Sewer Department

Sewage Backup Emergency

Before you call a private plumber: check for the following:

•             Drains run very slowly, even after they have been cleaned.

•             Water backs up into multiple plumbing drains or other plumbing fixtures. (toilet, shower, etc)

•             A gurgling noise can be heard from multiple plumbing fixtures.

•             A strong sewage smell comes out of the drains.

•             You see and smell sewage in the floor drains.

•             You find drain flies in your home.

If any of the above items are present, please call  the Emergency Phone Line at 515-462-1233.

The City is responsible for cleaning the City's main lines; however, homeowners are responsible for maintaining their sewer service which connects from your home to the City's main lines in the streets or City Right of Ways.   See the responsibility diagram.


The wastewater treatment plant is an Iowa Grade II, two-stage trickling filter (bio tower) plant, including pretreatment, primary clarification, solids contact tank, final clarification, UV disinfection, and two-stage aerobic digestion. The WWTF utilizes bio-towers.  We are consistently able to remove 90% to 95% of those pollutants, which is far in excess of the 85% we are required to remove by the State of Iowa.

Our responsibilities include general maintenance of the treatment facility, maintenance and repair of the sewer main, and the six lift stations throughout the City.  We clean and respond to emergencies with our Vactor, which is a sewer vacuum and jetter truck.  We also utilize smoke testing to find cracks and leaks in our sewer system.  Before going out and doing this, we will place door hangers explaining the date and process of smoke testing. 


When repairing or replacing your sewer service, the homeowner is responsible for getting the correct permits.  A sewer repair permit is required to work on any service line, and when this involves cutting into the city street, a Right of Way permit is required.  These permits can be obtained from Winterset City Hall. 

The WWTF is under contract with the USW Utility Group for the operation, maintenance, and staffing of the facility.  

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