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Sewer Lateral Resources and Septic Tank Abandonment

Sewer Lateral Resources


New: Updated Lateral FAQ    Email Lateral Staff

Lateral Inspection Report Form   Lateral Inspection Additional Observation Log

New: Disclosure Statement   New: Transfer of Responsibility   

Contractors Who Have Signed the Lateral Program Commitment Letter     

New: Lateral Presentation Updated Slides 09/13/2019  

New: Money Saving Tips for Sewer Lateral Repairs

Lateral Presentation

Lateral Work in Public Right-of-Way

Did you know that any time work needs to be performed on laterals in the public-right-of-way, the work must be completed by a contractor cleared by the Sanitation District to work under the blanket encroachment permit?

Did you know?

  • 1. You own your lateral from where it connects to the public sewer main, all the way to your building.

         Code Reference Table
  • 2. Videos of your lateral are required in the following instances:

          - Escrow
          - Additions/remodels*/ADU connections
          - New Building
          - When there are more than 2 overflows within a 12-month period. 

          * A remodel in this case is any remodel increasing the amount of fixture units from the previously permitted amount.
          * Videos must be in MP4, MPG or MWV format with file size limit of 5 GB.
    Code Reference Table     Lateral Inspection Report Form     Lateral Inspection Additional Observation Log
  • 3. You are responsible for maintaining and repairing your lateral. This includes:

          - Cleaning (i.e. removing grease, sediments, roots)
          - Fixing leaks, cracks, inflow or infiltration of extraneous water,
            root intrusion, open joints, excessive sags, breaks, and blockages.
          - Installing backflow devices
          - Inspection to assure proper operation
    Code Reference Table
  • 4. If a sanitary sewer overflow occurs, the cost of material and labor for stopping the overflows shall be paid by the property owner.
  • 5. How to obtain a sanitary sewer lateral permit:
    • If you are in one of Santa Cruz County's service areas, then you will obtain your sewer lateral permit at 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, 4th floor Room 410. Ask for sanitation assistance at the Public Works front desk.

      Once you obtain your permit, you will need a final inspection by a County Inspector. To schedule an inspection please call the Hotline (831) 454-2895 and leave a message. Your call will be returned within 24 hours.
      Code Reference Table        Lateral Flow Chart

Septic Tank Abandonment

  1. Contact the Sanitation Department to determine if sewer is available for your property (Sewer Service Availability Form).
  2. Contact Environmental Health at (831) 454-2022 ( to obtain an application for a sewer disposal permit.
  3. Payment verification of septic abandonment fee will be requested prior to issuing a sewer connection permit.
  4. Inspection of lateral construction/connection by a Sanitation Inspector will be required prior to backfilling the lateral trench along with payment of all fees associated with the sewer lateral connection permit.

          - $3,000.00 connection fee includes 18 Fixture Units (all 
            districts except Freedom), additional units have a rate of 
            $165 per unit.

          - $4,000 connection fee includes 18 Fixture Units (Freedom
            District), additional units have a rate of $200 per unit.

    Please see the plumbing code for information on fixture units. Connection Fee Calculator