EBMUD Certificate Requirement

Highly Qualified Sewer Line Experts

Protecting Our San Francisco Bay

Receive sewer line replacements for your property from the team at Drainline Sewer Specialist in Oakland, California. You can put your full faith in the work of our plumbing team.The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) is spearheading an effort to keep the Bay clean.

The EPA and RWQCB are requiring the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), six East Bay cities,and one sewer district to fix old, cracked sanitary sewer pipes to ensure they don’t allow the infiltration of rainwater which can overwhelm wastewater treatment facilities, resulting in untreated or partially treated sewage being released into the Bay. As a result, EBMUD and its partners are phasing in a Regional Private Sewer Lateral (PSL) Ordinance in some east bay communities. Affected property owners will be required to obtain a certificate from EBMUD indicating that their PSLs are without defects and have proper connections.

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What is a PSL?

A private sewer lateral (PSL) is the pipe that connects the plumbing in a home or business to the sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street. The PSL carries sewage from a building to a public sanitary sewer. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the sewer lateral. Old, cracked sewer laterals allow rainwater and groundwater to infiltrate the sewer system. Excess water in the system can overwhelm wastewater treatment facilities, causing untreated or partially treated sewage to be released into the Bay. Fixing damaged PSLs helps protect the Bay.

Guidelines for Buying/Selling a Property

When buying or selling a property, you must either obtain a Compliance Certificate or apply for a Time Extension Certificate. (see p.7)

Compliance Certificate Obtain a Compliance Certificate before transferring title by fixing the PSL, if necessary, and then having the PSL inspected by EBMUD. The buyer and seller will negotiate who will obtain the Certificate.

S1. Determine if the existing PSL is in compliance

Determine if the existing PSL meets the requirements of the Regional PSL Ordinance. Hire a plumbing contractor to check for leaks and other defects. Your contractor will advise you if work is needed (steps S2 & S3) for your PSL to pass the EBMUD inspection. If no work is required, proceed to step S4 below.

S2. Obtain required municipal permits

Cities and counties require that appropriate building and/or sewer permits be obtained before starting any PSL work. See back cover for contact information for your city.

S3. Repair or replace the PSL

Your contractor will repair or replace the PSL in accordance with the Regional PSL Ordinance and your municipality’s requirements.

S4. Schedule an inspection with EBMUD

Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com, select your preferred date and time for an inspection of the PSL, and pay the required $150
Compliance Certificate fee online.

S5. Pass inspection and print your certificate

Once the inspection verifies that the PSL complies with the Regional PSL Ordinance, the Compliance Certificate will be available online for printing. Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com and print your certificate.

S6. Transfer title

If you are selling a property, provide a copy of the Compliance Certificate to the buyer before title transfer. If you are buying a
property, retain a copy of the Compliance Certificate for your records. Process is complete.

Guidelines for Building or Remodeling ($100,000+)

When building or remodeling in excess of $100,000, you must obtain a Compliance Certificate for your PSL.

 

Compliance Certificate

Obtain a Compliance C ertificate before final inspection and permit sign-off of your project by fixing the PSL, if necessary,
and then having the PSL inspected by EBMUD. The Compliance Certificate must be submitted to the agency issuing your building permit prior to final sign-off, but PSL work can be done before, after, or during the building/remodeling work at your discretion.

B1. Determine if the existing PSL is in compliance

Determine if the existing PSL meets the requirements of the Regional PSL Ordinance. Hire a plumbing contractor to check for leaks and other defects. Your contractor will advise you if work is needed
(steps B2 & B3) for your PSL to pass the EBMUD inspection. If no work is required, proceed to step B4 below.Once the inspection verifies that the PSL complies with the Regional PSL Ordinance, the Compliance Certificate will be available online for printing. Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com and print your certificate.

B2. Obtain required municipal permits

Cities and counties require that appropriate building and/or sewer permits be obtained before starting any PSL work. See back cover for contact information for your city.

B3. Repair or replace the PSL

Your contractor will repair or replace the PSL in accordance with the Regional PSL Ordinance and your municipality’s requirements.

B4. Schedule an inspection with EBMUD

Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com, select your preferred date and time for an inspection of the PSL, and pay the required $150
Compliance Certificate fee online.

B5. Pass inspection and print your certificate

 

B6. Present certificate to the city issuing your permit

Provide a copy of the Compliance Certificate to city or county staff before final inspection and permit sign-off of your building/
remodeling project. Process is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Regional Private Sewer Lateral Program protect San Francisco Bay?

By inspecting, testing, and repairing old cracked sewer pipes, we ensure that during storms, rainwater does not enter sanitary sewer lines. Too much rainwater can over-whelm the sanitary sewer system and the
treatment plant, allowing sewage to overflow into the Bay.

What are the problems associated with private sewer laterals (PSLs)?

Most East Bay homes were built before 1950, and many have never had their original PSLs replaced. Over time, these pipelines (generally made of clay) can crack, become disjointed or displaced, and can be subjected to intrusion by tree roots, causing leaks and blockages. Rainwater and
groundwater can enter the sanitary sewer system through these sewer lateral defects, potentially overloading the treatment system.

Where does this private sewer lateral program apply?

These requirements will affect properties in the EBMUD wastewater service area in Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont, El Cerrito, Kensington, and the Richmond Annex. The cities of Alameda, Albany and Berkeley have local private sewer lateral ordinances already in effect and manage their own programs. Check with these cities for their specific PSL requirements. 

What is required at the EBMUD inspection?

EBMUD will witness the verification test. The test should be conducted per the provided guidelines. You or the contractor should be ready at the start of your appointment window. For details, see ‘Contractor Information and Test Procedures’ at www.eastbaypsl.com for guidelines and scheduling information.

Who is responsible for the PSL and how does the program work?

The property owner is responsible for the entire PSL from their home to the public sewer main. A property owner hires a plumbing contractor to assess the lateral condition (typically a video survey of the line), obtain permits from the City and perform required work. EBMUD must witness
an air or water pressure test of the PSL. When the lateral passes the test, a Compliance Certificate is issued.

Why does EBMUD require an air or water verification test?

The plumbing industry has determined that an air pressure test or water exfiltration test is the best way to ensure that the PSL does not allow water from the surrounding soil to infiltrate the sanitary sewer system.

What if I want a certificate, but I haven’t hit any of these triggers— can I still get one?

Yes. If your property falls within the green shaded area on the map on p.3, simply follow the steps outlined for obtain-ing a Compliance Certificate (p.6, steps S1-S5).

Who is effected

Determine if your property is covered by the Regional PSL
Ordinance. Use the map above as a guide. Only EBMUD
wastewater customers in the green shaded areas are affected.
Please see www.eastbaypsl.com for details.
Be aware of the 3 trigger conditions. The Regional PSL
Ordinance applies ONLY if you buy or sell a property, build or remodel in excess of $100,000, or change the size of your water meter. Find out if your PSL is exempt. Your PSL is exempt if it was fully replaced within the last 10 years and you can provide valid evidence of the PSL replacement date. Follow the Guidelines for Exemption (p.5) to obtain an exemption for your property. If your property IS affected AND you meet one of the trigger conditions AND your PSL is NOT exempt, proceed directly to the guidelines for the trigger condition which applies to you (see Table of Contents, p.1).

Guidelines for Exemption

If you are buying or selling a property, building or remodeling ($100,000+) or requesting a change in your water meter size, AND the PSL was fully replaced within the last 10 years, you can qualify for an exemption by supplying proof.

Exemption Certificate

E1. Determine if you are exempt

If the PSL is less than 10 years old and was fully replaced before August 2011, and you provide valid evidence of the date and replacement work performed, it is exempt from the Regional PSL Ordinance requirements.

E2. Apply online

Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com and request an Exemption
Certificate. Provide information online and send proof (a dated copy of the city’s approved building/sewer permit or valid compliance certificate) to:
Regional PSL Program Administrator
PO Box 24055, MS #702
Oakland, CA 94623,
or email proof to psl@ebmud.com or fax it to (510) 287-0621.

E3. When approved, print the certificate

EBMUD will review the submitted proof materials and will promptly notify you if you are in compliance via exemption.
If approved, the Exemption Certificate will be available online for printing. Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com and print your certificate. Exemption certificates expire 10 years from the date of the PSL replacement. If your application is NOT approved, you must obtain a Compliance Certificate.

E4. Present or retain certificate

If you are buying a property, keep a copy of the Exemption Certificate for your records. If you are selling a property, provide a copy of the Exemption Certificate to the buyer before title transfer. If you are building or remodeling in excess of $100,000, provide a copy of the Exemption Certificate to city permitting staff prior to final permit sign-off. If you are applying for a change in your water meter size, submit a copy of your Exemption Certificate to the EBMUD New Business Office to finalize your Water Service Application. Process is complete.

Time Extension Certificate

If you cannot obtain a Compliance Certificate for the PSL before transferring title, apply for a Time Extension Certificate which will allow 180 days from the certificate issue date for PSL work to be completed. The Time Extension Certificate is only valid if it is returned to EBMUD along with a $4,500 deposit at title transfer.

T1. Apply for Time Extension Certificate

Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com. Identify your property through Parcel Search, request a Time Extension Certificate and pay the $150 fee (fee will be applied to Compliance Certificate if PSL work
is completed before the extension expires).

T2. Complete and sign Time Extension Certificate

The Time Extension Certificate must be completed and signed by buyer, seller, and agent(s) if any, prior to title transfer. The Time Extension Certificate must state who will receive the funds when compliance is achieved.

T3. Mail Time Extension Certificate and $4,500 to EBMUD

Upon title transfer, the completed Time Extension Certificate and check for $4,500 must be mailed to EBMUD. The $4,500 will be released to the designated party when compliance is achieved.
IMPORTANT: The check must include the parcel number. Mail to:
 
EBMUD-PSL Remittance Center
P.O. Box 24055, MS 101
Oakland, CA 94623
 

FOLLOW-UP IS REQUIRED!

Property must obtain a full Compliance Certificate within 180 days: During the 180-day time extension period, the responsible party, as negotiated between the buyer and the seller, shall complete the required steps to obtain a Compliance Certificate (S1-S4) by repairing or replacing the PSL as necessary, and scheduling an inspection with EBMUD. If the program obligations are not met before the extension period expires, the $4,500 may be subject to forfeit and the new property owner is subject to enforce-ment action by EBMUD.

Guidelines for Changing Meter Size

When requesting a larger or smaller water meter, you must obtain a Compliance Certificate for your PSL.

Compliance Certificate

Obtain a Compliance Certificate to finalize your Water Service Application by fixing the PSL, if necessary, and then having the PSL inspected by EBMUD.

M1. Determine if the existing PSL is in compliance

Determine if the existing PSL meets the requirements of the Regional PSL Ordi-nance. Hire a plumbing contractor to check for leaks and other defects. Your contractor will advise you if work is needed (steps M2 & M3) for your PSL to pass the EBMUD in-spection. If no work is required, proceed to step M4 below.

M2. Obtain required municipal permits

Cities and counties require that appropriate building and/or sewer permits be obtained before starting any PSL work. See back cover for contact information for your city.

M3. Repair or replace the PSL

Your contractor will repair or replace the PSL in accordance with the Regional PSL Ordinance and your municipality’s require-ments.

M4. Schedule an inspection with EBMUD

Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com, select your preferred date and time for an inspection of the PSL, and pay the required $150 Compliance Certificate fee online.

M5. Pass inspection and print your certificate

Once the inspection verifies that the PSL complies with the Regional PSL Ordinance, the Compliance Certificate will be available online for printing. Log on to www.eastbaypsl.com and print your certificate.

M6. Submit certificate with your application

Submit a copy of your Compliance Certificate to the EBMUD New Business Office to finalize your Water Service Application. Process is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

What information about my property will be publicly available?

EBMUD’s PSL website will display property address, parcel number, scheduled inspection appointment, and certificate status to help realtors and other professionals to process transactions on behalf of their clients.

What if I don’t have online access?

Please call us at 1-866-40-EBMUD or visit EBMUD’s New Business Office at 375 11th Street, 1st floor, Oakland. M-F (8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

The PSL on my property has passed its test and a Compliance Certificate has been issued. How long is the Compliance Certificate good for?

If the work done was a complete replacement, the Compliance Certificate is valid for 20 years. For certificates obtained without complete replacement (repair or passed test without repair), the certificate is valid for 7 years.

Do these requirements apply to commercial, industrial and residential properties?

Yes. If you have a business or home in Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont, El Cerrito, Kensington or the Richmond Annex, the Regional PSL Ordinance applies to your property.

What if I own or manage a property with a large private sewer system like a campus facility or business park?

You will have until July 2016 to develop a Condition Assessment Plan describing how you will inspect all of your PSLs. By July 2021, you must complete your assessment and submit a Work Plan to the Regional PSL Program which details the condition of your sewer system and your plan
to complete needed repairs or replacements. Call 1-866-40-EBMUD for additional details.

I own a condominium. How does this apply to me?

Homeowners associations for multi-unit buildings have until July 2021 to comply. Contact your homeowners association for information regarding your responsibilities.

Where can I go for more information?

For more information regarding the Regional Private Sewer Lateral Program visit www.eastbaypsl.com or call 1-866-40-EBMUD or email psl@ebmud.com

I’d like to make my PSL payment in person, what do I do?

Visit EBMUD’s New Business Office at 375 11th Street, 1st Floor, Oakland. M-F (8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)