Archive for February, 2012

What’s the deal with the sewer lateral ordinance?

February 17, 2012

Effective January 16, 2012, the city of Oakland, Emeryville, Piedmont, Kensington, El Cerrito & Richmond Annex will now have to adhere to the East Bay MUD sewer lateral compliance.


Why you ask? Well, East Bay MUD, the EPA, & the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) are tired of our crap. At least they’re tired of it going into the Bay. What happens is all of these old sewer laterals have cracks in them, I mean some are 50-100 years old here, & excess rain water goes down along with the sewage. This puts excessive stress on our treatment facilities causing under-treated or untreated sewage out into our beautiful Bay.


So what does this mean? It means that residential, commercial, & industrial properties*  within the cities listed above, have to provide evidence that private sewer lateral (PSL) was fully replaced within the last 10 years or replace the PSL at these three trigger points: when selling a home, when building or remodeling in excess of $100,000, or when, &/or when changing the meter size.

*note: this does not include Homeowner’s Associations of Condominium complexes but those developments will be required to be in compliance by July of 2021

(BTW Berkeley, Albany, & Alameda have their own similar ordinance to adhere to)

Here are some links to instructions from the East Bay MUD website for procedures on what to do for each of these instances…

Exemption (Meaning PSL was replaced within 10 years)

Selling a home


Request a bigger meter

Ok, since we help people buy & sell homes here at Caldecott Properties, we’ll focus in on the “selling a home” trigger point. Who pays for what is the big question. Well, it’s a negotiable item between buyer & seller. Ideally, the seller would have the initial inspection completed to get an idea of whether or not it will pass or whether the PSL needs to be replaced. If it will pass, then buyer & seller can negotiate upon initial offering who will pay for the compliance certificate from EBMUD.

If not, well, there are probably more than a few ways of doing this but most likely here are the two scenarios that will be common…

Seller gets proper permits, hires a contractor, replaces the PSL & gets the sewer lateral compliance certificate.


Let’s say the Seller won’t or can’t replace the PSL (this will happen frequently in short sale, REO, & duress sale transactions). The buyer will need to get a time extension completed so they can get the PSL replaced upon their ownership of the property. This will extend the compliance requirement by 180 days but, & this is a big but, $4,500 will have to be held in deposit. The $4,500 would be released upon completion of compliance certificate.

Extension request procedures…

What we’re noticing is there are plumbing contractors who are stepping up their game concerning the PSL. Just the other day, a local company, dropped off a flyer for a free sewer lateral inspection on any 1-4 unit residential property & 12 month financing at 9.99% interest rates. So fear not buyers & sellers, there are ways of making it happen if the buck falls on your side of the ledger.

You can find out more directly from the East Bay MUD’s sewer lateral compliance website…

Any other questions? Call us we’d love to help.

Michael Braillard
Caldecott Properties | REALTOR
925.570.7099 Cell
510.594.2400 Office
510.594.2424 Fax
Dre Lic. 01369899