Laterals are the privately owned portion of the sewer pipe that connects your home to the public sewer main. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain and repair the lateral. See District's Ordinance No. 54.
Why is maintenance so important?
Cracked and damaged sewer connection laterals on private property are causing sewer spills and backups, damaging property and threatening health. During large rainstorms, private sewer connection laterals are also allowing massive amounts of stormwater into the public sewer system, leading to spills and sometimes overwhelming sewer pipelines and treatment plants. This results in sewer spills, and overflows, sometimes causing a mixture of sewage and stormwater to backup onto streets, into homes and the Bay.
There are about as many miles of private sewer laterals in most Marin communities as there are public sewer lines. To stop spills caused by infiltration of stormwater into sewers, it is critical to repair both the public sewer pipelines and the private sewer laterals.
The primary benefit is to eventually eliminate local contamination from leaks and spills. This will result in lower overall costs, a cleaner environment, enhanced home and commercial building values, and protection of the environment. The Marin Lateral Program is seeking the cooperation of community members to create a "greener" North Bay watershed.
Check out Marin Lateral Program's instructions on how to inspect your lateral.