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Jump to: Replacement Process | Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Sewer Lateral
Replacement Program (SLRP)?

In 1999, the Albany City Council approved an ordinance that allows a one-time replacement for qualifying sewer service laterals on private property. The primary purpose for the approval of this program is to reduce the amount of groundwater entering the sanitary sewer system.   The infiltration of groundwater into the sanitary sewer system increases the costs of pumping and treating wastewater, reduces system capacity, and can lead to sewer overflows.

A ‘sewer lateral’ is the segment of sewer drain line that extends from just outside your house foundation to the connection with the City’s public sewer mainline.  Leaking or broken sewer laterals that allow groundwater, roots, and dirt into the system are typical problems for cities with older sewer systems.  It's important to keep your lateral in proper working order, and functioning as it was intended.  If the lateral qualifies for replacement, any rain drain downspouts that are currently draining to the sewer lateral will be disconnected, as this also contributes to the wastewater treatment process.  If your roof drains are currently connected to your sewer drain system, you may also be a candidate for the Rain Drain Disconnection Program (RDDP).

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Sewer Lateral Replacement Program Questions

What is the property owner required to pay?
There is no cost to the owner if it is determined that the owner qualifies for replacement of his/her sewer lateral.  Contractor fees associated with replacement of the sewer lateral, including permit fees, will be paid by the City. 

Will the City of Albany reimburse my plumbing bills related to my damaged sewer lateral?
No. The City will only pay for expenses incurred by the City which have been authorized by the project manager after the application has been received.

How long does this process usually take?
The process from application to the final TV inspection varies. Factors that affect the schedule include prioritization of emergency sewer lateral replacements; obtaining easements; gaining access from neighbors; and contractor availability.

My sewer lateral crosses my neighbor’s property. Can it be replaced?
Yes. However the Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code requires that a private utility easement be established prior to the installation of the new sewer lateral

What is a utility easement?
There are two types of utility easements associated with the Sewer Lateral Replacement Program.

  1. Private Utility Easement
    This is an agreement between two property owners regarding the replacement and repair rights of the sewer lateral.  Generally, the grantor promises to not build any permanent structures over the area described in the easement document and to allow access to the easement for maintenance or replacement purposes. The grantee generally promises to return the grantor's property to an equal or better condition after any maintenance work is performed.
  2. Public Utility Easement
    This is an agreement between the property owner(s) and the City of Albany. The agreement describes the repair and replacement rights of a public utility that is owned and maintained by the City of Albany and is located on or near the private property.
    The grantor promises to not build any permanent structures over the area described in the easement document and to allow access to the easement for maintenance and replacement purposes. The City promises to return the grantor’s property to an equal or better condition after any maintenance or replacement work is performed.

Who do I contact if problems arise in the future?
The City’s project manager should be the first person you call. The lateral replacement comes with a standard one year warranty, which covers the pipe and any ground settlement that may occur over the new pipe.

The maintenance of the new sewer lateral is the responsibility of the property owner. “Maintenance” shall include, but is not limited to, removal of any blockages, debris, grease, tree roots, and any other material as required to ensure a free flow of wastewater through the lateral.  Sewer laterals that extend into the street become public at the property line.  The City shall repair or replace structural failures of sanitary sewer service laterals in public right-of-way when, in the judgment of the Public Works Director, repair or replacement of the service lateral is warranted.  However, as mentioned above, maintaining flow through the lateral is the responsibility of the homeowner even within the public right-of-way.

Sewer Lateral Replacement Process

Step 1

Complete an application and submit it to the Public Works Department. The application must include documentation indicating failure of your sewer lateral, and be completed and signed by the deeded owner of the property.

Step 2

A contractor selected by the City visits the site to do a TV camera inspection of the sewer lateral and the connection to the City's sewer mainline. Location marks are placed on the ground with paint to indicate where the private lateral exits the house foundation and joins the public sewer main.

Step 3

If your sewer lateral qualifies for the program the City's project manager may schedule a site visit to discuss specific construction issues with you. For example; concrete removal and replacement, landscaping, trees, shrubs, fences, etc. If your sewer lateral doesn't qualify you will receive a phone call and a follow up letter explaining why your sewer lateral was not chosen for replacement.

Step 4

Property owners must sign the sewer lateral replacement agreement form and any public utility easementseasements needed. These require the use of a Notary Public which can be provided by the City of Albany Public Works Department at no charge.

Step 5

The project manager will meet on site with a group of licensed contractors to discuss the construction requirements and the specifics of your particular project. The City will award the project to the lowest qualified bidder.

Step 6

The City uses two basic methods of pipe installation for this particular program: 'Open Trench' installations and 'Pipe Burst' installations. Open trench installations are typically dug with a small excavator and the new pipe is laid within the trench and then backfilled. Pipe burst installations are constructed by 'bursting' a new pipe through he old pipe.

Step 7

After the contractor has completed construction of the project, arrangements will be made for a return visit to TV the new sewer lateral before payment is made. The video is necessary to ensure the pipe was not damaged during the installation process. We also look to make sure that all joints are secure and there is proper grade for drainage within the new lateral (no low areas).

Step 8

The new sewer lateral comes with a standard one-year warranty against defects in workmanship, and any settling that may occur from the trench excavation.