POS Sewer Certifications – Crap or Necessary?

Anyone who sells real estate in a watershed community is bound to encounter point of sale sewer certifications eventually – if they are not already. Is it just another hassle making it harder to close a deal or is there a benefit to the community?

If you live in the SF Bay Area you have probably heard about the recent sewage spill into the Bay during a recent rainstorm (Yup – it IS raining in California!!). And you thought the fish tasted bad before!
How did this happen? There were no holes in the pipes as with the slightly less recent copious introduction of poop into the Bay from Tiburon’s waste water treatment.

This sewage spill was most likely due to groundwater from the rain leaking into the private sewer laterals (it’s called INI – infiltration and intrusion for us fecal aficionados). During periods of rain and ground saturation, any sewer lateral that is not water tight – which means pretty much any vitrified clay pipe – allows water that should go into the storm system and travel happily to public waterways in its unaltered state to go into the waste water treatment system instead. This puts an undue stress on the treatment plant and can introduce literally millions of gallons of excess water to be treated unnecessarily.

The obvious problem is the public health hazard of Bay a la Poop with fecal fish (A delicacy in some cultures. Just not ours). The not so obvious problem is the cost to treat excess waste water and how those costs eventually trickle down to the public. Not to mention that a plant that continually suffers sanitary overflows (I still don’t understand how poop can be sanitary – but that’s another blog) can lose their license to the Feds. Makes me think of Mr. Hanky in a trench coat and dark shades…..

But I digress.

So, many watershed communities in the SF Bay Area implemented a change of title sewer certification program to start the process of remediating these errant sewer laterals. A major remodel or sale is the most trackable and revenue-rich event that a home will have so it was a natural mechanism to enforce this repair.
Alameda was the first to introduce this ordinance many years ago and the most recent communities to jump on the bandwagon are Crockett and Rodeo, bringing this on in late July of 2008. Currently 16 districts are enforcing sewer certifications at change of title or major remodel and many more are actively in the process of considering adding certifications to their ordinances.

One Response to “POS Sewer Certifications – Crap or Necessary?”

  1. Sterker says:

    really good article…

    I must say, its worth it! My link:http://qilyhft.unblog.fr/ ,many Thanks….

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