Poop Chute Riot!

Big news, everybody —

We have achieved poop chute compliance!

Yesterday, we got our private sewer lateral compliance certificate from the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

PSL Compliance Certificate.

We shall comply!

What does that mean? Well, LOOONNNGGG story short, when a property changes title anywhere EBMUD serves, either the seller or the purchaser are responsible at the close of escrow for ensuring the sewer lateral is completely up to modern snuff.

As you can imagine, in this land of 100-year-old houses and earthquakes, rarely is a sewer lateral already “compliant” by modern standards.

And as you can ALSO imagine, in this land where we NEVER experience a buyer’s market, it’s usually the buyer who ends up paying to make the crappy old sewer lateral achieve said “compliance.”

But to be fair, this little sewer lateral “ordinance” hasn’t been around forever. EBMUD has been rolling it out for the past couple years, starting in northern areas like Albany and El Cerrito. We were lucky enough to have it take effect in Oakland the DAY BEFORE we first laid eyes on our house.


But never fear, friends who are thinking of buying a house in the East Bay — though every house in the area pretty much now comes with mandatory expensive sewer lateral repairs that the city SHOULD be at least partially responsible for, only they’ve found a crafty way to pass them onto private property owners… Well, you can apply for a nifty “time extension certificate.”

We paid EBMUD a $4500 deposit (yep, $4500!) at close of escrow to buy an additional 180 days to make the repairs to our sewer lateral. We called a sewer dude, got an estimate, found out ours was actually going to be $6000 to fix (yay!), and then waited until the last minute to do it (well, last-minute in Temple terms — let’s be honest here).

We worked all summer on other things — things more satisfying than poop chute repairs — while we saved up the additional $1500.

This week, at about 150 days, Precision Sewers came and brought our God-only-knows-how-old poop chute into the 21st Century. And, after inspection, we got our compliance certificate from EBMUD (and very shortly, we’ll get our $4500 back so we can finish paying the contractors: let’s not forget that important detail! DO NOT EFF WITH ME AND MY MONEY, EBMUD!).

This is a huge relief as we’ve made the deadline and are no longer on the poop chute watch list with EBMUD. AND we get to rest easy knowing that — hey! We actually do have a brand spankin’ new sewer lateral. Which isn’t something I ever would have thought about replacing otherwise, but now, having looked down the sewer myself on the contractors’ nifty poop cam, I can say that this is a good thing.

A very good thing.

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4 thoughts on “Poop Chute Riot!

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Well, having “poop chute compliance” would certainly make me sleep better at night! Oh you funny, funny girl. I pity the poor fool who tries to “eff” with you or your money. I can say this, that I would not attempt to bring a home repair project in on budget unless you were the project manager. And you have your father’s and your grandfather’s genes. You ARE a contractor!! AND an engineer!!! All the home owners out there are better off for your experience. You should write a book. Love, Mom

    • lisatemp says:

      Well, I really would have liked to tell EBMUD to go screw themselves because our upper lateral was fine — our lower lateral is what needed the work and THAT, in my opinion, is not our problem. However, we’re going to live here a long time, and I am picking my battles. And I don’t want a house full of poo.

  2. Marlene says:

    Congratulations! May you enjoy your new sewer line in good Health.

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