Environmental Exposures: Sewer Utility Contractors

Because sewer utility contractors typically work below ground, they often do not know what they are going to encounter at jobsites. When installing new equipment, there may be storage tanks that could be punctured and spilled, affecting soil or groundwater. Or during the maintenance or upgrade of existing sewer lines, they may come across hazardous materials or hazardous wastewater discharges. For this reason, they have to be cautious not to create a hazardous condition or exacerbate an underlying issue. Some of the environmental exposures these contractors could face include (but are not limited to):

  • Spills or backflow of contents from connected structures such as cesspools, septic tanks, or grease traps, etc. into the environment or adjacent properties may cause environmental or property damage.
  • Spills of wastewater, cleaning chemicals, or debris associated with sewer line maintenance or cleaning. Spills may also occur while waste is being transported from the job site to a disposal site.
  • Air emissions such as welding fumes, concrete dust, sewer gas, or combustion engine releases (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates).
  • Sewer debris, such as sludge, discarded filters, and in some cases hazardous waste may be disposed of improperly, causing contamination at the landfill or disposal facility. This could result in claims against the landfill or disposal facility which could come back to the original generator of the waste.

These are issues that sewer utility contractors need to consider when reviewing their policies to make sure they have the right coverage. If you would like more information on insurance for sewer, septic, or port-a-potty contractors, including claim scenarios, contact us.


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