In response to an EPA and California Regional Water Quality Control Board order, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) enacted an EBMUD Consolidated Regional Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance intended to fix old, cracked sanitary sewer pipes. Under this ordinance, associations must have PSLs for which they are responsible inspected, repaired or replaced if necessary, and obtain a compliance certificate from EBMUD. Property owners must go through the inspection, repair and compliance process for PSLs which they are responsible for upon the following triggering events: buying or selling a property; building or remodeling in excess of $100,000; or changing the size of the water meter.
Affected areas: Alameda, Albany, Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont, Kensington, El Cerrito, and Richmond Annex. The City of Berkeley has its own program, and information can be found here: City of Berkeley Compliance Guide.
What is a private sewer lateral (PSL): A PSL is a pipe or accessory object that carries sewage from the structure to the sewer main.
Exemptions: If the PSL is less than 10 years old from the date of final permit sign-off, was fully replaced before the program effective dates (Alameda – 1/1/15; Albany – 1/1/15; Emeryville and Piedmont – 8/22/11; Oakland – 1/16/12; El Cerrito, Kensington and Richmond Annex – 10/17/11), and the permitting agency verifies the replacement. This link provides information to obtain an exemption: Exemption Guidelines.
Steps: All associations that were formed prior to May 24, 2019 were to have submitted a Statement of Responsibility by 11/20/19. Those formed after May 24, 2019 must submit the Statement of Responsibility within 180 days of formation.
For associations responsible for more than 1,000 feet of PSLs, a Condition Assessment Plan must have been completed by 7/12/16 for those formed before that date, or no later than 11/20/19 or 180 days after formation (whichever is later) for those formed after 7/12/16. These association will also need to complete a Corrective Action Work Plan by no later than 7/12/21 for those formed before 7/12/16, or 7/12/21 or 24 months after formation (whichever is later) for those formed after 7/12/16.
All associations will need to hire a plumbing contractor to inspect their PSLs, complete any necessary repairs or replacements, schedule an EBMUD verification test and obtain a compliance certificate. Those associations responsible for less than 1,000 feet of PSLs must complete this process by 7/12/21 (those formed prior to 7/12/19) or within 24 months of formation (those formed after 7/12/19). Associations responsible for more than 1,000 feet of PSLs must complete this process by 7/12/26 (those formed prior to 7/12/19) or no later than seven years after the parcel group was acquired (those formed after 7/12/19). The deadlines for those responsible for more than 1,000 feet of PSLs can request to extend this deadline if they are responsible for more than 5,000 feet of PSLs or 50% or more of the PSLs need replacement.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.