Sewer Lateral User Rebate Program (SLURP)

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Program Overview

To view a SLURP video click here.

A sewer lateral is the part of your sewer system that runs from your house to the public sewer main, which is under the street, alley or easement behind your home. Most residents don’t give it much thought until there are backup problems. 

This program is designed to encourage residents to maintain their sewer lateral. The City will give the property owner a $150 rebate (in the form of a credit) on sewer service charges for cleaning and video inspecting his/her sewer lateral. The proper maintenance of sewer laterals will help prevent sewer overflows – a benefit to everyone!

 

Applying for a SLURP Rebate

Becoming eligible for a rebate is simple. Just follow these steps:

1. Hire a plumber to clean and video record your sewer lateral.  It is important that the plumber, chosen by you, cleans and video records your sewer lateral all the way to the connection with the public sewer main.  This recording must also clearly show the address of the residence.

We recommend getting quotes from a few plumbers before making a final decision. You can review plumber evaluations completed by other Burbank residents here on our website. 

2. Bring in the plumber’s receipt, the videotape (or DVD), and a completed rebate form to Public Works.

You can drop off your rebate package at our Public Works office (150 N. Third St. Burbank, 91502) or mail it to us. Download a copy of the SLURP rebate form here. 

3. Public works will give you a $150 credit on sewer service charges!

Door Hanger Notification

You may have already received a door hanger notification from Public Works regarding this program. We are leaving these door hanger notifications when our video inspection of the public sewer main reveals roots coming from a property owner’s sewer lateral. This door hanger is a friendly reminder that maintaining your sewer lateral will prevent backups at your home.

Information on the door hanger includes sewer backwater valves (see below diagram). 

Pic 1

Properties that especially require a sewer backwater valve are when the lowest plumbing fixture (bath tub, shower, etc.) is lower than the upper manhole of the public sewer (see below diagram). The backwater valve, if maintained properly, is designed to automatically shut to prevent sewage from backing up into the building. Installation of a sewer backwater valve must be on private property and requires a Building Division (plumbing) permit.

Pic 2

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is cleaning the sewer lateral my responsibility? The Burbank Municipal Code Section 8-1-107 states that each property owner is responsible for their sewer lateral. This policy allows for each property owner to maintain the pipe that serves their own property while jointly paying for the maintenance of those pipelines that serve the entire community. See diagram 1.

DIAGRAM 1

Diagram 1

How do I find a plumber? Does the City recommend any plumbers?
A plumber can be found by consulting your local yellow pages or internet listings. The City does not recommend any plumbers. However, you can review plumber evaluations completed by other Burbank residents by clicking on the link on top labeled Plumber Evaluations. 

How much should I expect to pay?
The typical cost for the cleaning and video recording your sewer lateral is between $300 and $700. This amount depends upon the sewer lateral at your specific property and the type of equipment used by the individual plumber. It is a good idea to get quotes from a few different plumbers before making a final decision. 

What if the roots are coming from a tree in the parkway?
Even if the roots infiltrating your sewer lateral are coming from a parkway tree, it is your responsibility to keep your sewer lateral in a proper working condition. In most cases, tree roots will not affect a sewer lateral unless there is an open joint or a crack in the pipe. In the case where a parkway tree root has crushed or misaligned your sewer lateral, the City will reimburse the property owner for the repair of the portion of the sewer lateral that has been crushed or misaligned, subject to the reimbursement maximums set in the Burbank Fee Schedule. If you are planning to have your sewer lateral replaced, you can call the Public Works Department at (818) 238-3915 for more information. 

Am I required to have my sewer lateral cleaned at this time?
Public Works is not requiring you to clean your line immediately. However, since our video indicates that your sewer lateral is impacted with roots, we highly recommend you have your sewer line cleaned now before a complete blockage occurs. 

What if I do not have a clean-out?
There are some properties in the City of Burbank that do not currently have a clean-out. Although it is not required, it is recommended that each property have a clean-out. The cost to install a clean-out ranges from $300 to $500. 
 
Do I have to get the sewer lateral vido inspected?
You must have your sewer lateral video recorded after it is cleaned to be eligible for the $150 regate. The video inpsection also allows you to verify that your sewer lateral was cleaned thoroughly all the way to the public sewer main. The video recording is not required if you choose not to pursue the $150 rebate. This recording must also clearly show the address of the residence.

How do I know my plumber cleaned my line correctly?Requiring a video inspection of your sewer lateral should provide assurance that your sewer lateral was adequately cleaned. You should be able to see the walls of your pipe instead of roots during the post video.
 
What if my connection to the sewer is behind my house instead of in the street?
Those properties that are connected to the public sewer main through an easement are also eligible for this program. You can contact Public Works if you are unsure of where your lateral connects to the public sewer main. See diagram 2. 

 

DIAGRAM 2

Diagram 2

What equipment should my plumber use?
Typically the best method for cleaning a sewer lateral is the use of a hydro-jet. Jet-cleaning will generally produce better results over mechanical cutters, but it can be more costly. 

 

What do I ask the plumber to do?
Ask the plumber to cleand and video inspect (and record) your cleaned sewer lateral all the way to the connnection to the public sewer main. This will include the 6" diameter portion of the line from the property line to the connection with the public sewer main. Inform your plumber that you need to have a copy of the videotape (or DVD) at the end of the job, and that it must show the address of the residence.

Can I do the work myself?
Yes. It is recommended that you hire a plumber for this work since it can pose safety hazards, but you may rent the equipment necessary and perform the work yourself. You will still need to bring in a videotape (or DVD) of the cleaned sewer line at the completion of the work in order to obtain the $150 rebate.  

 

Can the City do the work for me?
No. The City does not have adequate staffing for cleaning of private sewer laterals. 

Should I get my sewer lateral replaced?
Generally speaking, most sewer laterals impacted by roots do not need to be replaced. A plumber with the proper equipment should be able to clean out the roots. The only time you need to have your sewer lateral replaced is if it is damaged (with cracks, openings, etc.). If your video inspection reveals this type of damage, it is important to note the location of the damage since the entire pipeline does not need to be replaced. 

Is there any rebate for having my sewer lateral replaced?
Yes. The SLURP replacement rebate became effective August 1, 2008. A $500 rebate is available for sewer lateral replacement, provided that at least 10 feet of the sewer lateral in the public right-of-way (usually the six-inch pipe) of the sewer lateral is replaced. For those properties that have less than 10 feet of pipe in the public right-of-way, the pipe in the public right-of-way would need to be replaced. If a portion of this pipe is under a neighbor’s property, this would not be required to be replaced to obtain the rebate. The procedure for obtaining a SLURP sewer lateral replacement rebate is:

A. Repair 

The property owner hires a properly licensed sewer contractor to have their sewer lateral replaced. The sewer contractor must obtain an excavation and sewer connection permit from the City prior to beginning the work. 

B. Verification

The property owner submits (either by mail or drop-off) a copy of the receipt from the sewer contractor, and a completed rebate form to the Public Works Department for verification of the sewer lateral replacement. 

C. Reimbursement

Upon review of the receipt, the rebate form and the inspector’s report showing that at least 10’ of the sewer lateral in the public right-of-way has been replaced, the property owner is eligible for a sewer service rebate check of $500. A property owner is only eligible for one sewer lateral replacement during the life ownership of the property. A check will be sent to the property owner for the rebate amount.

 

Can I have my sewer lateral lined? How about pipe-bursting?
Lining of sewer laterals, which is the installation of material on the inside of your existing sewer lateral pipe, is not permitted in the City right-of-way. This type of construction has not proven to be a reliable long-term solution. Pipe-bursting, on the other hand, is an acceptable lateral replacement construction method. Pipe-bursting requires the excavation of two pits. A bursting head is pulled through old lateral, breaking it to pieces. A new seamless plastic pipe is pulled in to replace the old pipe. 


How often should I have my sewer lateral cleaned?
The frequency of cleaning depends on a number of factors including proximity of the nearest tree, the type of tree, the depth of you sewer line, the quality of sewer lateral construction, etc. It may be as frequently as semi-annually or as rarely as once every ten years. 

Do I need a permit?
Cleaning and video inspection of your sewer lateral does not require a permit. However, any replacement of sewer pipeline on your property would require a plumbing permit and any replacement of sewer pipeline outside your property would require a sewer connection permit and an excavation permit. 

What if I have more questions?
You can e-mail us at SLURP@burbankca.gov if you have any questions regarding your sewer lateral.

 

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