What Are the Homeowner’s Responsibilities?

In Harrisburg, like most communities, drinking water service lines and sewer laterals – the pipelines that carry drinking water and wastewater to and from homes and buildings to Capital Region Water’s distribution and collection mains – are the responsibility of the property owner. Repairing and replacing these lines and laterals can be costly. Homeowners must maintain and make repairs to these lines when there is an issue. Capital Region Water is responsible for the water and wastewater mains that connect all service lines to our central facilities.

Inspecting your service lines

Most of the water and sewer pipes in Harrisburg have never been replaced and can be 100 to 150 years old. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that the lines are functioning properly. Work with a licensed plumber to inspect the lines. They can visually inspect sewer lines with a video camera. Inspection and proper maintenance can prevent raw sewage from backing up into your home or the formation of sinkholes and other damage to the surrounding area.

Party Lines

A party line is a private sewer or water line shared by two or more properties. Repairs on party lines must be worked out between homeowners. If problems arise on party lines, homeowners can apply to CRW to connect directly to a main, at the homeowner’s expense.

Sewer Backups

Fats, Oils, and Grease 

Keep our sewers fat free. When fat, oil, or grease flows down your drain it sticks to the insides of the sewer and can block flow. After cooking, pour your grease into a can and keep it in the freezer. When the can is full, throw it into the trash.


Flush only toilet paper. No matter what the label says, flush only human waste and toilet paper. Remember to flush only the three P’s – paper (toilet), pee, and poo.

Aging Laterals 

Cracked or collapsed sewer lateral can block flow. Roots from trees or other vegetation can grow into your sewer lateral and block flow. Roof downspouts or foundation drains can overwhelm your pipe during heavy rains and lead to a backup. 

If you need financial support, our Customer Assistance Program may be available to you.

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