What is a Sewer Lateral?

Within the Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan), the building lateral is defined as the portion of the sewer system, beginning at the junction with the building plumbing system, usually located within two (2) feet of the foundation of the building, and extending to and including the connection to the public sewer main. The building lateral is the private property of the property owner who is, therefore, responsible for all costs relating to the installation, connection, maintenance, repair, construction, alteration, abandonment, or removal of the building lateral.

These building laterals are often a significant source of infiltration and inflow, or “I/I”. The Lateral Replacement Grant Program (LRGP) is designed to help defray a portion of the costs when the property owner or their agent is required to replace the entire lateral, including the connection to the main.

$50,000 AUTHORIZED for the 2016-2017 fiscal year

CVSan has allocated funds to renew LRGP through fiscal year 2016-2017, commencing Monday, July 11, 2016, at 7:30 a.m. Please contact CVSan at (510) 606-1300 for additional information.

All LRGP bids and work performed must be by a CVSan qualified, licensed contractor.

IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS - Before beginning ANY construction work:
A. A video inspection must be performed by a plumbing contractor, and witnessed by CVSan personnel.

B. Property owner must submit a completed application, including price quotes from at least three (3) CVSan Qualified Contractors.

C. A Letter of Approval must be issued by CVSan to property owner.

Warning: If the above requirements are not met prior to commencement of construction work, no funds will be obligated to the property owner.

Amount of Grant
The maximum amount of assistance for any one residential building lateral replacement or repair is 50% of the approved cost up to a maximum reimbursement of $2,000. Only a replacement of more than 50% of the building lateral, that completely eliminates infiltration and inflow, is eligible for the program. Not all applications will be granted. All applications are subject to a Condition Rating by CVSan.

The property owner is responsible for notifying their selected contractor that their entire building lateral must pass CVSan inspection requirements (even if only a partial replacement was performed) in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Grant payment shall be made to the property owner(s).

Lateral Inspection
Lateral inspection must be performed prior to repair or replacement of the building lateral in order for grant funding to be considered. Inspecting and testing methods shall include the following technique:

Recorded Video Inspection
Video inspection shall reveal the condition of the lateral, and each service connection.

Video inspection shall be done by a plumbing contractor and observed by CVSan personnel. The lateral inspection must be adequately viewable and recorded. Cleaning and/or de-clogging may be necessary prior to the inspection.

The property owner(s) shall submit a Lateral Replacement Grant Program application, provided by CVSan, prior to commencement of work. The request will be reviewed by CVSan staff, and the determination of eligibility will be made by the designated representative whose decision shall be final.

Grant funds are available for fiscal year 2016/2017 starting Monday, July 11, 2016 at 7:30 a.m. Funds will be obligated on a first come, first qualified, first served basis, until all funds are allocated or the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2017).

Funds will be obligated for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days from approval. The obligation period shall include all work, inspection, payment to Contractor by property owner, and submission of paid receipt(s) to CVSan.

Work not completed by June 30, 2017 will not be eligible for payment and may result in disqualification from the current program year.

Applications accepted on a continual basis until the program is completed or all funds allocated.

1. Schedule appointment - Beginning Monday, July 11, 2016 at 7:30 a.m., call (510) 606-1300, or visit CVSan's Capital Improvements Project Office at 20211 Patio Dr, Castro Valley, to schedule an appointment for CCTV inspection. 
2. Lateral video inspection observations will be scheduled beginning Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
3. Property owner submits application to CVSan with three (3) valid quotations. Qualification is determined after inspection. All applications are subject to a Condition Rating by CVSan. Not all applications will be approved. Applications may NOT be submitted by Contractor.
4. A Letter of Approval must be issued by CVSan to property owner prior to commencement of work. NOTICE: If requirements 1-3. (see above) are not met prior to commencement of construction work, no funds will be obligated to the property owner.
5. Property owner/Contractor obtains required permit(s).
6. Property owner schedules work with Contractor.
7. Construction inspection of repair work by CVSan personnel prior to backfilling.
8. Property owner submits copy of paid-in-full invoice to CVSan for the work performed by Contractor.
9. CVSan processes application for payment. Payment will be made within 30 days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I obtain an application for the Lateral Replacement Grant Program?
Property owners can download an application at www.cvsan.org/grants, pick one up at CVSan's Main Office at 20211 Patio Drive, Suite 200, Castro Valley, or request a copy be mailed or e-mailed by calling (510) 606-1300. Please note that the property owner is responsible for obtaining an application.

What do I do after I receive my application?
After you receive your application form, complete Sections I - III.

From whom do I obtain price quotations?
You obtain price quotations from contractors listed on CVSan’s Qualified Contractors List (QCL).

How many price quotations do I need to obtain?
You need to obtain three (3) quotes; however, CVSan encourages you to obtain four (4) for better price comparison.

Can CVSan recommend licensed contractors?
Legally, CVSan may not recommend any contractors; however, CVSan does require work for the LRGP be completed by a contractor listed on CVSan’s QCL. CVSan’s QCL is comprised of contractors who have done work in CVSan. Only contractors listed on CVSan’s QCL are eligible to provide valid price quotations for submission and to complete work through the program. For a copy of CVSan’s QCL, please contact (510) 606-1300 or visit www.cvsan.org/grants.

I am having trouble with one or more contractors being unresponsive or too busy/unwilling to provide me with a price quotation. What should I do?
Please inform CVSan immediately if you are experiencing any difficulties with a contractor.

Why do my price quotations from different contractors not cover the same items?
While each contractor is allowed to write a price quotation with as little or as much information as they choose, CVSan will review each price quotation with the property owner and inform them it is in their best interest to request a revised quotation from the contractor if the following pieces of information are not listed on the submitted price quotation:
i. The total cost of lateral repair/replacement.
ii. The cost of wye or tap, should it need to be replaced.
iii. If the total cost of the lateral repair/replacement includes CVSan’s Repair/Replacement Permit.
iv. If the total cost of the lateral repair/replacement includes Alameda County Public Works’ Encroachment Permit.

What should I do with my price quotations?
Written price quotations need to be submitted to CVSan office personnel, along with the completed application. Contractors and CVSan field personnel cannot accept applications or price quotations for the LRGP.

What is a Condition Rating?
A Condition rating is an assessment of the sewer lateral to determine the degree of defects to the line. Condition ratings take into consideration: pipe cracks, roots, water infiltration evidence, and other defects. Each defect is given a numerical designation (this is similar to the method used on public sanitary sewer lines). Property owners with laterals receiving a poor condition rating may receive grant funding.

How do I know if I have qualified for the LRGP?
Property owners will know they have qualified for the LRGP when they receive a Letter of Approval from CVSan stating that they have qualified and funds have been obligated for your project.

Do I need any permits for this work?
Yes, property owners will need a repair permit from CVSan to perform lateral repair/replacement work. CVSan's current repair permit price is $160. You may also need an encroachment permit from Alameda County Public Works if you are doing work in the public right of way.

What should I do after I have received my Letter of Approval?
After you receive your Letter of Approval, select one of the contractors from whom you have received valid written price quotations to commence work. Please note, it is your responsibility to ensure your contractor has been issued any necessary permits for the job prior to work commencing.


How many site inspections do I need?
CVSan requires two site inspections: one that the property owner schedules with CVSan personnel to witness the contractor recording your lateral with a camera; and one that your contractor schedules after the new sewer line has been installed, but prior to any backfilling. CVSan personnel will witness testing of the entire line from the building foundation to the connection to the main. Testing will be performed by your contractor.

Can I have my contractor call CVSan to set-up/coordinate my initial site inspection appointment?
No, the initial site inspection must be scheduled by the property owner; all correspondence should be conducted between the property owner and the contractor directly, or the property owner and CVSan directly.

What should I do after the second site inspection?
Once the second site inspection is complete, you need to submit a copy of your paid-in-full invoice to CVSan for the work performed. CVSan will then process your application for payment; payment will be made within 30 days. Please note, your paid-in-full invoice should either be stamped “Paid-In- Full” or written and initialed by the contractor that it is “Paid-In-Full.”

I am unhappy with my contractor. Is there a formal complaint process?
CVSan takes into account all written complaints from property owners about the contractors. This is a factor when deciding to remove the contractor from the program for the current year, as well when creating the eligibility list for following years. If you would like to file a complaint about a contractor, please contact CVSan.