Main Street Sewer Lateral Replacement
- What is a sewer lateral?
The sewer lateral consists of the pipe that begins at the building's plumbing system connection, usually a sewer cleanout located approximately two feet from the foundation, and extends to, and includes, the connection at the public (city) sewer main.
Sewer lateral cleanouts allow easy access to evaluate potential plumbing problems. They help keep your plumbing system running smoothly. A City-approved cleanout provides access for maintenance of the sewer lateral, or to clear it in the event your sewer lateral backs up. Not all current sewer laterals have city-approved cleanouts due to the age of the lateral. All replaced laterals will require a City approved cleanout to be installed which assist with future maintenance of the lateral, reducing the cost to property owners.
- I have a question about my specific lateral, who can I speak to?
Management Analyst, Martin Beltran, can assist you with your sewer lateral questions. When reaching out to him, please include your property address.
- How long does a sewer lateral last?
The average lifetime of a private sewer lateral depends on the material used to construct the pipe. Certain materials can last upwards of 50 years. The majority of the sewer lateral lines on Main Street between Pine and Spring Street have not been replaced in decades.
Closed Circuit Televised Video (CCTV) Inspections
In March 2020, the City's underground utilities department completed CCTV inspections of the sewer laterals on Main Street between Spring Street and Pine Street. This is in preparation for the City's downtown sidewalk improvement project.
City underground utility staff graded each lateral on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Based on these inspections of 28 sewer lateral lines, 26 of the laterals received a rating of 3 or less. Of these degraded laterals, staff found some of the following issues: large bellies in pipes collecting water, holes in pipes, cracked pipes, root intrusion, deterioration from sewer gas, offsets, lips and separation at joints, and lots of debris.
The City's CCTV inspections are available to property owners if they wish to see. Property owners may also seek CCTV inspections from a licensed contractor.
To inquire for a copy of your CCTV inspection performed in March of 2020, please contact Public Works with the building address you are inquiring about.
Sewer lateral replacement can be costly depending upon the number of sewer lateral lines one owns, and their length from the sewer main. Replacing sewer lateral lines is not a regular expense and has been neglected by many for some time. Recognizing that costs for the improvements may be significant, the City Council has approved a financial assistance program to property owners with small to medium-sized, zero percent interest loans, to be paid back in installments over a period of five years recorded against the property and, if desired, collected on the property tax roll. The City is hopeful this will facilitate your ability to expedite replacement and/or repair.
On January 26, 2021, City Council increased the original loan from $7,500 to $15,000. Work must be completed on or before July 31, 2021, for property owners to take advantage of this zero % interest loan.
For questions about financing options, please email Mandy Kellogg.
The Department of Public Works is encouraging all property owners affected by this project to replace their private sewer laterals before the downtown sidewalk construction begins as replacing or repairing the degraded sewer laterals after project construction will increase costs considerably for the property owner.