Thursday, August 04, 2005

New Sewer Lateral Ordinance

There's important news for home buyers and sellers in some East Bay cities.

In an effort to modernize it's sewer system and protect the health and safety of it's residents, property owners within the Stege Sanitary District (.pdf map) will now be required to obtain a "Certificate of Compliance" for their sanitary sewer laterals upon the sale of their property, prior to the close of escrow.

If you're thinking about selling property within the district, this is something to take care of when preparing your home for sale.

Taken from the FAQ's

Q: What is a "sewer lateral?"

A: A "sewer lateral’ is that portion of the sanitary sewer line which connects a house’s or business’ plumbing to the District’s sewer system. Typically, most, but not all, of the "sewer lateral" is on private property, while the other portion of the sewer system, the "sewer main," is usually all in the public right-of-way.

Q: Why is the District concerned about the condition of the sewer lateral?

A: Sewer laterals which are in poor condition present two problems: (1) faulty sewer lines can leak raw sewage in the ground, which may be a public health issue; (2) storm water can invade poorly sealed sewer lines and can overload the sewer system, causing sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and backups, and can occasionally overload the wastewater treatment facilities, resulting in the discharge of partially treated wastewater into the Bay.

Q: At what point(s) am I required to repair or replace my sewer lateral?

A: You may voluntarily choose to repair or replace your sewer lateral at any time you feel it is necessary (for example, if you are experiencing frequent sewer backups or blockages). However, the Stege Sanitary District Ordinance Code now requires that non-compliant (i.e., those with defects) sewer laterals be repaired or replaced when a property is sold – before the close of escrow.

Q: The sewer lateral on my property has been repaired or replaced and a Certificate of Compliance has been issued. How long is the Certificate good for?

A: District staff has determined that, given the quality of modern sewer pipe technology, Certificates of Compliance will be honored for 10 years. In most cases, therefore, the owner of the property will not be required to obtain another Certificate of Compliance for 10 years, even if the property is sold, or major improvements are made to the house.

Sewer Lateral Compliance Policy Homepage

Full FAQ section for Property Owners, Contractors, and REALTORS®

A Step-by-step guide to the process