The City of Long Beach owns, operates and maintains the sanitary sewer system that carries water from toilets, showers, sinks, and dish and clothes washers away from homes and businesses. In fact, most of the water used by customers ultimately makes its way to and through the sanitary sewer system.

Long Beach Water operates and maintains over 700 miles of sanitary sewer lines, safely collecting and delivering over 40 million gallons of wastewater per day to the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County for treatment.

Long Beach Water Reclamation Plant, is located on the east side of the City. The plant is owned and operated by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. LBWRP treats approximately 18 million gallons per day of wastewater to stringent regulatory standards for disinfected tertiary recycled (or reclaimed) water.

Once it meets certain levels of treatment, tertiary recycled water can be used to:

  1. Irrigate parks, golf courses, cemeteries and athletic fields
  2. Recharge our groundwater basin
  3. Street sweep

The Sanitary Sewer System: who’s responsible for what?

The pipe that conveys wastewater from your property to the city sewer main is called the sewer lateral. There are two sections to a lateral:

  • The first section runs from the building to the sidewalk/property line, commonly 4” in diameter (on private property) is the property owner’s responsibility
  • The second section runs from sidewalk/property line, to the center of the street/alley commonly 6” in diameter (on city property) is a shared responsibility between the property owner and the City
  • The property owner is responsible for the routine maintenance of both sections of the sewer lateral. (LBWD Policy Section 1406: Sewer Lateral Responsibility, Appendix 1)

LBWD’s Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) 

All Wastewater collection systems in California are required to develop and implement an SSMP. It is a comprehensive plan which outlines how the agency effectively manages and improves sewer system performance. It is updated every five years, and the current version covers 2019 – 2024.

Read the Sewer System Management Plan here.

Long Beach Water continuously works to maintain and/or restore proper working conditions of sewer laterals on city property. Long Beach Water is also responsible for maintaining the sewer main. It is important to note that if actions of a property owner damage or clog the sewer main (see section on Fats, Oils and Grease [FOG]), they can be held responsible for repairs.


Long Beach Water Department (City Sewer)

Responsible for protecting the local sewage collection system, and other public areas.

Long Beach Health and Human Services Department

Responsible for protecting public health by closing ocean/bay waters and food service businesses if a spill poses a threat to public health.

Long Beach Public Works Department (City Stormwater)

Responsible for stormwater pollution prevention and education.

L.A. County Sanitation Districts (Public Trunk Sewer)

Responsible for collecting, treating and disposing of wastewater.

Regional Water Quality Control Board

Responsible for protecting State waters.


Water & Sewer System Design Guidelines