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FAQ

General

How does the Ojai Valley Sanitary District’s Private Sewer Lateral Program protect the Ventura River Watershed?
By inspection, testing, and repairing old cracked sewer pipes, we ensure that during storms rainwater does not enter sanitary sewer lines. Too much rainwater can overwhelm the sanitary sewer system and the treatment plant, allowing partially treated wastewater to be released into the river.

What are the problems associated with private sewer laterals?
The majority of the District’s customers connected their properties to the sewer system in the 1960s, most of these properties have never replaced their original PSL. Over time, these pipelines can crack, become disjointed or displaced, and can be subjected to intrusion by tree roots, causing leaks and blockages. Rainwater and groundwater can enter the sanitary sewer system through these sewer lateral defects, potentially overloading the treatment system.

When did the program go into effect? What if I started the purchase of a property before the effective date?
The program went into effect December 1, 2015. The program is effective for escrows, construction or remodeling permits as of the effective date December 1, 2015.

Who is responsible for the PSL and how does the program work?
The property owner is responsible for the entire PSL from their home to the public sewer main (upper and lower lateral). A property owner hires a contractor to assess the lateral condition (typically a video survey of the line), obtain permits from the District, perform required work, and set up the inspection & testing with District staff. When the lateral passes the test, a Compliance Certificate is issued. In a property sale transaction, it is up to the buyer and seller to negotiate responsibility for obtaining the Compliance Certificate.

Where can I go for more information?

For more information regarding the Ojai Valley Sanitary District’s PSL Program call (805) 646-5548 to talk to the District’s Customer Service Representative, Laurie Johnson, or email .

Applicability

Who does the Ojai Valley Sanitary District Private Sewer Lateral Program apply to?
All residential, commercial, and industrial properties, including bank-owned properties and short sales.

Do these requirements apply to commercial, industrial and residential properties?
Yes. If you have a business or home connected to the Ojai Valley Sanitary District’s sanitary sewer system the PSL Program applies to your property.

Can I get a Compliance Certificate if I haven’t hit any of the triggers?
Yes. The property owner needs to hire a contractor to assess the lateral condition (typically a video survey of the line), obtain permits from the District, perform all required work, and set up the inspection & testing with District staff. When the lateral passes the test, a Compliance Certificate will be issued.

Are some property title transfers not subject to the District’s PSL Ordinance?
Yes, the following transfers are not subject to the District’s PSL Ordinance:

  • By a fiduciary administering a decedent’s estate
  • Between co-owners from or into a revocable trust
  • By a trustor to fund a living trust
  • To a spouse or registered domestic partner
  • To a person who is related by blood to one or more of the transferrors (in a Lineal Consanguinity Relationship)
  • Title transfers as a result of divorce or legal separation
  • To a financial institution resulting from a foreclosure or similar process

Foreclosures: Who is responsible for compliance with the District’s PSL Ordinance?
Title transfers to financial institutions resulting from a property owner losing their home to foreclosure or a similar process are not subject to the District’s PSL Ordinance requirements.

Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Properties

What if I own or manage a property with a large private sewer system like a campus or business park?
If your property has more than 1,000 feet of laterals or private sewer lines, you will have until December 1, 2017 to develop a Condition Assessment Plan describing how you will inspect all of your PSLs. By December 1, 2017, you must complete your assessment and submit a Work Plan to the District which details the condition of your sewer system and your plan to complete needed repairs or replacements. Call the District (805) 646-5548 for more details.

What are the requirements for selling a large apartment building?
Apartment buildings owned by a single owner or entity are subject to the point of sale, building or remodeling triggers of the District PSL Ordinance, similar to single family homes and commercial properties. Condominiums and complexes that have a private sewer lateral system in excess of 1,000 lineal feet are subject to separate requirements for complying with the District PSL Ordinance.