Sewer System Ordinance

Effective August 1st, 2018

The main objective of the new sewer system ordinance is to improve private sewer infrastructure to protect the environment and local waterways from becoming contaminated. The changes coming into effect on August 1st are currently in effect throughout much of California. The maintenance of private sewer laterals has always been the property owner’s responsibility. As private sewer laterals age, they can start to leak and become cracked by roots. Once cracked or damaged the sewer lateral will start allowing sewage to seep out into the ground can cause property damage along with becoming a public health threat. Faulty sewer laterals affect everybody in the area. There are three changes that are happening with the sanitary sewer system ordinance.

1. The owner of a property with a sewer spill is responsible for stopping the spill immediately and is subjected to fines and penalties if repairs and inspections aren’t made in a timely manner.

2. Before the sale of a property is finalized, the property owner must have the sewer lateral inspected by an authorized inspector. If repairs are needed the property owner must have repairs made and re-inspected after the repairs have been made. If the property has newer sewer laterals installed or has passed inspection within the last five years, then the property is exempt.

3. Private sanitary sewer collection systems and pumps at apartment buildings, homeowner associations and businesses must pass inspection every 10 years. Also, the pipelines must be cleaned every two to five years depending on size. Privately owned pump stations must pass inspection every one to five years depending on size.

If you’re experiencing a sewer spill or planning on selling a property call Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air we have two plumbers who are certified through the city of Santa Cruz to inspect your sewer laterals. Call us today at 831-244-6718.

For more information visit: Santa Cruz Sanitary Sewer System Ordinance