“Sewer line from my house connects to a sewer line pipe in a neighbors yard”

“New neighbor wants to dig up my yard to tie into my sewer”

“The neighbors sewer line connects to mine”

Neighbors sharing sewer

We often get calls about sewer line problems that become even bigger issues because the home has a shared sewer line with the neighbor.  Many cities and towns in the US require each property to have an independent direct sewer lateral connection to the public sewer main to avoid combined sewer overflow.

In NJ most towns permit a property to share a sewer line with a neighboring property.  These sewers lines are not connected directly to the towns public sewer but connect to a neighbors sewer line first or a common shared sewer pipe that is then connected to the public sewer main.

There are different ways two or more properties can share a sewer line in nj:

Avoid sewer problems or ongoing issues

Sewer laterals

  • Shared sewer laterals known sometimes as party sewers are sewer connections with two or more private sewer lines installed from homes to connect to a single pipe that is then hooked up to the main public sewer connection in the street.

Cross property sewer

  • Cross property sewer line are sewer connection that cross from one property to connect to the neighbors sewer line (usually with an easement) and the neighbors sewer line is connected to the public sewer main in the street.

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Shared sewer line problems

There are several ways to find out whether you have a shared sewer line or if property connects directly to the public sewer.

  • You can look at town or county maps that include the locations of sewer lines connections, depending on how old your home is you may be able to see your private sewer connections. You can also go to your town building department and look at the permit history for your property as a sewer line installation or sewer line replacement may have required a permit.
  • The property title documents that you received from your title company when you purchased your home may have maps and information about your property’s sewer connection, especially if there are any easements granted to or from your property for the sewer lines.
  • A sewer video inspection is the best and most reliable source of information about the sewer connection lines of your home.


A1 NJ sewer contractor can do the sewer scope inspection for you for a few hundred dollars. The inspection will show the location of your sewer line, the condition of your sewer lines (if any pipes are broken or collapsed) whether your property has a direct sewer pipe connection to the public sewer, a party sewer connection to the public sewer, or if you have a connection to your neighbors sewer line.

If you think you need a sewer inspection, call A1 today, we can answer all your questions and help you get information about your sewer line.

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Flooding Responsibility 

Having a shared sewer line can cause problems between neighbors when sewer repairs need to be made.  If you have a problem with the shared sewer line, you first need to find out where in the line the problem is occurring.

Typically, the town is responsible for problems with the sewer main that is not on your private property, meaning the main sewer that is usually under the street in front of your homes.  Any problems with the sewer line running on your property are the homeowners responsibility.


So you should first call a sewer contractor for a sewer inspection of the entire sewer line with a video camera.  This will cost $200 to $300 but will let you know whether the problem is on your property, your neighbors property or the public right of way.  A lot of bad feeling with the neighbor can be prevented if you have an objective camera line inspection to give you definitive answers about where the sewer problem is.

The responsibility to solve the sewer problem/fault

If the sewer inspection reveals that the problem is in the shared sewer lines, then the responsibility for the cost of fixing the sewer line will depend on what caused the problem. If one party is at fault, for example if they did some landscaping work on their property last year near the sewer pipe causing the ground under a portion of the sewer pipe to shift and create a sewer belly, then that party will be responsible for the sewer repairs.

If neither party is at fault, for example, if a cracked sewer pipe if found and there is no direct cause you can pinpoint (likely temperature changes or age) then the cost of sewer repair would be split between the two parties.


If you are having a problem with your shared sewer line and need help to resolve it contact A1 today!

Call Now for Free Advice & Low Cost Sewer Repair


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