2020 Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance

On Feb. 3, 2020, City Council adopted an amendment to the Sewer Lateral Ordinance (Municipal Code 7.38.432) to help reduce sanitary sewer overflows.

Pipes that carry wastewater from private buildings out to the sewer mains can get damaged or become defective, making stormwater and groundwater seep into private sewer laterals which then gets carried into the citywide sewer collection system. Too much wastewater, stormwater, and groundwater can cause sanitary sewer overflows on our streets creating a public health hazard for residents, and destroy the water quality in the City’s creeks and lagoons. 

What are the 2020 changes to the Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance?

Effective Dec. 1, 2020, the revised private sewer lateral ordinance has four triggers that require a property to conduct a sewer lateral inspection:

  • Sale of real property
  • Improvements to property that are greater than or equal to $90,000
  • Sewer class change as defined by section 3.54.020
  • Sewer lateral backup or blockage resulting in a sanitary sewer overflow for commercial or multifamily residential buildings

If any of the four triggers listed above apply to your property, then a sewer lateral inspection is needed. 

Where can I find more information on this ordinance?

To learn more about the updated ordinance, you can visit the Private Sewer Lateral Administrative Regulations

Who do I contact at the City if I have any questions?

Please contact Alonso Barahona at the Public Works Department through email at abarahona@cityofsanmateo.org