| PSL Frequently Asked Questions:
How does the Regional Private Sewer Lateral Program protect San Francisco Bay?
By inspecting, testing, and repairing old cracked sewer pipes, we ensure that during storms, rainwater does not enter sanitary sewer lines. Too much rainwater can overwhelm the sanitary sewer system and the treatment plant, allowing sewage to overflow into the Bay.
What are the problems associated with private sewer laterals (PSLs)?
Most East Bay homes were built before 1950, and many have never had their original PSLs replaced. Over time, these pipelines (generally made of clay) can crack, become disjointed or displaced, and can be subjected to intrusion by tree roots, causing leaks and blockages. Rainwater and groundwater can enter the sanitary sewer system through these sewer lateral defects, potentially overloading the treatment system.
Where does this private sewer lateral program apply?
These requirements will affect properties in the EBMUD wastewater service area in Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont, El Cerrito, Kensington, and the Richmond Annex. The cities of Alameda, Albany and Berkeley have local private sewer lateral ordinances already in effect and manage their own programs. Check with these cities for their specific PSL requirements.
What if I want a certificate, but I haven't hit any of these triggers- can I still get one?
Yes. If your property falls within the green shaded area on the map on the home page, simply follow the steps outlined for obtaining a Compliance Certificate (steps S1-S5).
What if I don't have online access?
Please call us at 1-866-40-EBMUD or visit EBMUD's New Business Office at 375 11th Street, First Floor, Oakland, M-F (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.).
I'd like to make my PSL payment in person, what do I do?
Visit EBMUD's New Business Office at 375 11th St, First Floor, Oakland. M-F (8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
What information about my property will be publicly available?
EBMUD's PSL website will display property address, parcel number, scheduled inspection appointment, and certificate status to help realtors and other professionals to process transactions on behalf of their clients. For additional information, please see the Privacy page.
The PSL on my property has passed its test and a Compliance Certificate has been issued. How long is the Compliance Certificate good for?
If the work done was a complete replacement, the Compliance Certificate is valid for 20 years. For certificates obtained without complete replacement (repair or passed test without repair), the certificate is valid for 7 years.
Why does EBMUD require an air or water verification test?
The plumbing industry has determined that an air pressure test or water exfiltration test is the best way to ensure that the PSL does not allow water from the surrounding soil to infiltrate the sanitary sewer system.
Do these requirements apply to commercial, industrial and residential properties?
Yes. If you have a business or home in Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont, El Cerrito, Kensington or the Richmond Annex, the Regional PSL Ordinance applies to your property.
What if I own or manage a property with a large private sewer system like a campus facility or business park?
You will have until July 2016 to develop a Condition Assessment Plan describing how you will inspect all of your PSLs. By July 2021, you must complete your assessment and submit a Work Plan to the Regional PSL Program which details the condition of your sewer system and your plan to complete needed repairs or replacements. Call 1-866-40-EBMUD for additional details.
I own a condominium. How does this apply to me?
Homeowners associations for multi-unit buildings have until July 2021 to comply. Contact your homeowners association for additional details.
Where can I go for more information?
For more information regarding the Regional Private Sewer Lateral Program call 1-866-40-EBMUD or email email@example.com.