California Regional Water Quality Control Board Compliance Order
In 2013, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered Ross Valley Sanitary District (the District) to fix old, cracked sanitary sewer pipes. Many pipes are in need of repair to prevent the infiltration of rainwater, which can overwhelm the wastewater collection system and Central Marin Sanitation Agency treatment plant, leading to sanitary sewer overflows in the community or discharges of partially treated wastewater into the San Francisco Bay.
The California Regional Water Quality Control Board's order compelled the District to phase in a Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance (Ordinance) beginning in June 2014. All requirements of the Ordinance went into effect as of July 1, 2014, except those relating to property sales, which became effective on January 1, 2015.
Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance
Property owners must obtain a Certificate of Compliance from the District for any of the following conditions: you are buying or selling a property, remodeling in excess of $75,000, or adding a bathroom.
The District’s jurisdiction includes the City of Larkspur, Town of Ross, Town of San Anselmo, Town of Fairfax, and the unincorporated areas within the boundaries including Sleepy Hollow, Kentfield, Greenbrae, Fairfax, and San Anselmo.
- Seller coordinates video inspection to determine the private sewer lateral (lateral) condition.
- Seller and buyer negotiate who will bring the lateral into compliance.
- The one who assumes responsibility will have 90 days from close of escrow for compliance.
- Please follow “Steps for Compliance” tab.
Remodels & Bath Additions
- Submit a set of plans to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The District will review and provide comments.
- If Compliance is required, please follow “Steps for Compliance”.
Outdoor Drainage Fixtures (Showers & Sinks)
To prevent rainwater from entering our system, outdoor showers and sinks will require proper coverage to comply with District standards. Please be sure to include coverage details in the plans submitted for District review.
To receive a Certificate of Compliance, all laterals serving the property are required to meet RVSD Standards and pass a pressure test. If a full lateral replacement is needed you may qualify for financial assistance through our Grant and Loan Programs.
Email Administrative Staff or call us at 415-259-2949 to check if the lateral has been replaced in the last 20 years and passed final inspection by a District Inspector. If the lateral is not compliant, follow the steps below:
- Hire a contractor to perform a video inspection of the lateral to determine the condition. Your contractor will advise you of the work needed to pass a pressure test.
- Have your contractor obtain the required sewer permit with the District.
- Your contractor will schedule a final inspection with a District Inspector to witness the pressure test and verify compliance with District standards.
- The District Inspector will provide a Compliance Certificate to your contractor after passing the final inspection. If the lateral fails the pressure test, a reinspection will be required.
In some Common Interest Developments (CIDs), the Homeowners’ Association (HOA) has assumed responsibility to maintain all private sewer laterals. CIDs must comply with the Ordinance by January 30, 2024, for all laterals under their responsibility.
In other CIDs, the owner of each individual unit is responsible to maintain the lateral(s) associated with the unit, and the HOA is responsible to maintain the remaining lateral(s). The owner of the individual unit must comply for the portion under their responsibility if any of the following conditions apply: buying or selling a property, remodeling in excess of $75,000, or adding a bathroom.
The division of responsibility for the private lateral maintenance is typically described in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). Your organization should determine who is responsible for sewer lateral maintenance if the CC&Rs do not specifically address it.