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Frequently Asked Questions


Sewer Service Questions

The City and County of Denver is only responsible for main public sewers. For information about your private tap/serviceline, we recommend you to hire a licensed plumbing company that provides such services.

Immediately phone 303-446-3400 and report the problem. A maintenance crew will be dispatched to your location as quickly as possible If the problem is found in the city sewer line, Wastewater personnel will service the line and correct the problem. If cleanup is necessary due to a problem in the city line, we will arrange to have it completed in an efficient manner. If the problem is found to be your private line rather than the city sewer line, we will inform you as soon as possible. It would then be your responsibility to contact a plumber to service your line and repair any damage which may have occurred.

Believe it or not, a dry drain can lead to this condition. Drain pipes are constructed to hold a small amount of water. This retained water creates a seal to keep odors from coming up into your house. This water seal can evaporate, thus allowing foul odors to come into your house. To remedy this situation, you should pour a little water down your drain each month.

Do NOT flush disposable diapers and baby wipes as they will clog your sewer line. In addition, never pour grease or gummy substances down garbage disposals, toilets, or floor drains. Flammable liquids, i.e. oil, gasoline, paint thinner, etc., should never be poured into your sewer line as they can cause a fire hazard or create a harmful coating on your sewer pipe. Never flush plastic tampon containers, pencils, pins, hypodermic needles, broken glass or other foreign objects that can lodge in your sanitary line and prevent consistent flow.

For more information visit the Stormwater Quality page.

The combination of moisture, warmth, and nutrients that exist in all sewer lines (private and city) provides an excellent environment for roots to grow. Roots from trees, plants, and shrubbery are first attracted to the exterior of the sewer line and will penetrate the smallest crack or pin hole. This growth can eventually clog sewer lines.

It is extremely unlikely that sewer water will get into your drinking water. Incoming drinking water lines are designed to be pressurized and are installed above outgoing sewer lines. With this design, any sewer leakage would run downward and away from the line providing you with drinking water.

If you have a question about your water service, call the Denver Water Department at 303-893-2444.

General Questions

The Wastewater Management Division which is part of the Public Works department, builds, operates and maintains Denver's sanitary sewer system and storm drainage system. We maintain more than 1525 miles of sanitary sewers and 793 miles of storm drainage facilities.

One bill is for sanitary sewer charges. This is prepared monthly, and is combined with your water bill.

You will also receive another bill for storm drainage. This is calculated annually but billed semi-annually. Storm drainage bills are sent to every owner of improved property within Denver.

Sanitary sewer charges are for the collection, treatment, and disposal of water going down your sinks, drains, and toilets. Storm drainage charges are for the collection and disposal of rain water and snow melt. The City's sanitary sewers and storm drainage facilities are two completely independent systems.

Yes; in May of 2016, Denver City Council passed an ordinance to allow graywater use.

Learn more about uses and design requirments at

Sanitary Sewer/Storm Drainage Billing Questions

When land is undeveloped rain and melting snow will soak into the land or naturally flow to streams and rivers. When land is developed an impervious surface is created. An impervious surface is a man-made area that will not readily absorb water. Examples of impervious surfaces include paved areas, roof tops, streets and sidewalks. Developed land cannot absorb the water as easily, if at all, and many flow patterns are changed. In order to control the storm water, a storm drainage network has been built. These facilities must be operated, maintained, renewed and replaced in order to provide a safe flow of storm water.

To control storm waters and receive the benefits of that control, there is a cost. Since everyone in the City benefits, The Denver City Council passed an ordinance in 1981 which authorizes a storm drainage service charge to be collected from the owners of all improved parcels of land.

The storm drainage charge to a property owner is based on the relative impact the property will have on the storm drainage system. For instance, a parking lot will have more storm runoff than a grassy area of the same size. The charge is based on the ratio of impervious surface area to total parcel area. An impervious surface is a man-made area that will not readily absorb rain water as it falls. Based upon that ratio, a rate is applied to the impervious area to calculate the annual charge. The higher the ratio, the greater the rate. This calculation is applied in the same manner whether the property is residential, commercial or industrial. 

Calculate your Storm Drainage bill

Denver’s storm and sanitary bill rates are currently about $100 lower than the average for other larger Colorado cities. With the rate changes that were approved in 2016, Denver would be about $60 below the average in 2017, when the first full year of the rate change takes effect.

The charges on your property tax statement are collected for the Urban Drainage Flood Control District. UDFCD is a regional agency. It is involved in the planning and funding of major storm drainage projects, many of which cross city and county boundaries.

The UDFCD charge is based on the assessed value of your property. By contrast, our storm drainage charge is based on the runoff contri-bution of each property. This is determined by impervious surface area. Our charges are not a duplication of funds collected on behalf of UDFCD.

To reduce costs and as a convenience to customers, a combination bill was developed. The sanitary sewer bill is based on the water consumption metered by the Denver Water Department. This information is included on your combined bill.

Each year, we establish a new winter consumption for every residential customer, based on the metered water consumption shown on the February bill. The winter consumption sets the sanitary sewer charges for the entire year, starting with the March bill. Even though your water use may increase during the summer, your sanitary sewer charges will remain constant until a new winter consumption is calculated.

The sanitary sewer charge for commercial property is based upon actual metered consumption in each billing period during the year.

Your sanitary sewer charges are actually lower than many other cities, both locally and nationally. A national 2009 survey shows that Denver's residential sanitary sewer rates are the 3rd lowest of 36 large U.S. cities surveyed.

 You may phone Wastewater's Customer Service unit at 303-446-3500.

Our telephone hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. Our offices are open to answer your questions from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. We are located at 2000 West Third Avenue, Denver.

You should pay any past due amounts as soon as you can. Wastewater Management Division does not charge a late fee. However, if you fail to pay either sanitary sewer or storm drainage charges, a service lien may be filed against your property. When a service lien is filed with the city’s Treasury Division, Treasury will increase the balance owed by a filing fee and monthly interest charges. All liens filed are to be paid directly to the Treasury Division. For a pay-off of a service lien contact  Treasury at 720-913-9500.

Service lien delinquencies unpaid as of November of each year are sold at a tax lien sale. The City Treasurer will then file a tax lien against the property. If the tax lien and interest is not settled within three years from the date the tax lien is filed, title to the property may be lost to a Treasurer's Deed.

Have Billing Questions?

  1. After typing in the link (found on your Storm Drainage Service Charge invoice) into the address bar of your internet browser, the Pay Now window appears. There is an example of the Storm Drainage invoice showing the information you need to access your account.  Click Pay Now.
  2. Type in the Account Number and the Impervious area as previously shown in the example. Click Next.
  3. The current balance and account information are displayed.  If this information is correct, click Continue.  You may add additional accounts you wish to pay using the same credit card information by clicking on Add More.  You can return to the previous screen by clicking Back.  The Base Amount can be changed at this point.
  4. This account is now in the Shopping Cart and the amount to pay can be changed by clicking Edit.
  5. Proceed to complete the transaction by clicking Checkout Now.
  6. Complete the required fields: Payor Name, Phone, Credit Card information. If you wish to receive an e-Mailed copy of the receipt, enter in the e-Mail address. Once all information is entered, click Complete Transaction.
  7. You will see the receipt.  To print from this page, click Print Receipt . Your payment is now posted to your account.

The major credit and debit cards accepted are VISA, MasterCard, and Discover.

The Wastewater Management Division of the City and County of Denver Public Works Department does not store or retain credit card information and email addresses after payments are processed. To ensure a secure online payment, we provide 128-bit-SSL encryption.

No, there is no minimum amount.

Yes, partial and advance payments are accepted.

You should pay any past due amounts as soon as you can. Wastewater Management Division does not charge a late fee. If you fail to pay sanitary sewer or storm drainage charges a service lien can be filed against your property. When a service lien is filed the balance owed is increased by a filing fee and monthly delinquency interest is charged. Service lien delinquencies unpaid as of November of each year are sold at a tax lien sale. The City Treasurer will then file a tax lien against the property. If the tax lien and interest is not settled within three years from the date the tax lien is filed, title to the property may be lost to a Treasurer's Deed.

There are two ways to get a payment receipt:  (1) Enter an email address on the Payment Information screen to receive a receipt via email.  (2) Click on Print Receipt after the transaction is completed successfully.

Email confirmations are only generated if you enter an email address on the Payment Information screen.  The receipt will go to the email address that you provide in that field.  If you entered a correct email address and did not receive a receipt, contact Wastewater Management Division Customer Service at 303-446-3500 or


Pay Your Bill Online

water drop and ripples

You can now pay your semi-annual storm drainage bill online using StormPay with no additional fees.

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Wastewater Management Division
2000 West 3rd Avenue
Denver, CO 80223

Business Hours: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Main Office: 303-446-3400
Billing Inquiries: 303-446-3500

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