Providing Wastewater Collection, Treatment and Safe Disposal to Protect Our Community’s Health and the Bay

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Report Sewer Spills:
Business Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

IN MARIN CITY:

(415) 332-0244
After Hours / Weekends
(415) 332-0244

IN CITY OF SAUSALITO:

(415) 289-4192
After Hours / Weekends
(415) 289-4170

IN TAM VALLEY:

(415) 945-4101
After Hours / Weekends
(707) 455-3550

How You Can Help

Sewer Lateral Rehabilitation and Replacement Grants

Apply for a grant of up to $2,000 for the repair of private sewer laterals within the Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District service area which is predominately Marin City.

This grant program is ONLY for a Sewer Lateral Replacement or Repair.

It is ONLY available to registered property owners within the Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District’s unincorporated service area, which is predominantly Marin City.

The City of Sausalito has a similar program for property owners within City boundaries.

Recent Changes to the Program

In March 2012, a resolution was passed establishing a Private Sewer Lateral Rehabilitation Assistance Program that provided grants and/or loans to property owners for the repair or replacement of their private sewer laterals.

Recently, the program was updated to discontinue the loan program and increase the maximum grant payout from $1,000 to $2,000 per lateral, with a 50% cost match.

Property owners with private sewer laterals within the District's unincorporated service area, which is predominantly Marin City, are eligible to participate in the grant program.

Program Introduction

The purpose of the Lateral Rehabilitation Assistance Program is to financially assist property owners with the rehabilitation of privately owned sewer laterals within the unincorporated area of the Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District service area which is predominantly Marin City. A similar program is being offered to residents within the City of Sausalito by the City of Sausalito.

The District has created the program to encourage property owners, through the issuance of a grant, to maintain and repair private sewer laterals. Defective sewer laterals can allow rain and irrigation water to make its way into the sewer system. This additional flow must be collected, pumped to the treatment plant and treated. During dry weather the treatment plant typically treats and releases about 1.4 million gallons of waste water. However, during severe wet weather the plant can receive over 10 million gallons of waste water primarily due to the infiltration of ground water into private sewer laterals. In addition to the high cost associated with pumping and treating these high flow rates, sewer systems must be designed to handle this additional capacity which also adds to the cost of sewer service. These high flows can also overtax the system and result in sanitary sewer overflows. Further, proper maintenance of private sewer laterals greatly reduces the possibility of line blockages which can result in sewage backing up into the home or property. In addition to reducing the cost associated with pumping and treating large volumes of storm water, repairing a private lateral will help to protect property, public health and the Bay.

More About Private Sewer Laterals

A private lateral is the pipe that carries sewage from a private building to the District's sewer collection system. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their private sewer lateral, including cleanouts and backflow prevention devices as required. Private laterals include all piping from the cleanout located near the property structure all the way to the point of connection to the District's sewer collection system which is typically located in the street or within a County easement. Private sewer laterals are the responsibility of the property owner whether the lateral is on private property or under the public right-of-way (street).

Funding and Availability

Grants for the Private Sewer Lateral Rehabilitation Assistance Program will be made available on a first come first served basis. Because funds are limited, it is possible that not every eligible applicant will receive financial assistance. The sooner applications are received the better the chance of receiving assistance.

Eligibility and Expenses

Assistance under the program will be available only to registered owners of residential or commercial property within the District's unincorporated service area which is predominantly Marin City, California. Only expenses approved by the District are covered under this program. Expenses eligible for program reimbursement must be specifically related to the repair or replacement of private sewer laterals. In general, eligible expenses include cleaning and inspection, design, materials, equipment and contract labor required to bring private laterals into compliance with District standards. Above ground landscaping and paving directly related to sewer lateral work may also be eligible. Labor provided by the applicant or tenant is not eligible for reimbursement under the program.

Design Guidelines

All sanitary sewer work performed within the Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District service area shall conform to the District’s Code which is available at the District office or website at www.smcsd.net (see "Documents" section). In addition, all materials and installation shall be in compliance with the District's Standards and Specifications (see "Permits, Standards & Specifications"). To be eligible, all private sewer lateral improvements are required to be completed by a licensed plumber or contractor with recent experience performing similar work.

Assistance Coverage and Limits

The District will provide financial assistance to property owners performing private sewer lateral maintenance and rehabilitation work in the form of a grant. Assistance will be provided on a reimbursement basis for related work which has been completed by a licensed plumber or contractor and approved by the District. Grant approval and reimbursement of costs are contingent upon the private sewer lateral being brought up to a satisfactory and serviceable condition free of defects, in accordance with District Code.

Reimbursement limits are defined as follows and are applicable only for program applicants who complete repairs to or replacement of their lateral in compliance with District Code:

  • 50% of the CCTV inspection and lateral repair or replacement costs are eligible for reimbursement up to a maximum of $2,000.
  • CCTV inspection costs are eligible for reimbursement up to $400 (at 100% of cost with no property owner matching contribution required) if no repair is necessary. However, the District inspection fee of $150 will be assessed.
  • The District will waive its $150 inspection fee if repairs are undertaken and completed.

Program Application Procedure

Step 1:

Contact the District and complete a Private Sewer Lateral Rehabilitation Assistance Program Application. District staff can assist in answering any questions regarding the program. The application form is also available on the District website at www.smcsd.net.

The District will review the application to determine if the application is complete and if the proposed sewer lateral work is eligible under the program. Work may be scheduled and completed after the application has been approved by the District.

Grant payouts are subject to the availability of funds at the time a Grant Reimbursement Request has been received. Consequently, work should be scheduled as soon as possible once an application has been approved.

Step 2:

Have your sewer lateral cleaned and video inspected and submit the video to the District.

This inspection requires the use of a CCTV camera which allows for an internal visual inspection of the entire lateral from the cleanout to its point of connection to the District's collection system. Property owners are required to solicit at least 2 bids to ensure costs are reasonable in accordance with program guidelines. A list of contractors licensed to perform this work is available from the City of Sausalito website at http://www.ci.sausalito.ca.us/

Note that CCTV inspections must be clear and performed in accordance with the following conditions or may be subject to rejection by the District. Only one CCTV video inspection will be eligible for reimbursement:

  • CCTV inspections are to be conducted in accordance with the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) standards.
  • The lateral must be free of debris so that the pipe may be visually inspected.
  • The video must be narrated clearly using appropriate NASSCO terminology.
  • The video must include a visual of the property including the address and/or street signs if possible for verification purposes.
  • The video must remain clear and be moved at a rate of no more than 2 feet per second and at a smooth rate (not pushed forward quickly in increments).
  • The video must be paused at any defect for evaluation and a narrative included.

Note that the condition of the line will be determined by the District based on the CCTV video. Any evaluation or condition report received from a plumber or contractor is for informational purposes and will not be included in the District's review. The associated inspection fee is $150 and includes the initial assessment as well as a post repair inspection and issuance of a Compliance Certificate. This inspection fee will be waived for eligible Grant applicants who have made repairs to their lateral. The inspection fee will not be waived for laterals which do not require repair or replacement.

Step 3:

Complete all required lateral repairs or replacement as directed by the District.

Obtain at least two written cost quotes from licensed plumbers or contractors to perform the proposed work. The property owner is responsible for obtaining any necessary County of Marin permits, if applicable.

The District will review the sewer lateral improvement plans and cost quotes submitted for approval. Once approved, the property owner may proceed with work. After work has been completed but prior to backfilling any excavations the District will perform a site inspection. Please contact the District at least 2 days prior to completion so that the inspection may be scheduled.

After repair of the lateral, the plumber or contractor will be required to provide a post- repair CCTV video for review by the District. (This may not be required for a line that has been pipe bursted or open cut the entire length and inspected on site by the District. Contact the District for verification of requirements.)

Once the lateral has passed inspection, the property owner will receive a Compliance Certificate. The Compliance Certificate will remain valid for 20 years for a completely replaced lateral or 7 years for a repaired lateral.

Step 4:

Request Grant Reimbursement from the District.

The Grant amount must be adjusted as necessary to reflect actual eligible costs after all work has been completed, and in accordance with the reimbursement limits defined above. All work must be inspected and found to be in compliance with the District's Code and Standards. Submit a completed Grant Reimbursement Request form to the District with supporting receipts from a licensed plumber or contractor. You must also submit Form W-9 if your grant amount is $600 or more. For grants which are $600 or more, the District will provide grant recipients with a 1099-G form reflecting the amount received for personnel income tax purposes. Property owners are typically reimbursed within 3 weeks of receiving the Grant Reimbursement Request form.