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Wastewater Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have an urgent issue to report after hours? 

If your issue requires immediate attention, please contact our 24/7 Operations Department service line at (301) 373-5305. 

What is the large green "thing" in my yard, and the electrical box and red light attached to my house?

The green "thing" is the lid to the residential grinder pump. Many of MetCom's sewer service areas utilize residential grinder pumps to grind and transfer waste from your residential sewer service line to the sewer mains and eventually the wastewater treatment facility. Grinder pumps are equipped with audible and visual alarms in the event of a pump failure.

What should I do if the grinder pump alarm goes off?

Immediately call the MetCom 24 hour emergency service line at (301) 373-5305. Please limit the water use in your residence until technicians arrive and do not shut off the circuit breaker for the grinder pump panel to silence the audible alarm. In most cases, an alarm silence button can be found on the exterior of the grinder pump panel.

What is the capped pipe in my yard?

The capped pipe is a cleanout, which is an access for the sewer service line. It is your responsibility to maintain accessibility to the cleanout. If the cleanout cap or line is broken, please call the MetCom service line at (301) 373-5305 and MetCom staff will respond to assess and repair the damages.

What parts of the sewer service are my responsibility?

For gravity sewer systems, MetCom jurisdiction stops at the cleanout at or near the property line. For services that do not have a cleanout installed or where the cleanout is not visible, MetCom jurisdiction stops at the property line. For grinder pump sewer services, MetCom jurisdiction stops at the grinder pump.

What should I do if I experience a sewer back-up?

Immediately limit the indoor water use and call the 24 hour emergency service line at (301) 373-5305, before calling a plumber. MetCom staff will respond and clear the blockage if the blockage occurs downstream of the cleanout. If the blockage is in the homeowners portion of the sewer line, MetCom staff will notify you and a plumber may be needed to clear the blockage.

Where does the wastewater go once it enters the sewer system?

The wastewater enters the sewer collection system and flows by either gravity or by pumping to the nearest wastewater treatment facility. The wastewater is treated to strict standards before being discharged into the ground or to the Chesapeake Bay.