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Inspection Requirements

SECTION I – INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS

The purpose of the Administrative Guidelines is to provide helpful assistance to a private property owner when complying with Santa Barbara Municipal Code Section 14.46 as those provisions relate to private sewer lateral inspection, repair, and replacement activities.

A. Health And Safety Inspections (SBMC 14.460.040.A.)

  1. This includes inspections required in response to:
    1. Spill from private sewer lateral.
    2. Observing private lateral problems (roots, excess clear flow, failed mainline connection) during inspection of City lines;
  2. Potential problems noted during smoke testing (smoke emitting from the ground or connection of outdoor drain).
  3. Property owner will be sent a letter with notification of the defect. The letter will include a list of qualified plumbers to conduct an inspection. The property owner will be directed to inspect the line and submit the required inspection form and video document within 30 days.
  4. If the required information is not submitted within 30 days, a second letter will be sent to the property owner providing that the inspection be completed within 30 days notifying the property owner that failure to complete the required inspection within the designated time frame may result in the issuance of an administrative fine.
  5. If the inspection is not conducted or required forms are not submitted within the required time period, a Notice of Administrative Fine will be issued together with direction to complete the required inspection within 10 days of the date of the notice or face and additional administrative fine of $150 along with referral to the City Attorney’s office for enforcement.

B. Events Requiring An Inspection Of Residential Private Sewer Laterals (SBMC 14.46.040.B:

  1. Inspections may be required for building additions of 400 square feet or more of new dwelling space as determined by the Building Official.
    1. Property owners will be notified by Community Development staff of the requirement to submit a private sewer lateral inspection video document and inspection form at the time the owner submits plans for City review.
    2. The property will be “flagged” in the City’s computerized permit monitoring system.
    3. Submittal of the standard inspection report will be required prior to issuance of a Building Permit.
    4. Public Works staff will review the video and issue either a Compliance Certificate or Notice of Required Repairs. Prior to issuance of the Building Permit, the City’s database will be updated to indicate whether the repair work is needed.
    5. If review of the video shows that the sewer lateral needs repair or replacement, such work must be completed prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. Repairs will be verified by either the Building Inspector or Public Works Inspector.
  2. Inspections required for two or more plumbing fixtures:
    1. A property owner will be notified by City staff of the requirement to submit a sewer lateral inspection video and report at the time the owner submits plans for City review.
    2. The property will be “flagged” in the computerized permit monitoring system.
    3. Submittal of the standardized inspection report will be required prior to issuance of a Building Permit.
    4. Public Works staff will review the video and issue either a Compliance Certificate or notice of required repairs. Prior to issuance of the Building Permit, the City database will be updated to indicate whether repair work is needed.
    5. If review of the video shows that the sewer lateral needs repair or replacement, such work must be completed prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. Repairs must be verified by the Building Inspector or Public Works Inspector.

C. Inspection of Commercial Properties, Condominiums and Other Common Interest Developments (SBMC 14.46.040.C.

  1. Owners of commercial properties and residential common interest developments are required to inspect their laterals once every ten years.
    1. Public Works staff will identify the Assessor Parcel Numbers and accompanying addresses for the owners of all properties requiring private sewer lateral inspections, using data available from the City’s automated map.
    2. Notices will be sent to the property address, and listed property owner. If a property management company is on record for the site, they will also be provided with a notice. Notices will advise the property owner that a private sewer lateral inspection must be completed, and proper documentation submitted to the City within 90 days of the date of the notice.
    3. If no inspection occurs within the required time, a second notice will be sent requiring inspection within 30 days of the date of the notice, and advising that failure to complete the required inspection may result in the issuance of a $100 Administrative Penalty.
    4. If the inspection is not conducted and/or required forms are not submitted within the required time, a Notice of Administrative Penalty may be issued together with direction to complete the required inspection within 10 days of the date of the notice or incur an additional Administrative Penalty of $150, and referral to the City Attorney’s Office for enforcement.

D. Exemptions – Private Sewer Lateral Inspections Will Not Be Required Under The Following Conditions (SBMC 14.46.040.D.):

  1. The property owner submits documents showing that the sewer line has been installed within the preceding 20 years, and proper documentation can be produced to show that the line was installed in accordance with codes and inspected. Proof of either a Building Permit or Public Works Permit shall be required.
  2. The sewer line has been inspected within the preceding three years and the property owner can produce a copy of the Compliance Certificate showing that inspection did not indicate a need for repair.
Last Updated: Jun 16, 2016