I am in full support of the new changes to the ordinance calling attention to the condition of many sewer laterals in the city.


The Westside has many old clay pipes that are long past their shelf life. If they have been invaded by thirsty trees, the every widening roots break the pipe eventually. The other material used is called Orangeburg, which is a tar impregnated wood fiber pipe that was made in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This does not tolerate hydrojet clearance well, and once infiltrated by roots can also leak.


Both products, over time,  can collapse, which is  a very nasty and expensive threat lurking in the soil beneath a home. Since it is quiet and out of sight, most sewer failures come as an expensive surprise.  As Realtors, our job is to support and educate our clients as certainly no one wants a call from a new homeowner with a failed sewer line and a house or yard full of wastewater.


The new ordinance requirements will serve as an inflection point in better representation of clients needs, highlighting attention to a  major system in a home sale, and will serve to educate both the public and Realtors alike,  and prevent unhappy and perhaps unprepared new homeowners with no resources to cover a nasty clean up and repair. Homeowners insurance typically does not cover wear and tear or failed maintenance. So you are on your own if you have a collapse.  


Since the best practice is to regularly check your waste lines, particularly if you have slow or gurgling  drains, musty odors is rooms with pipes beneath them or exceedingly tall grass in the yard, Realtors will be held in high esteem for determining the condition of sewer lines and negotiating repairs with the seller if necessary.  An ounce of prevention will deter gallons of nasty waste water!