Chicago homeowners know drain problems all too well. It’s an old city and much to the disappointment of many homeowners, the city sewer system is the cause of many drain problems. That means that it can be challenging to get the problem fixed, leaving many to live with slow drains and frequent backups. But there is help available. The city of Chicago’s private drain program (PDP) is a cooperative agreement between local licensed plumbers and the city to identify and fix plumbing problems that originate on city property.

Understanding your Sewer Plumbing System

When you live in a city, the plumbing for your home is connected to a sewer system that is operated by that city. The piping that carries water to and from your home is partially placed on your private property and partially placed on city property. In most areas, the sidewalk is the line. As the property owner, you are responsible for all maintenance of the plumbing system that resides on your private property as well as on the city side. If however there is a break in the sewer or it is otherwise compromised on the city’s side, typically from the sidewalk out to the main, The Chicago Department of Water Management is responsible for those repairs residentially.

Professional Chicago Sewer Inspection

The challenging part about private drain repair is that you often must prove to the city that your problem is their problem. And that process starts with a professional video sewer inspection conducted by a licensed Chicago plumber. According to Chicago’s PDP, a city inspector is required to be present during this sewer inspection to validate the findings and create the appropriate work orders.

A sewer line video inspection is pretty straightforward. It involves a camera attached to a heavy-duty line that is fed through sewer pipes while a video display provides imaging of what the camera sees. A sewer camera inspection is the most common way to identify and confirm blockages and breaks that hinder plumbing systems.

What You Need to Know About Chicago’s Private Drain Program (PDP)

A private drain program inspection should not be your first step as a homeowner. However, it may be an appropriate step if you have tried and failed to resolve your plumbing problems using other methods. For persistent plumbing maintenance issues, it may be necessary to have the city municipal lines checked. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Call 311 and register for the city of Chicago’s Private Drain Program.
  2. Once registered, the Department of Water Management will schedule an appointment to investigate.
  3. The homeowner should hire a licensed plumber to conduct a video sewer inspection.
  4. The hired plumber should contact the Department of Water Management and schedule an inspector to be present.
  5. The plumber and the inspector will review the video footage together and determine the cause and location of the break.
  6. For breaks on private property, the homeowner will be responsible for all repairs.
  7. For breaks on city property, the Department of Water will schedule and pay for line repair.

Hire a licensed plumber, like John Baethke and Son to perform all of the above for you

The Bottom Line on Video Sewer Repair in Chicago

A professional plumber licensed with the city of Chicago can work with the city to help you get repairs for persistent plumbing problems caused by breaks and blocks in the city’s municipal sewer system where your home connects. It’s a process that can be a little tedious and requires a video sewer inspection, but it is the appropriate way to resolve municipal sewer maintenance issues in the city of Chicago.

John Baethke & Sons Plumbing has been operating since 1993. Our A+ BBB-rated residential plumbing company is family-owned and operated. With more than 250,000 successful jobs under our belt, we can help you correctly identify the cause of your plumbing problems and see if you qualify for the the city’s private drain program to help cover the costs associated with the repair. Call to schedule an estimate from our team of qualified plumbers today with a $250 Sewer Inspection.