In 2013, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered Ross Valley Sanitary District to fix aging sewer infrastructure. Aging infrastructure causes rainwater infiltration, which can lead to sewer overflows or discharge of partially untreated wastewater into the San Francisco Bay.
The order compelled the District to phase in a Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance. All requirements went into effect July 1, 2014, except those relating to property sales, which became effective January 1, 2015.
Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance
Property owners must obtain a Certificate of Compliance from the District for any of the following conditions: 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 condition.
The District will not review the video; Videos are only reviewed as part of a sewer permit application.
- Seller and buyer negotiate who will obtain 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
- Click here to submit a set of building plans to the District.
- The District will review and provide comments.
- If Compliance is required, please follow “Steps for Compliance”.
If you believe your property is compliant, call 415-259-2949 to check if the property has passed a District final inspection in the last 20 years. If the property is not compliant, follow the steps below:
- Hire a contractor to perform a video inspection. Your contractor will advise you of the work needed for compliance.
- Have your contractor obtain the required sewer permit.
- Your contractor will schedule a final inspection for the District 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.
If lateral replacement is needed, you may qualify for financial assistance. Click here for more information on our Grant and Loan Programs.
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.