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Frequently Asked Questions

What causes backups?

Anything from grease build-up, heavy rains, broken or collapsed pipe, and tree roots that have grown through old pipes.

What should I do when a backup occurs?

A call to your district would be the best place to start, they can tell you if it is a homeowner’s problem or one that can be fixed by the County.

What is wastewater treatment?

A step by step process that transfers wastewater into clean water that is safe to discharge into the environment. This virtual tour details the typical processes used at many treatment plants.

How can I properly dispose of grease, paint, etc?

Grease should be cooled to room temperature and placed in the garbage, if grease is poured down the drain it will harden and accumulate in the private lateral pipe and/or the public sewer system causing sewer back ups to you and your neighborhood.


Most towns and villages have websites that tell you where and when to take your hazardous wastes. Also, Erie County conducts several hazardous waste drop-off events a year. Additional information can be found on the Department’s Environmental Compliance site.

Who pays sanitary sewer tax?

All properties that are located within the sewer district boundary pay sewer tax. There is a multiple part benefit formula applied to try to be as fair as possible to all properties. The formulas very from district to district.