About Public Works
About Us | Mission, Vision, & Values | Residential Lateral Repair Program | ADA Sidewalk Evaluation
Department ResponsibilitiesThe Department of Public Works is responsible for the repair, care and maintenance of all public streets, alleys and driveways, bridges, storm sewer collection systems owned or maintained by the city, street lighting and street signalization, plus the care of all property of the city that is not assigned to the care or custody of any other department.
Contact UsGovernment Center: (314) 291-6550
Emergency/After Hours Calls: (314) 298-8700
Mission, Vision, & Values
MissionThe City of Maryland Heights Department of Public Works will strive to provide superior municipal services that offer proactive infrastructure improvement and maintenance, while enhancing the quality of life for the community in a safe, economical and environmentally sound manner.
VisionOur vision is to be a well-respected organization that is considered a model public works department. To achieve this, we will provide superior municipal services through teamwork, professionalism and hard work while offering innovative solutions to resolve challenges.
ValuesThe core values, attitude and behavior of each employee play an integral role and are directly responsible for the culture that is fostered within the department. We are guided by the following values:
- Professionalism:We demonstrate a high degree of skill, competency and character.
- Teamwork:We work together to achieve common goals.
- Strong Work Ethic:We exhibit diligence and hard work in all our efforts.
- Responsiveness:We anticipate the needs of the community we serve.
- Dependability: We are trustworthy and reliable in the services we provide.
- Leadership:We ethically pursue the common good.
- Loyalty: We are committed to the City of Maryland Heights.
Residential Lateral Repair Program
What is a sewer lateral?
A sewer lateral is the pipe that carries household waste to the sewer main. The sewer lateral is owned by the homeowner. It is private property, considered part of the house.
What happens if my sewer lateral breaks?
Sometimes sewer laterals fail due to age or settling soil, causing unsanitary leaks and blockage.
- If this happens to you, sewage will usually back up into your home.
- Portions of your yard may collapse over the damaged section of the pipe, or sewage may leak into your yard.
- Illnesses in raw sewage can enter the water table, creeks, streams and soil around your home.
- Bacteria such as E.coli, dipli-cocci, strep and staph, and hepatitis virus could be released.
Most sewer lateral repairs cost at least $3,000. More complicated repairs can exceed $10,000. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover lateral repair cost, which is generally considered a home maintenance expense.
Click here to view footage of a failed sewer lateral.
What is the city's sewer lateral repair program?
In 1999, Maryland Heights voters approved a $28 annual fee for residents of residential properties with six or fewer dwellings. This fee funds the city’s sewer lateral repair program. Before the program was created, homeowners were solely responsible for repairing sewer lateral damage.
The sewer lateral program works as an insurance program, funding 100% of the cost of repairs up to $10,000 and 50% of the cost above $10,000.
Since 2000, more than 700 residents have received repairs through the program. To apply for the residential sewer lateral repair program, please click here.
Program Use and Funding
Since 2009, the costs of operating the sewer lateral program have been higher than the revenues generated by the annual fee, meaning the program has been operating at a loss. The total number of repairs per year has steadily increased, while at the same time, the average cost per repair has also gone up. These trends are expected to continue.
In order to make the sewer lateral program financially stable, the city needed to increase revenues to the program or reduce service levels.
State law prohibits the city from using general funds to pay for these repairs. The only source of funding for the program is the annual fee collected specifically for this purpose.
- On April 8, 2014, voters approved Prop S, an increase in the fee the city collects to fund sewer lateral repairs.
- The annual fee for the program will increase to $50 per year from $28 per year.
- This increase covers the cost of the program and enable the city to continue operating it at current levels.
Click here for a presentation on the sewer lateral program and Prop S.
If you have any questions about the Sewer Lateral Repair Program, please contact the Department of Public Works at (314) 291-6550.