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Spill Prevention & Response

The City of Carlsbad is responsible for providing sewer service to more than 65,000 customers and maintaining more than 250 miles of pipelines. Preventing sewer spills and responding quickly and effectively if one occurs, are critical to protecting public health, property and the environment.


Even with a vigilant prevention program, spills can still occur. If that happens, city staff is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays, to take care of the problem. To report a sewer smells, leaks, and spills call 760-602-7100.

  • Sewer spills can be caused by clogged pipes, vandalism, unexpected pipe breaks, and even power outages.
  • The city works to contain the spill, make repairs, restore service and clean up the affected area as quickly as possible.


The City of Carlsbad has a comprehensive program in place to prevent sewer spills.

  • We keep the sewer system well maintained by conducting daily pipe cleaning and manhole inspections throughout the city.
  • We use video cameras to monitor sewer pipes using a closed circuit television system.
  • We use overflow sensors at many sewer system locations.
  • We also work to raise awareness among the public about the problems caused by putting food and household products down the drain and planting landscaping near underground pipes, and with restaurants and other businesses to comply with rules about what goes down the drain.
  • We work to secure areas that are at high risk for vandalism.

Public Health

Protecting public health, the environment and property are our top priority.

  • We work closely with other government agencies to ensure the proper authorities are notified quickly and clean up actions are initiated without delay.
  • We make every effort to not interrupt water and sewer service for our residents and businesses during repairs.