Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

Customer Service Overview

Whom do I call if I have a backup in my house or business, or if I see sewage going in a creek or coming out of a sewer?

You can contact MSD through its Customer Service number, 314-768-6260, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. return to top 

Who is responsible for the sewer lateral line?

Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of the sewer lateral lines. For additional information, contact the Lateral Line Insurance Program sponsored by St. Louis City (314) 647-3111, ext. 1008, St. Louis County (314) 615-8427 or your governing municipality. return to top 

What is the difference between a storm line and sanitary line?

A storm line accepts and drains the ground water. A sanitary line receives wastewater from your home.
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Who maintains the basins (retention/detention) and culverts?

Retention & detention basins are maintained by the subdivision trustees or governing municipality. Culverts are maintained by St. Louis County or governing municipality. return to top 

Who maintains the creeks and channels?

MSD maintains the flow of the creek only, i.e. (tree in creek blocking the water flow) and improved channels. return to top 

What is an easement?

An easement is an interest in real property that conveys use, but not ownership of a portion of an owner's property. return to top 

When should I contact a plumber?

You should contact a plumber if internal plumbing is causing a backup in your sink, bathtub or your toilets to overflow. return to top 

How can I get water backup insurance?

Contact your homeowner's insurance company for information. return to top 

Whom do I talk to about my customer account, i.e. (billing issues, name changes, purchase or sell of a property, water usage etc.)?

Call the MSD Billing Division at 1-866-281-5737. return to top 

What is smoke testing?

Smoke testing is a procedure in which harmless smoke is forced into the sanitary sewer from a manhole. Defects are identified where smoke is found exiting the system either from soil, pavement, sidewalks, storm sewers, cleanouts, or other private drain connections. The defect marks a deficiency in the sanitary system where rainwater or groundwater may enter, leading to possible sanitary sewer overcharge and problems such as overflows and basement backups into people's homes. return to top 

Is it toxic?

No. People with health problems who cannot leave their house during the smoke testing may request their lateral be plugged to eliminate the possibility of smoke entering their home. Some pet owners choose to remove their pets from the house on the day the smoke testing takes place. Pet owners may also request that their lateral be plugged. return to top 

Why is the smoke in my house?

Smoke typically enters the house through an unused drain, such as a basement floor drain, because the trap has dried out, allowing the smoke to push through and enter the house. To prevent or stop the smoke from entering the home, pour some water into the drain to fill the trap. Open ended drain pipes exposed in a house generally due to plumbing work can also allow smoke into the house. To prevent smoke from entering, stick a wet rag into these pipes during the smoke test. Other sources of smoke entry usually indicate a plumbing problem within the house. return to top 

Will people need to come onto my property?

Workers may need to access private property to locate and investigate defects identified by smoke testing. Workers may also need to access private property to perform additional testing such as dye tracing of drains suspected of being connected to the sanitary sewer. Workers will not need to enter the home unless asked to do so by the owner, as in cases where smoke is entering the home. In addition, they will not enter an area where animals are fenced in to prevent attack or loss of the animal. return to top 

Where is smoke testing being done?

RJN Group maintains an online list of the areas being tested, along with the schedule and progress.
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How can I find out where my house lateral connects to the public sewer?

MSD has recorded information of permitted sanitary sewer connections to the public sewers made since MSD’s creation in 1954. For connections made prior to this time, a search of the St. Louis City and other sewer districts historical records will be necessary. In order to obtain this information, the property owner will need to contact the MSD Engineering Department. return to top 

How do I connect my house to the public sewer?

If there is a public sewer immediately adjacent to the property, a connection permit may be issued to the licensed drain layer selected by the property owner to make the connection. Connection and permit fees will be required. For a single-family residence the connection fee is $1072.00. The connection permit is $50.00. An additional tap fee of $300.00 will be required if there is no existing wye on the public sewer at the location of the connection. The property owner will also be responsible for the necessary permits from the St. Louis City or St. Louis County for the abandonment of the septic system. return to top 

If there is no public sewer immediately adjacent to the property, the property owner will be responsible for extending the public sewer. Construction plans prepared by a professional engineer licensed in the State of Missouri must be submitted to MSD for approval prior to beginning any work. The property owner is responsible for all costs associated with the design and construction of the public sewer and the acquisition of all easements. return to top 

How can I get a copy of the easement records for my property?

Easement records are maintained by the Recorder of Deeds of St. Louis County and St. Louis City. The property owner will need to go to the Recorder of Deeds to obtain this information. return to top 

There is a public sewer within my property, how can I find out its exact location?

MSD will field locate public sewers upon request. The property owner should contact Customer Service at 314-768-6260 to request the location of the sewer. return to top