor.
  4. Upon completion of the work, the homeowner must submit a copy of each of the following to the Department of Public Works:
    (1)  A receipt showing payment (in full) to the contractor
    (2)  A lien waiver from the contractor for the work
    (3)  A completed permit for the work from the St. Louis County Plumbing Department
    (4) A receipt showing all real estate taxes for the current year are paid in full for the property at which the repairs took place


Upon receipt of all required documents, the City will reimburse the property owner for 70% of the cost of all qualifying repairs, with the City paying a maximum of $7,500. Prior to the reimbursement, the homeowner must pay the plumber in full, as well as any outstanding City bills (such as permit fees, fines for violations, and charges for copies) and the current year’s St. Louis County real estate taxes.  Work completed prior to receiving an approval from the City may not be eligible for reimbursement.

sewer lateral repairs during home sales

The application for the program and the repair must be completed by the home owner.  If a failure is found in a sewer lateral through an inspection related to the sale or purchase of a home, then the following will apply to those who wish to file a claim through the City's sewer lateral program:

    • Prior to closing:  The current owner/seller completes the application, contracts with a plumber, completes the work, and requests reimbursement.  The reimbursement can be sent to the seller's future address after closing.  Please coordinate this with the Department of Public Works through your application or through correspondence during the process.
    • After closing:  The future owner/buyer completes the application, contracts with a plumber, completes the work, and requests reimbursement.

For those who wish to participate in the sewer lateral program, the seller of a home cannot pursue a repair and reimbursement after closing, and a buyer cannot pursue a repair and reimbursement before closing.

Please contact TaMara Pelkey in the Department of Public Works at 314-872-2533 or at if you have any questions.