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Sewer utility regulation vs. municipal regulation

MikeC

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May 17, 2012
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NW Pennsylvania
In PA, where in the system does the utilities regulations kick in? Electric is everything leading up to and including the main service panel. Gas is typically at the meter. Obviously, the PUC grants the utility the authority to set their own regulations for these installations.

It has always been my assumption that the sewer utility regulation extends to the building drain at 30 inches of developed pipe outside of the structure. Is this the case or can utility choose not to regulate laterals? This question has been posed by my health officer. He is concerned that this work isn't being regulated or inspected by anyone, which is the case for work on existing laterals. My initial answer was that the utility is responsible to regulate the laterals, but I am unable to provide any documentation to support my opinion. Obviously, the utility feels that their responsibility begins at the connection to the main line.
 

my250r11

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Roswell, NM
Ours is from the property line to the main is utilities, property line to the home is owners responsibility and a plumbing permit is required and its inspected by our Plbg. Inspector. If on utility side must be done by licensed plumber and inspected by our inspector.
 
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conarb

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Oct 22, 2009
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California East Bay Area
In PA, where in the system does the utilities regulations kick in? Electric is everything leading up to and including the main service panel. Gas is typically at the meter. Obviously, the PUC grants the utility the authority to set their own regulations for these installations.

It has always been my assumption that the sewer utility regulation extends to the building drain at 30 inches of developed pipe outside of the structure. Is this the case or can utility choose not to regulate laterals? This question has been posed by my health officer. He is concerned that this work isn't being regulated or inspected by anyone, which is the case for work on existing laterals. My initial answer was that the utility is responsible to regulate the laterals, but I am unable to provide any documentation to support my opinion. Obviously, the utility feels that their responsibility begins at the connection to the main line.

Mike:

I agree with you, around here the sanitary district reguates the laterals because they have the TV equipment to do it, I've never seen an AHJ that has TV equipment.
 

MikeC

Silver Member
Joined
May 17, 2012
Messages
230
Location
NW Pennsylvania
I just wanted to clarify, I am not speaking of ownership or responsibility for the line. I am only questioning which regulation apply to the lateral - the UCC or the utility's. Based on the responses so far, I am guessing there is no statewide standard created by the PA public utility commission.
 

Rick18071

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Nov 28, 2009
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Poconos/eastern PA
I am a PA inspector too . I never inspected past 3' from the building. But I was hired one time by an utility to inspect laterals for a new sewer lines to the curb in a old town that never had public sewers. They required house traps with a vent, cleanouts on both sides and only glued PVC sch 40 fittings and pipe to be inside and/or outside, so sometimes I had to go in their basements. There were no permits, most places in PA houses don't need a permit just for plumbing.
I also worked for a 3rd party inspection company where the one brough required permits and inspections of laterals. There were 6 small broughs next to each other with interlaping sewer utilities. But it was funny because no one could tell me the name of the utility company so or their requirements so I just went by the code.
 

MikeC

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Joined
May 17, 2012
Messages
230
Location
NW Pennsylvania
I have done a bit more research into my issue. Apparently, prior to adoption of the PA UCC, the city's plumbing inspector did inspect work on sewer laterals. The sewer authority was (until yesterday) under the assumption that this was still happening. I have reviewed the sewer authority regulations and found that they do have minimum standards for laterals and require inspection from their staff for new connections. I plan on meeting with them in the near future to discuss this issue and make some suggestions on how we can address this lack of inspections for work performed on existing laterals.

Thanks for the help in verifying that there is no standard.
 

conarb

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Oct 22, 2009
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California East Bay Area
I plan on meeting with them in the near future to discuss this issue and make some suggestions on how we can address this lack of inspections for work performed on existing laterals.

Thanks for the help in verifying that there is no standard.

Mike:

They should want to check them out, I know the sanitary districts I work with would want to TV all of those that they didn't inspect when new.
 

Keystone

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Feb 23, 2010
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Location
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
As with all in Pa. there is zero consistency!

This is my take from 25 years on both sides of fence, in the field doing the work and inspecting. Years past, before UCC the township inspector viewed laterals. Now with the UCC its free range, from what I notice thusfar the norm seems to be - if the municipality previously had a lateral inspection program they are maintaining the status quo and continuing the program AND if the municipality has a sewer engineer but not a municipal inspector they are also maintaining an inspection program via a UCC approved 3rd party.

In other municipalities I have seen Engineering Companies perform lateral inspections. Whoever the municipality hires to perform the land development inspections.

My outlook, IRC & IPC defines Building Sewer as well as requirements and I am not aware of anything within the Pa. UCC that strictly prohibits us from, certified inspectors, from requiring lateral inspections.


Definitely not a definitive answer but something to chew on.
 
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