Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Nitty Gritty

So...What Exactly is a Sewer Lateral???

One major issue in the transfer of single family homes, especially in Oakland and Berkeley, is the status of the sewer lateral. But, what exactly is the sewer lateral? And, why is it so important?

In short, it is the main pipe that connects your home to the municipal sewer system, and it is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain it. One reason it is so important is because leakage from a faulty sewer lateral can become a serious health hazard, affecting the local water supply and the bay.

While the responsibility for the sewer lateral lies with the homeowner, it gets complicated in the transfer of the home from the seller to a new property owner. Sometimes the seller must take care of it, and sometimes the buyer has to deal with, but it can almost always been negotiated as part of the offer.

If you have any questions about this important topic, let me know. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or MSmartt@jps.net. And, in the meantime, you can check out a very informative FAQ about it from the City of Berkeley.

(Illustration courtesy of the City of Berkeley)

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