Proposed sewer ordinance could affect Glen Ellen homeowners
An ordinance proposed by the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District (SVCSD) could require property owners of homes and businesses within its boundaries, including those in Glen Ellen, to have private sewer laterals inspected and repaired, if necessary, in order to prevent sewer overflows that occur during heavy rains. The overflows can contribute to pollution and result in costly fines to the District. The ordinance would only affect homes and businesses that are 30 years old or older.
Private sewer laterals are the pipes that lead from homes or businesses to the sewer main. Normally, the costs of replacing or repairing private building laterals are the responsibility of the property owner.
Under the ordinance, SVCSD would offer free inspections of private sewer laterals to property owners, and for a limited time would offer rebates of up to $1,000 for repairs. A low-interest loan program is also being considered. The average cost of inspection can range from $350-$554. The average cost of repair and replacement, depending on the type of repair, can range from $1,650 to $7,500.
If a sewer lateral at a home or business is found to have a problem, home owners would then have one year to repair or replace the lateral.
About 370 parcels in Glen Ellen are connected to the sewer system served by SVCSD and could be affected by the ordinance. An estimated two-thirds of the sewer laterals in Sonoma Valley are at least 30 years old and likely in need of repair. More than 22 percent of all homes in the District boundaries were built between 1850 and 1954.
Two public information meetings were held in October. Community input from the public meetings will be considered by staff and presented to the SVCSD board on Dec. 6. If approved, the program would roll out in 2017.
To find out more, go to www.sonomacountywater.org/lateral/.