Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works

Private Sewer Lateral Compliance Policy

Effective October 1, 2006

Under federal law, the City of Berkeley must reduce the amount of water flowing into its sewer system.  Half of the water that enters the City's sewer during wet weather comes from private property sewer lines, downspouts and yard area drains.  To protect the water quality of our creeks, watersheds and the San Francisco Bay, the City recently passed Ordinance No. 7200-N.S. repealing and reenacting Chapter 17.24 of the Berkeley Municipal Code regulating private sewer lines and amending Section 17.16.010 concerning installation of sewer laterals.

You may be affected by this new law if you are planning to either:

  • Sell property with an escrow you expect to close on or after October 1, 2006; or
  • Start a remodeling project that costs more than $50,000 (see page 4 of the Compliance Guide).

After October 1, 2006, you must comply with certain requirements and obtain Sewer Lateral Certificates in order to proceed with property sales that close on or after this date, and remodeling projects that meet these thresholds.

Do You Comply?  The City will issue a Sewer Lateral Certificate if you can provide one of the following:

  • Evidence that the private sewer lateral is less than 20 years old; or
  • A signed copy of a Private Sewer Lateral permit or relevant permits for a FULL replacement of the upper lateral within the last 20 years.

If you do NOT comply, you may need to take further actions, such as having your lateral inspected and possibly repairing it as necessary. If you have questions about this new law, please follow the links below for more information.

Documents in .pdf format require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Download a free copy from Adobe's website: GetAdobeLogo 

You may also call City staff for further information at 510) 981-6423, TDD (510) 981-6903.

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Department of Public Works, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-6300
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903