Your sewer line gets clogged, and toilets and tubs start backing up. Here’s what to do next:

Call a licensed plumber

Call a remediation (cleaning) company


Call a licensed plumber* to televise your line (inspect it with a video camera) and clear any blockage on your side of the main.
If you need clean-up assistance, call a remediation (cleaning) company.
Call SAWS at 210-704-SAWS (7297) to report the back-up so we can dispatch a team to inspect our sewer main.**

If there is a blockage or collapsed pipe on the SAWS side of the main, we will clear and repair the line.

Sewer Lateral Reimbursement Program

If you have completed the steps above, and if your licensed plumber finds that the blockage is beyond your property (in the right-of-way, street, alley or easement), you may be entitled to reimbursement of certain expenses you incurred. In order to be eligible for this program, your plumber must:

  1. Electronically locate the lateral.
  2. Mark the location of the obstruction with green paint.
  3. Contact our Emergency Operations Center by calling 210-704-SAWS (7297).

Upon notification, SAWS will promptly respond and determine if repairs are necessary. Next, you will need to submit a legible receipt from your licensed plumber, and include the following information as part of your request:

  1. Your Name
  2. Address of repair
  3. Contact name
  4. Mailing address
  5. Phone number

Submit Requests

San Antonio Water System
Sewer Lateral Reimbursement Program
P.O. Box 2449
San Antonio, TX 78298

Please allow 4-6 weeks to process your reimbursement request.

SAWS will review your request to determine if you are eligible for reimbursement of expenses for the licensed plumber’s normal and customary charges.

SAWS does not warrant or guarantee any work performed by the companies included on this list.

** SAWS will not pay for repairs or replacement of damaged property. If the blockage is on your side, you are not entitled to reimbursement. If you believe that SAWS has caused damage due to the use of motor-driven equipment, you may file a claim by completing and downloading a claim form below:

Notice to Plumbers

Before beginning any work, please provide an estimate to the customer. In order for the customer to seek reimbursement, the break/blockage must be in the public right-of-way, street or alley. SAWS will only reimburse the customer based on normal and customary plumbing charges related to electronically locating the problem. Reimbursements will not be approved for property improvements such as new cleanouts. If excavation is necessary and the break is not located, SAWS will contact you at that time. Plumbers who fail to respond or properly locate the break are subject to a time and materials charge.