In February 1988, the Department assumed the responsibility of the various functions of the City's sanitary sewer system, including operations and maintenance.
In April, 1990, the citizens of Long Beach passed a City Charter amendment that allowed greater autonomy for the Department in administering the City's sanitary sewer operations.
The Department has made considerable progress since 1988 in addressing the substantial challenges posed by an aging infrastructure, much of which is between 60 and 80 years old. The first Citywide Sewer Master Plan, developed by the Department, provides a prioritization of the sewer deficiencies that must be addressed.
In FY 2009, utilizing state-of-the-art video equipment, the Department cleaned 2.2 million feet of sewer mains and laterals. This equipment provides the ability to locate sewer mainline and lateral repair needs without undertaking otherwise very expensive street excavation to pinpoint problems.