Discover Michigan City on Instagram Michigan City on Linked In Facebook for Michigan City Residents
Discover Michigan City on Facebook

City Departments - Sanitary District - FAQs
Services | Stormwater Catch Basins | FAQs | Construction Projects | Feedback & Problem Reporting | Forms

What does the Sanitary District charge for checking or cleaning the District main line and are there any restrictions on what the District can do for me?

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

What are the hours I can call for Sanitary District assistance to check or clean the District main line servicing my home?

You may call the District, 24 hours a day, at 874-7799. You should keep in mind that, outside of normal daily working hours, there may be an additional delay to call a crew to respond to your call for service. Also, during storms, the District employees are usually extremely busy and delays in answering calls or providing service delays are possible. The District attempts to anticipate service requirements in storm events with stand-by crews.

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 drains 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 Sanitary District at 874-7799 to check the District's main line for any possible blockage or obstruction.

I have a bad "sewer gas (odor)" smell in my home. What should I do?

The most common way sewer odor can enter your home is through sewer drains in your home. The drains that connect to your home have a trap, a "p" or "s" curve, in them that holds water and prevents sewer odor from coming into the home. Sometimes that trap in the drain dries out and allows sewer odor to enter. This happens most frequently in little used drains and more often in the colder months when heating the home causes 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 Sanitary District to check the District's main line for problems before calling a private sewer contractor.

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

Call the Sanitary District at 874-7799 and request a check for possible blockage or obstruction in the District's main line. If there is a main line blockage or obstruction, in the District main alone, it will be cleared by the Sanitary District and your drains will resume normal function. If the Sanitary District crew does not find a blockage in the main line, or if your drains are not functioning properly after the District cleans the main line, they will advise you that the problem may be in the "private" or homeowner's line from the District main to the home. The Sanitary District 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 under "Sewer Contractors". The Sanitary District 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 Sanitary District office at 874-7799 from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM Monday thru Friday. The Emergency number cannot answer account or billing questions.

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

The Sanitary District is responsible for surface drainage from streets. You can report blocked street drains or flooding, after the storm has abated, to the District at 874-7799. Please keep in mind that during storm events the District must prioritize incoming calls and may not address surface drainage until after homeowner blockage or backup calls are completed. You are requested to wait with this type of call until after the storm has abated to allow the problems, with possibly overloaded sewer lines, to resolve themselves.

Do I have to be home when the Sanitary District checks the main line?

No. The Sanitary District crew will be checking the street or alley line only. They will then come to the door to advise the resident of the condition of the line. If no one is home, they will leave an informational card at the door.

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

In most cases, the District does not know where the sewer line is located on private property. Several of the private sewer contractors listed in the telephone book have locating devices and will, for a fee, locate the private property sewer line.

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

I want to connect to the Sanitary District main sewer line. How do I go about this?

If you know that a residential sewer line is available in the street or alley near the property, you can contact the Sanitary District office at 874-7799 to discuss sewer availability tap fees and how to obtain a tap permit. You may also be required, by City Ordinance, to contact the Michigan City Inspection Department for additional permits and requirements. The Sanitary District requires: 1) a valid tap permit prior to the connection to the District main line; 2) that the actual connection to the District's main line be done by a private sewer contractor who is licensed by the City of Michigan City; and 3) that the contractor or homeowner notify the Sanitary District, 874-7799 during regular business hours, for a tap inspection, before the excavation at the main line is back-filled. Failure to obtain the tap inspection may result in additional costs to the contractor or homeowner to re-excavate the tap.

Industrial, commercial, or residential service out of the City limits should contact the Sanitary District at 874-7799, during regular business hours, to discuss sewer availability and/or capacity at the proposed location.