Sewer Lateral Ordinance


In an effort to meet new state and federal requirements for preventing entry of stormwater into the municipal sewer system, the City of Eureka adopted revisions to the City’s Sewer Ordinance which became effective January 17, 2020. Additional changes were adopted in December of 2022 and went into effect on January 6th 2023. Together, these changes shift responsibility for the portion of the sewer lateral located between the main and the property line to the owner of the property served by the lateral.

These changes mean that: 

  1. Blockages occurring anywhere in the lateral are the responsibility of the property owner
  2. Repair or replacement of the lower lateral between the property line and the public main is now at the owner’s expense 
  3. All claims for damages due to a blocked lateral will be denied 

The City also initiated a program which requires CCTV inspection of the lateral to be performed by a private contractor when: 

  1. A property is sold, transferred or vested in another person or entity 
  2. A building permit for work valued at $50K is issued 
  3. A change in the use of a building or additional increase in sewer impact 
  4. A paper land division is approved 
  5. Any part of the sewer lateral is being repaired or replaced 
  6. A lateral has been plugged or backed up more than once in a three-year period 
  7. The City is proposing to repair or replace the sewer main serving the property 
  8. Any other instance where, in the opinion of the City Engineer, cleaning and Inspection of the sewer lateral is necessary to protect public health and safety.

Repair or replacement of the lateral, including the section between the property line and the main will be required when the lateral is deemed to be defective based on the inspection. All Clay laterals are deemed defective and require replacement with modern materials, regardless of condition. We understand that these costs are significant, especially given that they may be unforeseen. In an effort to reduce the burden on property owners, the City will accept a FEE IN LIEU of replacement. The amount of the fee is set by resolution of the City Council based on the City’s cost of having contractors replace lower laterals over the previous three years. In an effort to ease the additional burden on property owners, the City has committed to providing low interest loans to owners when replacement is required. For more information about applying for loan funds, please call 707-441-4203. 

To apply for a Sewer Lateral Certificate, please visit: You will need to create an account before applying. THIS SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST STEP. CCTV FOOTAGE SHOULD NOT BE UPLOADED BEFORE A SEWER LATERAL CERTIFICATE APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED.

If applying for a Sewer Lateral Loan, please visit: The Sewer Lateral Loan application can be found under Public Works - Engineering.  Be sure to obtain a copy of your grant deed before applying, as it is a required document to finish your application.