Sewage Fact Sheet
Frequently asked questions regarding sewage and potential contact with sewage:
Q: What is sewage?
A: Sewage is the water carried out of your home or business from your washing machine, toilet or drains in your sinks, bath tubs and showers.
Q: Where does the sewage go after it leaves my home?
A: Sewage is carried through a complex network of buried pipelines and pump stations to the Bear Valley Water District Wastewater Treatment Plant across Highway 4. There it is cleaned up before being applied to land or discharged to Bloods Creek.
Q: How does sewage get out of the pipes?
A: Sewage can get out of the pipelines in a number of ways. The most common way is a blockage in a small pipeline due to grease or tree roots. Most often it appears around the edge of sewer manhole covers or comes out of a “cleanout” in front of or behind a home or building.
Q: What should I do if I spot sewage on the ground?
A: First, you should avoid contact with the sewage. It may contain contaminants that are harmful to your health. Please keep children and pets away from it as well. To report sewage coming out of sewer manholes and/or pipelines, call the Bear Valley Water District at (209) 753-2112. We will check to see if the problem is being caused by our system or by the property owner’s system. If the problem is caused by our system, we will correct it and clean up the sewage overflow. If it is coming from a property owner's system, we will work closely with the property owner to support clean up of the sewer overflow.
Q: What if I have come into contact with sewage?
A: Sewage can carry disease-causing bacteria and germs; therefore, after coming in contact with sewage you should thoroughly wash all potentially exposed areas with warm water. Clothing that has come in contact with sewage can be washed in the washing machine with normal laundry detergent, and footwear can be washed with warm water and soap.
Q: How do I clean up sewage in my home?
A: As stated before, sewage can carry disease-causing bacteria and you should avoid contact. If sewage entered your home, report the problem as described above by calling BVWD at (209) 753-2112. We can determine whether the sewage in your house originated within the portion of the system that is part of your home or whether it originated within BVWD’s system. If it originated within our system, we will clean it for you. If it is originated from your system, we will work closely with you to support clean up of the sewer overflow.