Our online utility bill pay system is currently down. The software vendor is looking into the issue. In the meantime, we will not proceed with shut-offs as scheduled for 2/28/23 and will update the timeline when the system returns. You can still pay by credit card, check or cash at City Hall.

The City of Sumner has over 50 miles of sewer pipeline plus 16 pump stations to keep everything moving to our regional Wastewater Treatment Facility for proper treatment before returning to the environment. This critical service keeps drains accepting waste in all our homes and businesses while protecting the environment around us.

Problems with Sewers

Sewers are a partnership between every property owner and the City. Each property has its own sewer that collects wastewater from drains and toilets and sends it out to the main sewer line, which the City operates and maintains. If you have a back-up or issue with your sewer, you often don’t know if it’s in your portion of the line or ours. For that reason, CALL US FIRST. Call Public Works Shops at 253-299-5740 or use Shops Report A Problem to send us an email. We’ll look at your situation and assess what’s going on. If it’s an issue with our line, we’ll fix it. If it’s with your line, you may still need to call a private plumber, but we can do all we can on our side to save you money or at least explain the situation to you. None of us want you to pay more than you must.

Sewer Rates

There is no meter for sewer use our of your property as there is for water use going into your property. Sewer charges are calculated based on your winter water use and is updated each spring.  The City uses your winter water use to calculate sewer rates so as not to charge you for water used in summer for irrigation, which does not impact sewers.

Learn more about Utilities and Utility Rates

FOG & Residential Sewers

There are steps you can take to keep your sewer operating correctly.

Fats, oils and grease, known collectively as FOG, represent the most serious enemy of our sewer lines. This includes

  • Butter
  • Cooking oil
  • Salad dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Grease
  • Gravy
  • Sauces
  • Food/meat scraps
  • Lard
  • Margarine
  • Shortening

When you dump FOG down your drain, it forms large, thick grease balls that clog pipes and eventually lead to sewer backups and spills, create environmental problems, cause traffic tie-ups or even flood homes and businesses. Protect your own pipes and our system with a few simple steps.


  • Can the grease! Keep an empty metal can and pour oil and grease into the can. Allow grease to cool in the container before throwing it in the trash.
  • Wipe before washing. For greasy pans, pour the grease into a container and use a paper towel to wipe out the remaining grease in the pan prior to washing.
  • Seal the oil. Liquid should be limited to no more than one-half gallon. Mix liquid vegetable oil with an absorbent material such as kitty litter or coffee grounds in a sealable container before throwing it in the trash.
  • Keep drains clean by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Wait 10-15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.


  • Don’t pour fat, oil or grease down drains or garbage disposals.
  • Don’t use hot water to rinse grease off cookware, utensils, dishes or surfaces.
  • Don’t forget to protect bathroom drains too: the toilet is not a trash can!

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