From a City of Alameda announcement (updated April 24 at 12:10 p.m. with additional information)
The City of Alameda will be expanding the current requirement for property owners to test and, if required, repair a building’s sewer lateral in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates. A sewer lateral is the pipe that connects the plumbing in a home or business to the sanitary sewer main in the street.
The EPA is requiring all satellite agencies serviced by East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) to adopt either EBMUD’s Regional Private Sewer Lateral (PSL) Ordinance (Regional Ordinance) or a “no less stringent” local PSL ordinance. Either alternative would expand the times when a sewer lateral will need to be tested and increase building improvement costs for certain improvements.
The City’s existing ordinance requires property owners to test and, if necessary, repair a building’s sewer lateral prior to the sale or transfer of ownership. The proposed revision will require any building permit valued at $90,000 or greater that includes at least one plumbing fixture to test and, if required, repair its sewer lateral. Alternately, the Regional Ordinance requires testing and repair for any permit valued at $100,000 or greater, whether a plumbing fixture is included or not. The Regional Ordinance would also require property owners to coordinate with and pay fees to both the City and EBMUD.
To streamline the review and approval process, the City is proposing to adopt
a “no less stringent” PSL ordinance rather than adopt EBMUD’s Regional Ordinance.
A comparison of the two ordinances is provided below:
Adoption of EBMUD Regional Ordinance
- Fees are paid to both City of Alameda and EBMUD inspectors.
- Coordination and scheduling with both City and EBMUD inspectors
- Scheduling will be on-line only, questions answered only by phone.
- Lateral must be tested (and repaired/replaced) during a significant remodel valuated at $100,000 regardless of whether a plumbing fixture is included or type of renovation.
Modification of existing Alameda PSL Ordinance
- Fees are paid to City of Alameda inspectors only.
- Coordination and scheduling with City inspector only.
- Customers have the option of face-to-face interactions with City staff.
- Lateral must be tested (and repaired/replaced) during a significant remodel
- valuated at $90,000 and includes one plumbing fixture.
A community meeting to discuss the new sewer lateral requirements will be held on Thursday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m., at the Alameda Public Library, 1550 Oak St. Representatives from the EPA, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Public Works Department will be in attendance to present and discuss the required changes and answer questions.
Those unable to attend the meeting may submit written comments by 5 p.m. on May 3 to Ahmed Aly, Associate Civil Engineer, at City Hall West, 950 W. Mall Square, Room 110, Alameda, CA 94501 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All written comments received by 5 p.m. on May 3 will be part of the official public record and will be provided to the City Council when it considers adoption of the new requirements.
For more information regarding the proposed ordinance, go to the City’s web page at http://www.cityofalamedaca.gov/.