879 Morro Street
990 Palm Street
25 Prado Road
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday, closed on national holidays or as posted
UTILITIES NEWS & PROJECTS
Do I need a City permit to do lateral repair work on my property?
Yes, you do need a permit to perform lateral work on private property. A plumbing permit for lateral repairs/replacement is issued over-the-counter to licensed plumbers at the City of San Luis Obispo’s Community Development Department's public counter at 919 Palm Street. The public counter is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
How do I know if my lateral needs repair or replacement?
Some signs that a lateral may need repair or replacement include frequently clogged drains and an odor of sewage.
To accurately assess the condition of your sewer lateral, a Closed-Circuit Television Video (CCTV) inspection is needed.
Possible deficiencies that may be detected include displaced joints, open joints, root intrusion, substantial deterioration of the line, cracks, leaks, sags, inflow and /or infiltration of extraneous water, fats, oils and grease, or sediment deposits.
How often should my lateral be cleaned?
To avoid costly repairs as well as health, safety, and environmental hazards, laterals should be cleaned regularly. How often you clean your lateral depends on the age of your house, the growth of tree and brush roots and the types of items that go down the drain. A good rule of thumb is to have a plumber check your lateral every two to five years. Check more often if you experience a sewage-like odor or frequently clogged drains.
What causes sewer laterals to overflow?
Sewer laterals can be clogged and overflow for a variety of reasons:
o Tree and/or brush roots entering the sewer line
o Disposal of items into sink and/or toilet that clog the drain:
o Feminine hygiene items, including tampons and pads
o Baby wipes and diapers
o Paper towels
o Dental floss
o Disposable towels
o Foods not meant for the garbage disposal such as chicken bones, corn cobs and egg shells
o Cooking grease
o Children’s toys
All food scraps and non-dissolvable items should be thrown in a trash or compost bin instead of down the drain. Kitchen cooking grease should never be thrown down the drain. Instead, cooking grease should be kept in a metal or glass jar and then thrown in the garbage.
What is a cleanout and where is it located?
A cleanout is an entry point into the sewer service lateral that is used to clear the line of any obstructions. Generally, a cleanout can be located either inside or outside of a house/building. Cleanouts are sometimes inadvertently buried under landscaping, walkways or driveways. When this happens the cleanout will need to be re-exposed and made accessible. A licensed Plumber can determine where your sewer lateral’s cleanout is and the condition of your lateral as well as perform the necessary repair work. The best way to access the condition of a lateral is by Closed Circuit Television Video (CCTV) examination.
Will my homeowner’s insurance pay for repairs?
Probably not, most policies do not cover lateral repair costs. This is a home maintenanceexpense. Some home warranties do cover this.
What should I do if I have problems with my sewer lateral?
Call a licensed Plumber to determine the problem. Look for “Plumbing Contractors” in the Yellow Pages or online in your local area. Many have CCTV cameras to inspect the lateral to positively determine what the problem is.
Who is responsible for maintaining and repairing laterals?
Property owners are responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of their lateral. The City is responsible for their mainline in the street or easement.