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Municipal Code

Chapter 16. Plumbing

Sec. 16-27. Sewer lateral repair/replacement/abandonment.

(1) Detecting problems. All wastewater treatment personnel and public works personnel shall notify their supervisors whenever any possible broken sewer lateral or broken sewer main is detected. This shall include, but not be limited to, any unusual depressions in front yards, ditches or roadways, and to city crews operating the sewer television equipment and sewer cleaning equipment. The supervisors shall inform the director of public works who shall notify the city plumbing inspector of the possible problem.

(2) Inspection of possible problems and testing. The plumbing inspector shall inspect the site and shall conduct any necessary tests to verify clear water infiltration into the city sewer main. The plumbing inspector shall enlist the aid of wastewater treatment personnel or street division personnel to conduct any tests he deems necessary to verify clear water infiltration. Testing methods may be dye testing, smoke testing or visual inspections as deemed necessary. Clear water infiltration shall be verified by an inspection team of city employees, consisting of the plumbing inspector, wastewater superintendent and the assistant street superintendent and also the property owner.

(3) Orders to the property owner. Orders to the property owner shall be given as follows:

  1. Upon verification of clear water infiltration into the sewer main, the plumbing inspector shall issue an order to the property owner to replace or repair the lateral within a reasonable period of time. The owner shall contract with licensed personnel of his choice to replace or repair the lateral. The owner or contractor shall obtain a plumbing permit and notify the plumbing inspector when the excavation will commence. The plumbing inspector shall be at the job site at the time the replacement or repair is being made. The lateral shall be replaced for the entire length from the location of the break to the public sanitary sewer located in the street right-of-way. unless it is constructed of PVC/ABS plastic or cast iron (with rubber gaskets) which is otherwise in good condition. With PVC/ABS plastic or cast iron (with rubber gaskets) in good condition, a spot repair is allowed.
  2. Prior to or at the time of replacement of a lateral the plumbing inspector and wastewater treatment plant personnel shall inspect the remainder of the lateral from the break to the building being served. If the inspection determines it to be necessary orders shall be issued to the property owner to replace the remainder of the lateral from the break to the building being served.

(4) Determination of responsibility and payment of repairs. Determination of responsibility and payment of repairs shall be in accordance with the following:

  1. If the inspection team has determined that the city main is sound and that the sewer lateral must be replaced, he shall so notify the owner and advise him/her that all expenses regarding such replacement are his/hers before the actual replacement is made.
  2. If in the opinion of the inspection team, the sewer main or riser is broken or faulty outside of one foot from the lateral tap (see drawing) along with a faulty or broken lateral, he shall notify the owner that he/she may submit a claim to the city for partial payment of the bill.
  3. If the plumbing inspector, wastewater superintendent and assistant street superintendent have determined that all clear water infiltration is totally due to a faulty sewer main, he shall so notify the owner of the property and shall notify the owner that the expenses shall be paid for by the city.
  4. Determination of fault and partial fault shall be decided jointly with the plumbing inspector, director of public works and wastewater treatment superintendent. Such determinations shall be in writing, with copies to the property owner and the proper city committees, and the board of public works.
  5. The wastewater utility shall be responsible for all street and/or sidewalk repair costs associated with a replacement of a sanitary sewer lateral. This responsibility for street and/or sidewalk repair costs shall be retroactive to October 13, 1992.

(5) Sewer lateral abandonment. Procedures for abandonment of a sewer lateral shall be as follows:

  1. Any sanitary sewer lateral shall be considered abandoned if a building which it serves is being moved or razed. Prior to any building being moved or razed, any floor drain or cleanout in the building leading to the sanitary sewer shall have a temporary plug or cap installed in it. All abandoned sanitary sewer laterals must be properly capped within 30 days at the sanitary sewer main by the property owner. Only PVC/ABS plastic or cast iron (with rubber gaskets) sanitary sewer laterals in good condition can be used for new development on a property where a building has been moved or razed.
  2. An exception to the 30-day completion requirement shall be made for the time period of December 1 to April 15 of the following year and/or for the time period when a roadway is posted for "weight limits." The 30-day completion requirement shall be enforced after expiration of either of these limitations. During these exception time periods, the lateral for the razed building must be temporarily capped as approved by the plumbing inspector.

(6) Reports. The plumbing inspector shall report all clear water infiltration problems and corrective actions in writing monthly to the building services supervisor and wastewater treatment superintendent and quarterly to the director of public works. An annual report shall also be submitted to the director of public works, building services supervisor and wastewater treatment superintendent.

(Code 1982, 15.091)