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Sewer System

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Fats, Oils, and Grease Source Control Program
Sewer System Management Plan

The City maintains most of the sewer main lines throughout the City, however, the lateral line that connects from individual homes and businesses to the main line is the responsibility of the property owner (MBMC 5.36.240).

Sewer line  

If you smell a strong sewer odor in the street, try to locate its source and give us a call, there might be a blockage or a leak. Also, if you plan on having your sewer line flushed or cleaned out, please contact the City first so our crews can be aware of the situation. It is possible that the extra flow from Vac-Con Truck your lateral could block up the main line and cause an overflow. To prevent this from happening, please give us a call 24 to 48 hours in advance of the work being done. You can reach us at (310) 802-5304; our office hours are Monday through Friday 08:00 AM to 04:30 PM or you can fill out a Request for Service Form. If you need immediate assistance after our normal business hours please contact our after-hours call center at (310) 802-5000.

Waste water from Manhattan Beach is pumped to the Los Angeles County Sanitation District for treatment. To learn more about waste water treatment check out the Los Angeles County Sanitation District's web page.

Fats, Oils, and Grease Source Control Program

Fats Oils and Grease  (FOG) can be a major problem for Manhattan Beach’s sewer system as well as for the Pacific Ocean.  If not disposed of properly, FOG solidifies in the sewer pipes. As FOG solidifies, it restricts the flow of wastewater.  Eventually, the flow becomes so impeded that waste water can no longer pass through thus overflowing into our businesses, streets, storm drains and waterways. These Sanitary Sewer Overflows pose significant health threats as well as environmental damage.

What Qualifies as a Food Service Establishment?
Facilities defined in California Uniform Retail Food Facility Law (CURFFL) Health & Safety Code § 113785, and any commercial or public entity within the boundaries of the City… which has any process or device that uses or produces FOG, or grease vapors, steam, fumes, smoke or odors that are required to be removed by a Type I or Type II hood, as defined in CURFFL.

Where Does FOG Come From?
Food Service Establishments (FSEs) are a significant source of FOG, which is generated everyday through food preparation and cleaning activities, such as:

  • Cooking meats
  • Preparing sauces and salad dressings
  • Using butter, ice cream and other dairy products
  • Dish washing
  • Pot/Pans washing


Prevent Sewer System Overflows By: 

  • Never pouring grease or oil directly into a sink
  • Scraping food scraps from pots, pans and dishes into a garbage container before washing
  • Wiping plates, cookware, and utensils down with a cloth or paper towel before washing
  • Allowing liquid grease to cool and dispose of into the trash or an approved waste grease container
  • Using a strainer in sinks to catch any food scraps that may end up down the drain
  • Try to avoid using the garbage disposal. Ground up food particles can contribute to sewer blockages.    


    Sewer System Management Plan

    The City of Manhattan Beach owns and operates a sanitary sewer system.  With a population greater than 10,000, the city is required to comply with the State Water Resources Control Board adopted Order No. 2006-003, Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) for Wastewater Collection agencies in May 2006, which states:
    “…all federal and state agencies, municipalities, counties, districts, and other public entities, known as “Enrollees”, that own or operate a sanitary sewer system greater than one mile in length that collect and/or convey untreated or partially treated wastewater to a publicly owned treatment facility in the State of California to comply with the terms of this Order.”

    Properly designed, operated, and maintained sanitary sewer systems are meant to collect and transport all of the sewage that flows into them to a publicly owned treatment works.  However, occasional unintentional discharges of raw sewage from municipal sanitary sewers occur in almost every system. These types of discharges are called sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). SSOs have a variety of causes, including but not limited to severe weather, improper system operation and maintenance, and vandalism. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are at least 40,000 SSOs each year throughout the country. The WDR Order is designed to facilitate in reducing the amount of Sanitary Sewer Overflows by outlining steps and actions for Agencies to implement, known as the Sewer System Management Plan.

    Please click here for a complete copy of all elements of the Sewer System Management Plan (PDF)  and Sewer System Management Plan Update (PDF) or contact the Public Works Department at (310) 802-5304 if you have any questions.