The Santa Barbara's Sewer Lateral Inspection Program (SLIP) was created to enforce the Municipal Codethat aims to protect our community and the environment from private and public sewer spills. The SLIP helps to ensure that the private element of the City's sewer system is properly maintained by the property owner. By doing so, the City's sewer system protects our community and environment by avoiding Private Lateral Sewer Discharges (PLSD) and safely conveying wastewater to the El Estero Water Resource Center for treatment.
If you own a Commercial Property within the limits of the City of Santa Barbara, and your property utilizes the City's Sewer Service, you could receive a letter from the City's SLIP Team requiring an inspection of your Sewer Lateral. Following Santa Barbara's Municipal Code, there are only four reasons that legally allow the City to initiate a SLIP Case on the Sewer Lateral of your property:
1.- The City's Sewer Condition Assessment Program identified a defect on your Sewer Lateral through routine CCTV inspection of the City's Main Sewer Lines. The defects could be; roots intruding into the Main Sewer Line, a defective connection between your Sewer Lateral and the Main Sewer Line, or a structural issue inside the Sewer Lateral itself.
2.- Either a Private Lateral Sewer Discharge (PLSD) or a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) was originated from your property, resulting on an emergency response from the City's Wastewater Collection System staff to contain and control the sewer spill, avoiding environmental damages happening to the City. The City in this case is required to ensure that the root cause of the spill is eliminated.
3.- The property owner starts the building process of an extension, an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), or any construction project that would add either 400 sq. ft. of construction area or 2 plumbing fixtures. The issuance of the permit that allows the construction project will trigger a SLIP Case on the Sewer Lateral(s) of the property, so that the City can ensure that the Sewer Lateral(s) is/are in good condition.
4.- Your property is either identified as either; Commercial, Industrial, or Common Interest Development (3 or more dwelling units). Per Municipal Code, starting in 2013, the City began gradually initiating cases in the before mentioned types of properties to have their Private Sewer Lateral inspected every ten years to assure its compliance at all times.
If you receive a letter from the City indicating that you need to inspect the Sewer Lateral in your property, please make sure you refer and scroll down through this guide that will explain the step by step process to successfully have your Sewer Lateral in compliance with Santa Barbara's Municipal Code.
Step 1: Bases upon criteria described in Santa Barbara's Municipal Code, the City will send a letter to the property owner initiating a SLIP Case. The letter will notify the property owner the requirement of an inspection to be performed in the Private Sewer Lateral.
Step 2: The property owner would proceed by hiring a SLIP Certified Plumber (a plumber that attended the annual SLIP Certification Class, click here for a list of such plumbers) to conduct a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Inspection on the property's Sewer Lateral.
Step 3: The certified plumber, after completing the CCTV Inspection of the property's Sewer Lateral, proceeds to fill the SLIP Inspection Form (click here for the form), and the property owner finalizes it by signing and dating the form.
Step 4: The certified plumber or property owner submits SLIP Inspection Form together with the CCTV Inspection Video to the SLIP Team. As for January of 2020, the only two accepted methods of video submission are; www.goforwardlateral.com, or any cloud storage service. Important Note: USBs and CDs have been already phased because of the environmental impact associated to the manufacture of such devices.
Step 5: The SLIP Team will review documentation and analyze the CCTV Inspection Video. If the submitted documentation is inconsistent or incomplete, the SLIP Team will follow up with the property owner and certified plumber to make sure everything is in order. Only after the documentation is complete and consistent, the SLIP Team can proceed to review the CCTV Inspection Video in depth to determine if there are repairs needed on the Private Sewer Lateral.
Step 6: The are only two possible outcomes after the review of the CCTV Inspection Video; either repairs are needed or not. If no repairs are needed, the property owner will receive a Sewer Lateral Compliance Certificate and no further action is needed. If repairs are needed, the property owner will receive a Sewer Lateral Repair Notice. The Repair Notice will provide more details on which repairs are the minimum required in order to have the Sewer Lateral in compliance. Please, continue to the next step if you received a Sewer Lateral Repair Notice.
Step 7: At this point, the property owner has two options; to perform the repair or to appeal the Sewer Lateral Notice of Repair. There is a 15 calendar day limit to appeal the Sewer Lateral Notice of Repair, and the Public Works Director will respond the appeal. If you decide to perform the repair or if the appeal response is not in favor of the appeal, please continue to the next step.
Step 8: As you reached this step, the City of Santa Barbara and its SLIP Team wants to sincerely extend a big Thank You! Thank you for helping us keeping this beautiful City clean and organized. The SLIP Team will be at your orders to support you through the repair process of your Private Sewer Lateral. There is a 90-day limit for the property owner to finish the repairs described in the Sewer Lateral Notice of Repair and submit the Sewer Lateral Repairs Documentation, although it can be extended depending on your circumstances. The SLIP Team is very agreeable as long as the SLIP Case is being followed up by the property owner. Remember that all repairs needs a permit, don't ever hire a plumber that tells you that a Sewer Lateral repair don't need a permit.
Step 9: By this stage, the repairs should be done! Now, thanks to you, the City of Santa Barbara can maintain its exceptional quality on its wastewater treatment process. The property owner or certified plumber will prepare the Repair Documentation that will prove that the repair was effectively concluded, and submits it to the SLIP Team for review.
Step 10: The review of the Repair Documentation is pretty straight forward, it is just a method so that the SLIP Team obtains and keeps records of the repairs concluded in the Private Sewer Lateral. The SLIP Team will then issue and deliver a Sewer Lateral Compliance Certificate to the property owner, by this stage the SLIP Case on the specific Private Sewer Lateral is officially closed. Please, keep the Sewer Lateral Compliance Certificate for your records, it is worth mentioning that the SLIP Team also keeps the certificate on its records on a cloud storage service for the eternity. If your SLIP Case was initiated because of a building project in your property, you would want to have the Sewer Lateral Compliance Certificate on hand when you are processing its permits.