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Lateral Inspection Program

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Inspection - Anytime a property is offered for sale, anytime the water billing is changed at a residence, the occupancy of a residence is changed or if City staff find evidence or reasonable suspicion that Inflow or infiltration may be present in a private lateral will initiate a lateral inspection.

  1. Property sale- If an owner or agent closes the sale of a property without having a current lateral inspection clearance certificate, said owner or agent shall be immediately served with a citation for violation of city ordinance.
  1. Change of water service- At a change of water service, the billing Clerk will check the list of certified sewer laterals.

If the address is not on the list, the Clerk will create a work order for the Waste Water department stating the address of the residence and that a sewer lateral inspection is needed. 

  1. Work Orders-The wastewater department will pick up work orders and direct them to the Underground Infrastructure Tech. who will schedule the lateral inspection.  
  1. Video-Public Utility Staff will offer to complete the video inspection at no cost to the property owner if possible. Any property owners who are non-cooperative with Public Utility Staff will be required to utilize a private contractor for video inspection of the lateral.

 Failure-If the technician determines the lateral is allowing stormwater to enter the sanitary sewer system, the tech will notify the property owner that they have 14 days to have the sanitary lateral inspected.
   If a failure of the lateral is determined, the owner will have 60 days to have the lateral repaired and re-inspected. The tech will send a notice by Registered mail to the property owner unless personal service can be made and documented. The property owner will have 14 days after receiving the notice to file for an appeal with the Board of Public Works.  The notice sent to the property owner shall include a copy of the lateral inspection report, the lateral ordinance, the appeal procedure, and a description of the repairs that need to be made. Work must commence on lateral repairs within sixty (60) days of the owner receiving the failure notice, and the owner will have thirty (30) days to complete the work.

 Appeal-If the property owner wishes to appeal the finding of the lateral inspection, a written request for an appeal hearing with the Board of Public Works must be filed with the City Clerk within 14 days of receiving notice of the failed lateral inspection. The Clerk will then schedule a hearing with the owner and the Board of Public Works at their next regular meeting.

 Noncompliance-If the property owner does not comply with the notice to repair the failed lateral within the stated time period, Code Enforcement will issue a court citation to the property under City Ordinance.

 Certification-Once a lateral inspection is triggered, NO new water service will be allowed for the property unless the lateral is certified by the City. The wastewater department will inform the Water Billing Clerk of the status of the property.


  1. All sanitary laterals are required to have a working cleanout. If any lateral does not have a working cleanout, one must be properly installed prior to inspection. The cleanout must be a ”Double sweep” type situated as to allow video inspection of the entire lateral and cleaning as necessary to complete an inspection. Private contractors may be used for inspections in accordance with city ordinance requirements for lateral inspections. 
  1. The following items are FAILURE items if located in private laterals: 
  1. ROOTS – If roots are found in the lateral that obstruct the flow in the pipe in ANY way.
  1. OFFSET- Any pipe offset that may allow groundwater Infiltration or obstructs camera inspection.
  1. SUMP PUMP – Connected to the sanitary sewer in any way.  Sump pumps must be rerouted into a storm line or onto the ground before a clearance certificate is issued. REMOVAL or disconnection is NOT an acceptable remedy.
  1. INSPECTIONS – must be initiated within 20 days of notification by the City. 
  1. BREAKDOWN or collapse of any section of the lateral. 
  1. ANY structural or other issues that allow the inflow or infiltration of groundwater into the sanitary system. 
  1. ANY unidentified connections found in a lateral MUST be disconnected prior to clearance. 
  1. CITY STAFF will offer to complete the video inspection at no cost to the property owner if possible. Public Utility Staff are not to argue with owners and cannot certify laterals not in complete compliance.  Any property owners who are non-cooperative and/or verbally abusive with Public Utility Staff will result in the termination of any Public Utility assistance and will be required to utilize a private contractor for video inspection of the lateral. 
  1. When perimeter drains are found connected to the sanitary system, they must be disconnected at the point of connection to the sanitary lateral to that the perimeter drain cannot drain into the sanitary collection system. 
  1.  Any cisterns, sump pumps, and any other source of stormwater or clear water must be completely disconnected from the sanitary collection system before a lateral may be certified. 
  1. Abandoned Sanitary Laterals MUST be disconnected as near to the sanitary main as practical.  Disconnection of abandoned lines must be inspected by Public Works Staff before they are buried.
  1. Lateral Repair Requirements 

   Responsibility: The property owner is responsible for the repair of the sanitary lateral from the residence to the sanitary main easement. The city shall install and maintain that portion of the private lateral from the sanitary main to the boundary line of the easement, public road, or street, under which such sanitary main maybe located. (170 IAC 8.5-3-7)       

    Laterals that  are repaired or replaced must use the following acceptable materials: 

  1. Lateral pipe must be SDR-35 PVC pipe
  2. Fernco type fittings
  3. Y or sweeping  T main tap
  4. “Shear Guard” or equivalent connectors under the roadway
  5. All pipe joints sealed per manufacturer specifications