FAQs

Click on an item below to learn more about common questions.

Emergency Questions

Sewer is backing up in my residence or business, what should I do?

If there is a backup only in the facilities that are being immediately used, this is most likely a problem in your service line and you will need to contact a plumber.  If there is a continuous back up then you will need to contact Parker immediately at 864-467-4030, 24/7.  After some initial questions, if necessary, we will immediately dispatch a crew to check the main sewer at no charge to you. If there is a cleanout at the public right-of-way, Parker Sewer may also inspect the cleanout to determine the location of the blockage in the service line. Parker Sewer will clear the stoppage if it is in the Parker main sewer line. If the stoppage is in the private property section of the service line, Parker Sewer personnel will notify the owner and advise if a plumber should be called.

There is sewage running out of a manhole or a clean-out. 

You will need to contact Parker Sewer immediately at (864) 467-4030. 

I have a bad odor in my house that smells like sewer. 

Check all traps in your home, run water in all fixtures, check vents on the top of your house.  If all these steps do not work, you will need to contact a plumber.

Important Questions

What uses are restricted within the Parker Sewer easement?


The construction of sheds, buildings, structures, retaining walls, decks or other obstructions within the easement are not allowed. Planting of trees within the easement is not allowed under any circumstances. The placement of additional fill or the removal of fill over the pipeline is not allowed without the prior written consent of Parker Sewer, as this could affect the structural integrity of the pipe. To insure appropriate safety separations, other utility lines including but not limited to electric, gas, telephone, cable, or water lines cannot be constructed without the prior written consent of Parker Sewer. Please note that Parker Sewer easement widths vary greatly. Contact Parker Sewer (864) 467-4030 with easement questions.

Does Parker pump out septic tanks?

No.  The only time Parker Sewer will pump out a septic tank is if the drain fields have failed.  Parker Sewer will only pump out the septic tank enough to enable the crew to work on the drain field.  Parker does not pump out septic tanks for maintenance.  This is the homeowner’s responsibility. 

My septic tank has failed and there is sanitary sewer service available to my property.  Can I repair my septic tank?

No.  If there is sanitary sewer available to your property (within 300 feet), you must connect to the sanitary sewer system.  SCDHEC does not allow you to repair a septic drain field when there is sanitary sewer service within 300 feet of your property. 

How much does a sewer connection cost?

Check the impact fees.

Can Parker issue a Renewable Water Resources permit as well?

Yes.  Parker District is authorized to issue a permit on behalf of Renewable Water Resources. 

Can you locate main line on property?

Yes.  If you need a Parker mainline located on your property, please call the office.  Parker has 3 business days to locate mainlines on your property.

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is employed when a section of the sewer collection system fails, resulting in excessive infiltration/exfiltration problem. There are several repair methods available. The choice of method or combination of methods depends on the physical condition of the sewer system components (i.e., pipeline sections, maintenance holes, and service connections) and the nature and magnitude of the problems. If the problem does not involve the structural integrity of the system's components or the need to increase the capacity of the existing system, rehabilitation can be an effective way of restoring the utility of the failed system component.  

General Questions

What is a main line?


A main line is that larger pipe usually in the street or Parker’s easement which carries sewer to the Treatment Plant for treatment. These are the pipes which service all residential and business areas and carry waste water from the connected laterals to the wastewater treatment plant. They will be the pipes that are in the manholes you frequently see about our streets and other areas.

What is a manhole and where would it be located?

Manholes are used to access underground sewer line infrastructure.  Manholes are typically round and usually located in the road or Parker Sewer's easement.  Manhole lids are generally 24" in diameter.


What is a service line (lateral sewer)?

A service line is an individual residence or business’s sewer pipe which comes from your house or business to Parker's main sewer pipe. Service lines are maintained by the customer.

What is a private sewer system (or satellite sewer system)?


A private sewer collection system is a system which is not owned or maintained by Parker Sewer. They are usually more complex and elaborate than simple private service lines since they contain manholes and mainlines. Private collection systems are owned and maintained by individuals, firms, homeowner's associations, or other such private entities.

What is a wastewater collection system?

A wastewater collection system are  pipes located in the street or easement that are designed to transport wastewater from sanitary fixtures (toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers and lavatories) inside your house or place of business. 

What is a cleanout and where would it be located?

A clean-out is used to access the customer's service line for cleaning or clearing blockages. They are usually located near the public right-of-way or next to the house/structure.  Some cleanouts will have a metal cover over them to protect them from getting broken.  A clean-out is maintained by customer. 

What is a backflow valve and who installs it?

A backflow valve can greatly reduce your possibility of a sewer back up into your home or business.  A backflow valve is a fixture installed into a service line to prevent sewer backflows.  It is the responsibility of the property owners to install and maintain the backflow valves.

What is an easement?


An easement is a right to use the land of another in some limited way that does not amount to full ownership of the land. Parker Sewer acquires easements for public sewer lines by legal grant from property owners. The grant includes a surveyed description of the easement corridor for the sewer line. It also specifies the rights and restrictions of use within the corridor by both the land owner and Parker Sewer.

What are Inflow and Infiltration (I/I)?

Inflow is stormwater that enters into sanitary sewer systems at points of direct connection to the systems.  Various sources contribute to the inflow, including footing/foundation drains, roof drains or leaders, downspouts, drains from window wells, outdoor basement stairwells, drains from driveways, groundwater/basement sump pumps, and even streams. Illustration

Infiltration is groundwater that enters sanitary sewer systems through cracks and/or leaks in the sanitary sewer pipes.  Cracks or leaks in sanitary sewer pipes or manholes may be caused by age related deterioration, loose joints, poor design, installation or maintenance errors, damage or root infiltration.  Groundwater can enter these cracks or leaks wherever sanitary sewer systems lie beneath water tables or the soil above the sewer systems becomes saturated. Illustration

Why is inflow and infiltration a problem?

Sanitary sewer systems are designed to carry wastewater from toilets, dishwashers, sinks, or showers in homes or businesses.  Inflow and infiltration add clear rain or ground water to sewer systems increasing the load on the systems.  Clear water belongs in stormwater systems or on the surface of the ground, and not in the sanitary sewers.  A stormwater system designed to carry rainwater away.  Stormwater systems are normally much larger than sanitary sewer systems because they are designed to carry larger amounts of water.  When stormwater enters sanitary sewer systems, it must be transported and treated like sanitary sewer.  During dry weather the impact of inflow and infiltration can vary from minimal impact to a significant portion of the sewer pipe flow.  Wet weather magnifies existing inflow and infiltration sources.  As a rain event begins the inflow and infiltration sources start filling the sanitary sewer systems with clear water, eventually filling the sewer systems to capacity.  Once the sanitary sewer systems have reached capacity or becomes overloaded, wastewater flows at much higher water level than normal and if sanitary fixtures or drains are below this overload level, water will flow backward through the sanitary sewer pipe, flooding basements or households and causing manholes to pop open releasing wastewater onto the street. Illustration