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Sewer Lateral Resources

Lateral Work in Public Right-of-Way

List of Approved Contractors

Did you know that any time work needs to be performed on laterals in the public-right-of-way, the work must be completed by a contractor cleared by the Sanitation District to work under the blanket encroachment permit?

Contractors interested in being added to this list can contact staff by email at for more information. 


Did you know?

  • 1. You own and are responsible for your sewer lateral from where it connects to the public sewer main, all the way to your building.  Code Reference Table

  • 2. Sewer lateral video inspections are required in the following instances:

          - Escrow / Sale of Property
          - Additions or remodels to an existing building*/ADU connections
          - New Building
          - When there are more than 2 overflows within a 12-month period. 

          * A remodel in this case is any remodel increasing the amount of fixture units from the previously permitted amount.
          * Videos shall be submitted to by the contracted plumber for District staff review & comment. Forms available at the top of this page.
  • 3. You are responsible for maintaining and repairing your lateral. This includes:
    • Cleaning (i.e. removing fats, oils, grease, sediments, and roots)
    • Fixing leaks, cracks, inflow or infiltration of extraneous water, root intrusion, open joints, excessive sags, breaks, and blockages.
    • Installing backflow devices
    • Inspection to assure proper operation
  • 4. If a sanitary sewer overflow occurs, the cost of material and labor for stopping the overflows shall be paid by the property owner (or per recorded CC&Rs if associated with an HOA). 
    • Overflows shall be reported to (831) 477-3907 immediately.
  • 5. How to obtain a no-cost sanitary sewer lateral permit:
    • If you are in one of Santa Cruz County's service areas, then you will obtain your sewer lateral permit at 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, 4th floor Room 410. Ask for sanitation assistance at the Public Works front desk OR email us at

      Once you obtain your permit, you will need a final inspection by a County Inspector prior to backfilling any excavations. To schedule an inspection please call the Hotline (831) 454-2895 and leave a message. Your call will be returned within 1 business day.  Note any work in right-of-way (road) requires pre-clearance - traffic control plans, proper insurance, licensing, and public notice may be required. Contact us first.

Septic Tank Abandonment

  1. Contact the Sanitation Department to determine if sewer is available for your property (complete and submit a Sewer Service Availability Form). Additional steps may need to be completed prior to being granted sewer service (owners should inquire early on if interested in pursing a connection to the nearest District sewer, parcels located outside Urban Service Boundaries and/or Sanitation Sphere's of Influence may require more steps - contact our staff)
  2. Contact Environmental Health at (831) 454-2022 ( to obtain an application for a sewer disposal permit. Certain fees and inspections may apply, applicants shall coordinate with Environmental Health staff as part of their sewer disposal permit.
  3. Verification of completed payment for the septic abandonment fee will be requested prior to issuing a sewer connection permit. In addition, a plumbing fixture count and rough schematic/drawing showing the proposed sewer connection for the residence shall be required.
  4. Inspection of lateral construction/connection by a Sanitation Inspector will be required prior to backfilling the lateral trench along with payment of all fees associated with the sewer lateral connection permit.

          - $3,000.00 connection fee includes 18 Fixture Units (all 
            districts except Freedom), additional units have a rate of 
            $165 per unit.

          - $4,000 connection fee includes 18 Fixture Units (Freedom
            District), additional units have a rate of $200 per unit.

    Please see the plumbing code for information on fixture units.
  5. All work within a County right-of-way shall require a licensed contractor or plumber per current District requirements to complete the work. Proper insurance, traffic control, and clearance is required prior to starting any work.

Connection Fee Calculator (Mircosoft Excel with macros enabled is required to use this tool). 


Counter Hours
Tuesday and Thursdays
8AM-5PM (Closed 12-1PM)
701 Ocean St. Room 401, Santa Cruz CA 95060
Call Us (831) 454-2160
Email Us

Sewer Inspections & Permits
Schedule (831) 454-2895
Provide 48-Hour advance notice

More Information on Permits & Fees Here

Report Sewer Spills
Notify Us (831) 477-3907

Report Issue or Submit Request