Shared Private Sewer Laterals

If you have an existing shared private sewer lateral and would like to request an exception from the municipal code in order to preserve the shared lateral instead of installing new, separate laterals, all parties involved must create an agreement or easement that is registered with the County of Marin. The recorded agreement or easement will be required to receive the exception from Sanitary District No. 2. 

Shared Laterals are prohibited in accordance with the Sanitary Code and District Standards except as provided in this Section.
- 21.08.050 - Sewer connection required upon acquisition of property
If, after July 18, 2002, a person acquires any building or developed property, or develops any vacant property, within the district boundaries that is not connected to the sewer system, the owner of the building or developed property shall be required at the owner's expense to connect said building directly with the proper main sewer in accordance with the provisions of this title, within ninety days after date of official notice to do so. 
(San. Dist. No. 2 Ord. 34 § 2 (part), 2002)

- 21.20.010 - Separate sewers
No two adjacent buildings fronting on the same street shall be permitted to join in the use of the same lateral sewer. Every building or commercial facility must be separately connected to a main sewer if such main sewer exists in the street upon which the property abuts or in an easement which will serve said property. However, one or more buildings located on property belonging to the same owner may be served with the same lateral sewer during the period of said ownership. Upon the subsequent subdivision and sale of a portion of said lot the portion not directly connected with such main sewer shall be separately connected with a main sewer, and it is unlawful for the owner thereof to continue to use or maintain such indirect connection. 
(San. Dist. No. 2 Ord. 34 § 2 (part), 2002)

Recommended information to include for a Private Sewer Lateral Agreement between two or more private parties.  

Suggested Points for Private Sewer Lateral Agreement between Two or More Private Parties:
  • List the addresses/parcels involved/block/parties
  • Description of property and location of laterals
  • Which portions of the sewer laterals are individually maintained and which portions will share maintenance – details on costs/ finance
  • How the agreement can be terminated - if lines are separated
  • Understand that if one of the properties is triggered, (21.22.020(a)) all parties are triggered. Who will be responsible for paying for the pressure testing and inspection in case one party or another requires work done. 
    • What are the triggers that require a PSL inspection and test? 
      • When a property owner submits a building permit application for improvements valued at $50,000 or more over a cumulative three-year period, or when the permit improvements involve legalizing or constructing ADU, size change of a water meter or install of fire sprinklers, fixture count change, or District manager request.
      • When a property is sold or has any transfer of property title. Note: There are 2 start times for the 180 days compliance division; 1) Date of notice of repair is issued by District, 2) Date of close of escrow whichever comes first will trigger the 180 days period to comply.
      • When a sewage overflow, malfunction or other public health threat occurs at a property as determined by the SD2 staff.
      • When the adjacent sewer main is being improved or overlying roadway is being paved as part of a Capital Improvement Project led by the Town of Corte Madera, Sanitary District No. 2 or other government agency. 
    • Who is responsible in case of damage done to the lateral?
    • Date and signatures of both parties- Notarize and Knowledge 
    • Agreement should be recorded with the County of Marin Recorders office to be considered official and bring a copy to District to get exemption on separating the laterals. 
      • (Agreements fees - $14 1st page + $3 a page+ $75 fee)
      • (Easements fees - $14 1st page + $3 a page+ $10+ $75 fee)

Information for properties that are part of a Homeowners' Association

If your property is part of a Homeowners' Association (HOA), the first step to take would be to contact your HOA to determine who is responsible for addressing matters related to shared PSLs. Some HOAs are responsible for maintaining shared PSLs.

In cases where the HOA is not the responsible party, the HOA should have an agreement with clear instructions on addressing this matter made available to all of the property owners involved. If one PSL is triggered, all of the properties connecting to that specific PSL will also be triggered. If there is no agreement in place, one will need to be created otherwise, the laterals will have to be separated so that each property will have its own private sewer line. 

Property owners or HOAs with questions can contact Sanitary District No. 2 at 415-927-5057 to discuss the situation and determine the best approach for addressing this matter.