Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works


Effective November 3, 2014
Established October 1, 2006 

To protect the water quality of creeks, watersheds, and the San Francisco Bay, the City of Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) includes provisions related to the maintenance and repair of private sewer laterals. It is estimated that half the water that enters the City’s sewers during wet weather comes from deficient private sewer laterals (PSLs) and from downspouts and yard area drains that are directly connected to sanitary sewer laterals.  

 Private Sewer Lateral Connection
Private Sewer Later Connection (Double-click on picture to enlarge)

Since October 2006, property owners have been required to obtain a Sewer Lateral Certificate of Compliance (SLC) prior to transfer or sale of property, or before obtaining a building permit for major construction projects such as remodels. The City amended its private sewer lateral ordinance (BMC Chapter 17.24), effective November 3, 2014 to comply with requirements mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State and Regional Water Boards. Under these requirements, the City’s PSL ordinance must be “no less stringent” than the Regional PSL Ordinance adopted by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), which applies to most of the communities within the EBMUD wastewater service area.

All property owners -- including condominiums and other developments with shared laterals -- are required to obtain a Sewer Lateral Certificate (SLC) under the following conditions:

  1. By close of escrow for the transfer or sale of property (with some exceptions), unless a 6-month extension is granted prior to closing; OR
  2. When obtaining a Building Permit for construction or remodel valued over $60,000; OR
  3. When the City finds that the PSL may be a public nuisance; OR
  4. When a property owner elects to repair or replace their PSL.

In order to obtain a Sewer Lateral Certificate (SLC), all property owners must first obtain a PSL permit and demonstrate the PSL is in satisfactory condition by passing a verification test (CCTV reports to document testing and compliance are no longer accepted), unless the property owner already has a valid SLC or can demonstrate that the PSL was replaced in the last 20 years, as evidenced by a permit signed off by a City Inspector.

After obtaining the permit and passing a required Verification Test, all property owners will be issued a SLC.

PSL Loan Program: the City offers a loan program to assist Berkeley low-income property owners to comply with BMC 17.24 requirements for private sewer laterals. The eligible work funded through the PSL Loan Program is limited to repair or replacement of a private sewer lateral with defects or improper connections that were identified by the City’s smoke testing program (www.cityofberkeley.info/pw/smoketesting/) or came to the City’s attention, resulting from private sewer lateral enforcement  or citations issued, excluding compliance triggers stated in the PSL Program  (BMC 17.24) resulting from transfer of property deed or property renovation of $60,000 or more. See this summary for information about the PSL Loan Program and this list for Required Documentation. For a complete package of application materials, call 510-981-6423 or email PSLProgram@CityofBerkeley.info

Links to Information and Forms on the updated PSL Oridnance

Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 17.24 Abatement of Nonconforming/Substandard Sewer Laterals on Private Property  

FACT SHEET on Updated City of Berkeley PSL Ordinance

PSL COMPLIANCE GUIDE for Property Owners, Sellers, Buyers, and Contractors

  1. Private Sewer Lateral Certificate Application
  2. Engineering Permit Application for Private Sewer Lateral
  3. Guidelines for Private Sewer Lateral Verification Testing
  4. Sewer Lateral Extension Deposit Form
  5. Agreement for Time Extension to Obtain a Sewer Lateral Certificate
  6. Application for Exception – Extension of Time for Sewer Lateral Construction
  7. Claim for Refund of Money Paid
  8. Refund Claim Procedures 

To schedule an inspection, see: www.cityofberkeley.info/Planning_and_Development/Building_and_Safety/Inspections.aspx

You may also call City staff for further information at (510) 981-6423, TDD (510) 981-6903 or send an email to PSLProgram@CityofBerkeley.info.

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