Sewer Lateral Program — Oakland

EBMUD’s Regional Private Sewer Lateral (PSL) Program will become effective late Summer 2011; however, please note that EBMUD is phasing in the program, so not all cities will start at this time. An exact start date has not yet been established, but property owners will be notified of the dates well ahead of time to assist with future planning.

The PSL Program will require private property owners to inspect and if necessary repair or replace their private sewer lateral when they (1) sell their property; (2) do a property remodel greater than $100,000; or (3) change the size of the water meter. At this time the program is planned to take effect in Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, and the Stege Sanitary District which serves the cities of El Cerrito and Kensington and the Richmond Annex. The other municipalities in EBMUD’s wastewater service area (Alameda, Albany, and Berkeley) have their own local private sewer lateral ordinances and property owners should contact them directly.

The PSL Program is effective for escrows opened after the implementation start date of the program in your city.  The parties involved (buyer/seller/both) will need to negotiate who is responsible for paying for the repairs needed in order to obtain the certificate of compliance from EBMUD.

In terms of the process please note the following key aspects of the PSL Program once it is implemented. A licensed contractor would need to be hired to: 1. assess the condition of their lateral 2. get any required permits from their City 3. perform any necessary repair or replacement work Then the property owner or contractor would contact EBMUD to schedule an inspection of the lateral. If the lateral passes the verification test (an air or water test to make sure that the lateral is free of leaks), then a Compliance Certificate can be printed from the PSL Online System.

The Regional Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance includes an exemption provision that states if a property owner can provide evidence that the sewer lateral is less than 10 years old, (e.g., copies of signed and dated city permits) he/she can apply for an Exemption Certificate in lieu of obtaining a Compliance Certificate when selling the property. Please keep in mind that this exemption is not applicable to laterals that received isolated spot repairs but to brand new installed or fully slip-lined laterals that are assumed to be air and water tight.

Properties that are not connected to the public sanitary sewer e.g. septic tanks – are exempt from ordinance requirements. EBMUD is currently working with the Environmental Protection Agency and cities within our wastewater service area on additional program implementation details.

Please check back at in the future for a revised start date.


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