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Sewer Lateral Replacement Grant

Program Purpose

The Sewer Lateral Replacement Grant Program (SLRGP) provides financial assistance to property owners for the replacement of their private sewer lateral, which, due to their age or condition, are often a source of groundwater infiltration and surface water inflow (I&I) to the sewer collection system. Groundwater infiltration and inflow (I&I) to the sewer collection system increase the amount of wastewater processed at the City's wastewater treatment facility, which increases costs.

Ownership / Responsibility

All sewer laterals belong to the property owner from the home or building to, and including, the connection at the City main. Property owners are responsible for all costs relating to their sewer lateral, including; installation, connection, maintenance, repair, reconstruction, alteration, abandonment or removal to prevent inflow and infiltration (See figure 1). (Ord. 2282 NCS §3 (part), 2007.) (Petaluma Municipal Code 15.40.060)

What is a sewer lateral?

The sewer lateral consists of the pipe that begins at the buildings plumbing system connection, usually a sewer cleanout located approximately two (2) feet from the foundation, and extends to, and includes, the connection at the public (city) sewer main.

Infiltration and Inflow

Infiltration is the seepage of groundwater into the sewer pipes through holes, cracks, joint failures and faulty connections.

Inflow occurs when surface water flows into sewer pipes at points of direct connections such as roof, yard, foundation and basement sump drains.

Grant Amount

The maximum amount of assistance for a sewer lateral replacement or repair is 50% of the approved cost, up to a maximum reimbursement of $2,000. Only complete replacement of the sewer lateral or a repair that completely eliminates infiltration and inflow is eligible for the program. All SLRGP applications are subject to approval by the Utilities (Water & Sewer) Division.

Payment shall be made to the owner(s) following inspection and approval of completed work.

Lateral inspection and testing

A closed circuit televised video (CCTV) inspection must be performed prior to any work being done to assess the lateral condition. The property owner must schedule a CCTV inspection with his/her contractor and Utilities Division personnel prior to repair or replacement of the sewer lateral in order for grant funding to be obligated.

All work must be performed by a licensed contractor and observed by Utilities Division personnel who will document the inspection or testing information.

Air Testing will be required if partial repair or replacement is performed on the sewer lateral in order to verify that inflow and infiltration has been eliminated. Air testing will not be required when full replacement of the lateral (from building cleanout to connection at the City sewer main) has been completed. Prior to connection at the main, if necessary, Utilities Division personnel will witness testing of the entire line from the building cleanout to the connection to the main. Testing will be performed by the applicant's contractor.

Application Checklist

1. Download program info sheet and application.

2. Complete sections 1 and 2 and submit the completed application to Public Works & Utilities Department (202 North McDowell Blvd.) for review, determination of eligibility and approval.

3. Receive a letter of approval, requirements, and obligation. Obligating funds will only be issued by the Utilities Division to the property owner.

4. After receiving an obligation letter, schedule a closed circuit televised video (CCTV) inspection with a licensed contractor which will be review by Utilities Division personnel prior to any work being performed.

5. Submit minimum of three (3) quotes obtained from properly licensed contractors who perform one or more of the accepted sewer lateral replacement methods.

6. Acquire the necessary encroachment permit from Public Works & Utilities.

7. Notify the Utilities Division of scheduled work. A Division representative will inspect work on the lateral replacement as it occurs.

Grant Availability

The City runs on a July 1 - June 30 fiscal year.

Grant funds are available beginning July 1 of each fiscal year, and all work must be completed by June 30 of that same year.

Funds will be obligated on a first-come, first-serve basis until all funds are allocated or the end of the fiscal year June 30. Funds will be allotted for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days from approval. This shall include all work, inspection, and payment to Contractor by Applicant.

Funding Approval

If program qualifications are not met prior to commencement of any construction work, the property owner will not be eligible for funding from the City. Any work to repair or replace the sewer lateral prior to receiving an approval-obligation letter from the Utilities Division is performed at the owner's risk and cost.

photo of Petaluma water deputy director

Make sure your application is complete and you understand the grant program requirements and timeline.

- Kent Carothers, Deputy Director, Operations

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