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Construction: Lower Lateral Repair/Replacement

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Lower lateral repairs and replacements are another common type of construction we do.

What is a lateral?

A lateral is a section of smaller pipe that transports sewage from a customer’s property to SASD’s main sewer line in a street or a utility easement (see our 3D Sewer Diagram for a good visual). The lateral consists of a customer-owned upper lateral and an SASD-owned lower lateral. The upper lateral is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain, while SASD is responsible for the lower lateral. The length of the lower lateral may vary from a few feet to many feet depending on how your property was developed by the builder.

When is repair or replacement of the lower lateral necessary?

There are times when SASD may need to repair all or part of the lower lateral. This work is done when the lower lateral pipe is found to have a significant defect or condition that warrants repair rather than just maintenance. Sometimes a repair or replacement decision is made because SASD sees a defect or problem that poses a clear risk of a sewer stoppage or overflow, such as may occur with some severely offset pipes. Other times, less critical issues in the pipe—like recurring tree root intrusion—require such frequent maintenance that replacing the pipe is more cost-effective and less intrusive to our customer than continuing a maintenance program.

What are the impacts to customers?

Impacts to a property, including the size of the excavation, depend on how much of the lower lateral is targeted for repair and where the cleanout is located. During pipe connection, customers may be asked to refrain from water use for a short period of time (usually two hours or less).

When construction is complete, SASD provides full restoration, returning the impacted area to its original or better condition.

What if I have questions about the work on my property?

If you have questions about the details of construction or impacts to your property, contact the crew supervisor or project lead identified on the doorhanger you received. If you no longer have the doorhanger, or you did not receive one, call us at (916) 875-6730 for assistance.

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