What is a sanitary sewer easement? 

Sanitary sewer easements give Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan) the universal right to use a portion of private property for maintaining the wastewater collection system. This provides CVSan with access rights to repair, replace, inspect, enlarge, change, maintain, test, and/or remove the sewer main inside of the easement.


Who owns and maintains the easement?

The property owner continues to own the land and has only given up defined rights on the section of the property used for the easement. It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the property within the easement.


How do I know where the easement is?

Easements are typically five feet on either side of a manhole and the sewer main, however this size may vary. The location can be determined from recorded maps or a Grant of Easement document. If you are unfamiliar with the size or location of your easement, contact your title company or CVSan at (510) 537-0757.


Can I make improvements in the easement?

CVSan is permitted to remove any improvements such as fences, paving, trees, irrigation, sheds, or lighting systems within the easement to maintain or replace the sewer main. CVSan is not liable for any damage to your improvements and CVSan may require that any unauthorized encroachments be removed at the property owner’s expense. All encroachments on easements require approval from CVSan.  Please keep the following in mind when maintaining the easement:

  • Do not place planters or any other objects on manhole lids.
  • Do not build gates or fences over manhole lids.
  • Permanent structures cannot be built within an easement.
  • Keep the easement clear of debris, especially around the manhole. Do not bury the manhole lid.
  • Planting trees within the easement is not permitted without prior approval from CVSan.
  • If you want to add a lock to your backyard gate, you must receive prior approval from CVSan. Our staff will need a copy of the key to enter the property if there is  a sewer emergency.


Who can enter my property?

CVSan may go into the easement at any time and may have a contractor present to perform maintenance. CVSan will do its best to notify the property owner before entry; however, CVSan may need to enter without prior notification during an emergency.

CVSan makes every effort to try to minimize impacts on the property owner. If you own a dog, please provide your name and contact number so special arrangements can be made for your pet prior to CVSan entering your property.


Why do CVSan employees need to enter my property?

CVSan employees may need to access the easement for a variety of reasons including routine maintenance, video inspection, audits, or sewer emergencies.  In non-emergency situations CVSan will leave a door hanger letting the property owner know that we need to access your easement soon. CVSan would also appreciate if you share your contact information to let you know when maintenance is necessary and schedule a time that works with your schedule.  Call CVSan at (510) 537-0757 if you would like to add your contact information to CVSan’s list of easement property owners.


Who do I contact about CVSan easements?

For general questions about easements, call (510) 537-0757 Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  If you are experiencing a sewer overflow in your easement, call (510) 506-5821 and our staff will answer 24/7.