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All About Sewers

Sewer lateral Questions Answered

The Engineering Department receives many questions about sewer laterals from residents and we hope that this page will help the residents of Belmont understand the responsibilities and issues that property owners encounter on a daily basis. Not all property sewer connections are the same, but the following information will cover the majority of what can be found here in Belmont.

So what is the big deal about sewers anyhow?

The City of Belmont is required by the California State Water Resources Control Board to have an ordinance(s) in place that control infiltration and inflow (I/I) from private service laterals.  Sewer rates are also very much affected by infiltration and inflow due to the increase quantity of untreated sewage mixed with ground and rainwater that is metered at the treatment plant. Our biggest concern is that during heavy rainstorms, millions of gallons of stormwater enter the sewer system, which can exceed the system’s capacity leading to combined sanitary sewer overflows (CSOs).  When a CSO occurs, this mixture of stormwater and untreated sewage is expelled onto the road surface, which then flows into the storm drain system where it enters creeks and eventually the bay. 
As required by the state, Belmont has in place an Ordinance 1070, which can be viewed on line in our Municipal Code under Chapter 21 Sec. 21-210. In the ordinance, it specifically states that the property owner is the responsible party for the sewer lateral from the house or structure to the city main including the connection to the main. This ordinance also gives the city authority to issue a notice to repair if the city determines that the lateral has an I/I problem.

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