Sewer Department

The City of Forest Lake has 90 miles of sanitary sewer lines, 2000+ manholes and 46 lift stations within its sanitary sewer system. Sanitary sewer system problems are not common and the Department's maintenance procedures are intended to avoid or minimize such problems in the City's part of the system to the maximum extent possible. The Department attempts to continually maintain its portion of the sanitary sewer system to be as trouble free as possible. 
  1. Emergency Sewer/Water Calls

    Contact us at 651-209-9743 to report a sewer backup, lift station alarm, water leak, meter leak or pressure problem.  You must leave a message for your call to be returned.

Sewer Backups

If you suspect a sewer obstruction or back up and do not know where the blockage is, contact the City of Forest Lake Utility Department before contacting a drain cleaning company. The city will inspect the sewer main through a manhole to determine if there is a blockage in the sewer main line. If there is no problem in the sewer main, the blockage is in your sewer service pipe between the sewer main and the house. Often times root invasion from mature trees into old sewer services are causes of obstruction.

Call Forest Lake Utility Department @ 651-209-9743

Monday-Friday, after hours, on weekends or holidays

A message must be left at this number in order to allow

City crews to be dispatched to assess the situation.

If it is determined that no blockage or restrictions exist in the City's sanitary sewer system, the property owner is advised to contact a professional plumber or drain cleaning service to have the private sewer service inspected. The City cannot make a recommendation for drain cleaning services. A property owner may wish to obtain several estimates. We do however request that you notify us after a sewer service has been cleaned. Typically, the cleaning process pushes a significant amount of solids into the sewer main and could cause a blockage in the main, which could lead to an even bigger problem.

Sanitary Sewer Cleaning

The sanitary sewer lines are cleaned using high performance sewer cleaning equipment. A cleaning nozzle is propelled from one manhole to the next using water under high pressure. The nozzle is then pulled back to the starting manhole. As the nozzle is pulled back, water scours the inside of the sanitary sewer pipe. Any debris in the pipe is pulled back with the water. The debris is removed from the manhole with a vacuum unit. This process is repeated on every sewer line cleaned. Jetting (flushing sewer lines) is done approximately once every five years.  City sewer lines requiring a higher level of maintenance are cleaned annually or semi-annually. The sanitary lift stations are checked daily and include wireless monitoring and alarm equipment for flows, backups and power outages. This routine maintenance helps to prevent future blockages and back-ups and keeps our main sewer lines flowing consistently.

Sump Pumps

If you use a sump pump in your basement, it is illegal to drain the water into the basement sanitary sewer drain or laundry tub. Sump pumps must be discharged outside of the house to the yard or drain way that will prevent the water from draining directly to the street. Call the Public Works department at 651-464-3220 if you need more information.