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Frequently Asked Questions
Can My Plumber Work On My Sewer Line?
If the work is to be done entirely on your property, yes. A plumber with a C-36 Contractor’s license and a Los Angeles City business license can do the work. If the work is to be done in the public right of way, a Class “A” Permit is required. These are issued by the City’s Bureau of Engineering.
What Is A Sewer Lateral?
A sewer lateral is a pipe that carries wastewater from buildings on private property (for example from homes or businesses) to the mainline sewer. The sewer lateral consists of upper and lower laterals.
The upper lateral extends from the building structure to the property line. The lower lateral extends from the property line to the street. The mainline sewer is usually located under the street; it may also be located under an alley or in an easement on private property.
There Is A Problem With My Sewer Lateral. Will The City Fix It?
Unfortunately, no. In Los Angeles, as in most other cities and municipalities, property owners are responsible for maintaining and repairing sewer laterals, including the lower lateral.
If A City-Owned Tree Causes Root Intrusion Or Damage To A Sewer Lateral Located Under A City Street, Who Is Responsible For Cleaning Or Repairing The Lateral?
In Los Angeles, as in most other cities and municipalities, property owners are responsible for maintaining and repairing sewer laterals, including the lower lateral. This is true even if the source of root intrusion or damage is partly or entirely from trees planted on public right-of-way.
The City’s Municipal Code allows property owners to connect to the public mainline sewer through sewer laterals. Though the lower lateral is located under the street or otherwise in the public right-of-way, the lateral can legally only serve one property lot. Therefore, it is not for the public benefit and the City cannot maintain or repair laterals at the expense of the City’s ratepayers.
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