The City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department has added the following requirements to the existing sanitary sewer ordinance:

  • The owner of a property that has a sewer spill is responsible for stopping the spill immediately and will be subject to fines and penalties if inspections and repairs are not made in a timely manner.
  • Prior to the sale of property, the property owner must have the sewer lateral (the sewer pipe that goes from your house to the City’s sewer pipe located in the middle of the street) inspected by an authorized inspector, make any needed repairs and submit an inspection form to verify compliance.

These changes intend to improve private sewer infrastructure and protect the environment and local waterways from bacteria-laden human waste coming from undetected sewer leaks or high-volume sanitary sewer spills.

You can read an overview of the changes in the staff report here: Sewer System Ordinance 16.08 – Amendment RPT 9-18-17

You can read the full ordinance here: Sewer System Ordinance 16.08 – Amendment Attachment