Everyone living in the East Bay region wants to keep San Francisco Bay clean for now and future generations. The Oakland Sewer Lateral Ordinance is part of the plan to accomplish that goal. As of January 16, 2012, all buyers and sellers of property must ensure that they are in compliance with the new law.
Sewer laterals are the sections of sewer pipe from the home or business to the street and the maintenance of this pipe is the responsibility of the property owner. Many in the area are older, clay pipes that are cracked and leaking. When rainwater leaks into the cracks, it flows into the sewer system. The excess water can overwhelm the sewage treatment system and the untreated water can be released into the Bay. The cities in the area, through the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD), have been charged by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to instigate sewer lateral ordinances. The public will rely on Oakland sewer repair contractors to perform the needed work on properties and ensure compliance with the law.
The Oakland sewer lateral ordinance applies to any property, home or business, which is bought or sold. Paying for the inspection and possible repairs is a decision that should be negotiated between buyer and seller. The ordinance also applies to any building or remodeling project over $100,000 or if the water meter size is changed.
To ensure compliance with the Oakland sewer lateral ordinance, property owners should follow these steps:
1. Have the property checked out by someone who understands the need for an Oakland sewer inspection to pass the ordinance. It is important to hire a contractor who will perform the correct Oakland sewer test.
2. If work is needed, have an Oakland sewer repair contractor complete the needed repairs or replacement of the line. Any contractor doing sewer repair in Oakland will understand the ordinance and be able to ensure compliance.
3. The contractor performing sewer repair in Oakland will then have the property inspected again for compliance. The repaired or replaced line must pass the Oakland sewer test before the process can be advanced.
4. If the property passes the Oakland sewer inspection either with or without repairs, the next step is to schedule an inspection by EBMUD.
5. If the property passes the EBMUD inspection, the property owner can download and print the proper certificate which will be given to the new property owner.
Once the Oakland Sewer Certificate is issued, it is good for 20 years. The quality of the Bay will be protected for future generations.