DEP Cease and Desist Violation for a Sewer Line – How to Remove

July 5, 2013

A NYC DEP cease and Desist Violation is issued to a property owner if the main sewer line has been determined to be broken.  The most common factors in the DEP issuing this type of violation are:

  1. The roadway in-front of the house starts to sink, crack or forms a visible hole in the street.
  2. One of the neighboring houses is experiencing water into their house from a neighbors broken sewer line.

A Cease and Desist notice is usually issued if the sewer line break is affecting other homes or has made unsafe conditions for the neighborhood, this type of notice is usually not issued if the homeowner is experiencing minor sewer back-ups in their own house.


How does the DEP determine the sewer line is broken?

The DEP usually performs a dye test or a camera inspection of the sewer line for a visual confirmation that the sewer pipe is broken.

What can happen if the violation is not resolved?

If you receive a Cease and Desist violation and decide to ignore the notice, the DEP may open the roadway and shut off the domestic water feeding the house of the offending property.  Shutting off the main water service feeding the house will terminate all water entering the house, prevent additional water from going down the sewer line and  the possibility of the existing conditions worsening.  At this point the DEP may issue a 10 day notice for failing to respond to the previous notice along with a $1,000 charge that will appear on your water bill, in addition to resolving the broken sewer line.  The $1,000 charge is a result of all expenses incurred by the DEP while turning the water off in the roadway.


What are the factors leading to a Cease and Desist notice?

  1.  Cracked or broken sewer pipe
  2.  Tree roots have invaded the sewer line
  3.  The pipe is back-pitched

Read more about sewer complications and backups here  or see our jobsite reports on a recent DEP Cease and Desist project completed by Harris here.


Harris Water Main and Sewer Contractors, family owned and operated serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan & the Bonx for over 90 years – contact us 24/7 at 718-495-3600

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