Wastewater discharges to the sanitary sewer. As a property owner, you own your sewer service from the building to the City of Moorhead sewer main. The City owns and maintains the sewer main which is generally located in the middle of the street. Sewer mains are cleaned every three years. Maintenance crews use a high pressure jet of water to clean the walls of the sewer main and push material and debris downstream where it can be removed at a manhole.

The most common causes of sewer backup are:

  • Putting items down your drain that should be put into your garbage,
  • Invasive tree roots, and
  • Sewer pipe problems (private and/or City main)

Sanitary Sewer Rates and Fees


Wastewater provides a 24-hour, on-call service to take care of sewer problems. Emergency and non-emergency contact number 218.299.5386

When you experience slow drains or sewer back-up:

  • Contact Wastewater prior to calling a plumber
  • Staff will inspect the sewer main and determine if the blockage is in the main line or private service
  • If a plumber has been contacted first, the City cannot pay the plumbing costs

Sewer odors often occur when basement floor or other drain traps dry up and allow sewer gas to enter buildings. Other times, a blocked roof vent prevents sewer gas from releasing outside. In order to prevent sewer odor:

  • Periodically check seldom used drains and refill with water
  • Add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil or mineral oil to slow evaporation
  • Keep roof vents free from obstructions, such as leaves, snow and ice
  • If sewer odor persists, call Wastewater at 218.299.5386

Sanitary Sewer

Follow this guidance document for sanitary sewer service repairs, including building owner and contractor responsibilities.

Sump Pumps

All sump pump and foundation drain discharge must be directed outside year-round. Discharge to the sanitary sewer is not allowed. A Seasonal Sump Pump Waiver can be obtained for discharge to the sanitary sewer from November 1 to April 1. A yearly fee applies to granted waivers.

Wastewater Treatment Process

An extensive network of piping and infrastructure conveys wastewater to the Wastewater Treatment Facility prior to discharge to the Red River of the North.


Email Wastewater staff or call 218.299.5386