Sewer Lateral Insurance Program

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The Sewer Lateral Insurance program provides insurance coverage to assist homeowners with the cost of repairs to residential sewer lateral service lines.  Residential properties containing six (6) or fewer dwelling units are eligible to have a portion of the costs to repair an eligible sewer lateral defect reimbursed by the City.  The program is funded through an annual fee of $28 placed on property owners' St. Louis County property taxes.  Applicants for this program must not be outstanding on any monies owed to the City of Kirkwood or must be regularly participating in a deferred payment plan authorized by the Finance Department. 

Who is responsible for repair and maintenance of private sanitary sewer laterals?

The private sanitary sewer lateral is an underground pipe carrying wastes leading from a building to the public sanitary sewer main in the street.  The property owner is responsible for repairing defects to their private sanitary sewer lateral including the connection to the public sewer main.  The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) does not fund sewer lateral repairs. 

How do I use the Sewer Lateral Insurance program?

Step 1: Identity there is an issue with your sewer lateral.

Step 2: The property owner submits a Sewer Lateral Insurance Program application and $400 deposit to the Building Commissioner's Department located in the basement of City Hall.  

Step 3: The City dispatches an inspection contractor (River City Sewer and Drain) to cable and perform a video inspection of the lateral. The property owner is refunded the deposit less cabling and inspection costs. - Video must be from the City's video contractor, only

Step 4: City staff determines if a program eligible defect is present . 

Step 5: The City sends an authorization form to the property owner. 

Step 6: The property owner obtains a minimum of 3 bids from approved contractors. IF the City determines it is an emergency then bidding requirements may be waived. Approved contractors can be found in the Sewer Lateral List of Contractors.

Step 7: The property owner contracts with the lowest bidder to perform the repairs.

Step 8: The contractor obtains all necessary permits, inspections and performs the work.

Step 9: The property owner submits the required final documents to the City

  • Completed authorization form previously provided by the City
  • Contractor's itemized final invoice
  • Contractor's final lien waiver
  • Minimum of two (2) additional competitor bids

Step 10: The City pays the contractor 75% of the eligible costs

Step 11: The property owner pays the remaining balance of all costs. 

Typical work NOT eligible for reimbursement:

  • Repairs to laterals inside the home, under the basement or foundation or within 1 ft. of the exterior foundation wall (5 ft. for cast-iron pipe).
  • Replacement or repair to structures such as  foundations, porches, decks, fences and retaining walls necessary to repair the defective lateral.
  • Repair to private underground systems such as irrigation systems, dog fences and security systems.
  • Repair to landscaping other than seed and straw.
  • Replacement of decorative concrete or pavers.
  • Clearing of roots.
  • Minor cracks not showing signs of infiltration or leaks.
  • Separated pipe joints not showing signs of infiltration or leaks.
  • Damage caused by other homeowner construction.
  • Repairs to sewer laterals to new homes identified within 5 years of construction completion.  This includes connections to the public main.


Contact the Building Commissioner's Office at (314) 822-5816.