Per LAMC 64.12, in order for a property owner to connect to the City of Los Angeles sewer system, property owners shall obtain and pay any appropriate fees for an “S” Permit, Sewerage Facilities Charge (SFC), and a Bonded Sewer Fee. A dye test is conducted to confirm the sewer connection of a lot or property. The Sewer Connection Permit is issued at any District office and is issued over the counter.
A long-standing City policy based on the opinion of the City Attorney states that the property owner is responsible to repair and maintain the HC lateral from the property line to the connection to the mainline sewer. HC laterals obstructed by tree roots, whether on private property or within the public right-of-way are the responsibility of the property owner.
A Sewer Connection Permit (S-Permit) is required if an applicant is:
- Constructing a new sewer house connection (HC)
- Connecting to an existing HC lateral at the property line
- Repairing a damaged HC lateral
If the applicant wishes to perform any work in the public right of way, a Bonded Sewer Contractor (BSC) is required to obtain the permit and carry the appropriate license(s), insurance, and bonds (LAMC 64.15(e)).
BCA is also required to inspect and approve all construction within the public right-of-way, per LAMC 64.15. The fees for inspection are collected under the S-Permit and may include Special Inspection fees when necessary.
Per LAMC 64.12, S Permits allow property owners to make, construct, alter, or repair any house connection sewer, bonded house connection sewer, special house connection sewer, industrial waste sewer connection, industrial waste storm drain connection, storm drain connection, or special drainage connection, or any portion of any such sewer or storm drain connections, including sampling manholes, or connect any house sewer, soil pipe, or plumbing to any such sewer or storm drain connections or to a sewer or storm drain under the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles.
Additional information about the types of permits an Applicant should apply for based on the scope of work, can be found under "Other BOE Permits/Processes, Technical Procedures, Permit Classification Matrix".
A sewage system in the City of Los Angeles usually starts with the sewage from a building and is carried through the building’s sewer pipe to the property line. At the property line, the building’s sewer pipe is connected to a house connection sewer (also known as a lateral connection or service connection), which carries the sewage to a local mainline sewer line in the middle of the street. Collector and interceptor sewers collect the sewage from local sewers and carry it to an outfall sewer. Outfall sewers are very large pipes, sometimes up to 10-feet in diameter and carry sewage to the treatment plant. At the treatment plant, solids are separated from the water. After treating the water, it is discharged into the ocean, used for irrigation, or pumped back into the ground.
Bonded Sewer Contractor
A list of pre-approved contractors that are pre-approved by the City of Los Angeles to perform sewer construction in the public right-of-way. Per LAMC 64.15.1(b), only approved Bonded Sewer Contractors can obtain sewer permits for construction in the public right-of-way. Bonded Sewer Contractor approvals are valid for one year only. The listing of approved bonded sewer contractors can be found at the S Permit website (access is through BOE's Customer Service Portal). Procedures for how to become a bonded sewer contractor can be found in the Bonded Sewer Contractor Information Package and Procedures. City staff shall verify current bond deposit limits per LAMC 64.15.1(b) - Liability and Insurance Deposit Requirements, Deposits.
A Bonded Sewer means any public sewer within the City of Los Angeles that currently exists for which the cost of construction thereof was not directly assessed against the property in accordance with benefits or paid for by the present or prior owners of the connecting property (LAMC 64.00.A.10)
Per LAMC 64.11.3, the SFC is a fee for access to the City’s sewage system based upon a share of the equity of the system. The system equity shall include:
- Reproduction cost less depreciation value of the existing facilities; plus
- Applicable portion of sewage system reserve funds; less
- Outstanding debt of the sewage system
The share of system equity included in the SFC shall be proportional to the flow, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids (SS) of the wastewater discharged into the sewage system from the premises as compared with the total flow, BOD and SS discharged by all system customers.
A dye test is conducted to confirm the sewer connection of a lot or property. The dye test consists of inserting a dye tablet into any plumbing fixture inside the property to confirm the property’s connection to the City’s sewer system.
A SCAR is an analysis of the existing sewer collection system to determine if there is adequate capacity existing in the sewer collection system to safely convey the newly generated sewage to the appropriate sewage treatment plant.
Sewer Capacity Availability Review Fee (SCARF)
A SCARF recovers the cost incurred by the City when performing the review for any SCAR request that is expected to generate 10,000 gallons per day (gpd) of sewage. SCARF is based on the effort required to perform data collection and engineering analysis in completing a SCAR. A brief summary of that effort includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Research and trace sewer flow levels upstream and downstream of the point of connection
- Conduct field surveys to observe and record flow levels. Coordinate with maintenance staff to inspect sewer maintenance holes and conduct smoke and dye testing if necessary.
- Review recent gauging data and in some cases closed circuit TV inspection (CCTV) videos
- Perform gauging and CCTV inspection if recent data is not available
- Research the project location area for other recently approved SCARs to evaluate the cumulated impact of all known SCARs on the sewer system.
- Calculate the impact of the proposed additional sewage discharge on the existing sewer system as it will be impacted from the approved SCARs. This includes tracing the cumulative impacts of all known SCARs, along with the subject SCAR, downstream to insure sufficient capacity exists throughout the system
- Correspond with the applicant for additional information and project and clarification as necessary.
- Work with the applicant to find alternative sewer connection points and solutions if sufficient capacity does not exist at the desired point of connection.
Property Line Connection (Existing Lateral)
A property line service connection is a sewer connection made at the property line when a lateral from the mainline is available. The City’s sewer maps show the availability of this service connection. A plumber or contractor may obtain this “property line connection” S-Permit (do NOT have to be on the Bonded Sewer Contractor List).
Pipe bursting is the method of inserting a new pipe of equal or larger diameter into an existing pipeline by fragmenting the existing pipe and forcing the material into the surrounding soil. The enlarged hole is then available for inserting the new pipe. Additional information can be found in the City’s Sewer Design Manual.
New Lateral House Connection
If an existing lateral from the main line to the property line is not available, a new lateral must be constructed from the main line to the property line. Only a Bonded Sewer Contractor can apply for this permit and perform the work (LAMC 64.20(b)4).
House Connection Sewer
House Connection Sewer shall mean any sewer pipe line, or portion thereof, constructed in a street, alley, walk or other public place or in a sewer easement granted to the City and connecting, or proposed to connect, any lot or part of a lot with any public sewer.
Sewers – Undedicated Streets
Per LAMC 64.11, no person shall connect any sewer which has been or may hereafter be constructed in any street, prior to the dedication and acceptance of such street by the City Council, with any public sewer unless such sewer has been laid under the supervision and to the satisfaction of the Board and in accordance with the specifications for public sewers adopted by the City Council and on file in the office of the City Clerk, and in accordance with plans and profiles approved by the City Engineer.
Shared House Connection
Any sewer pipe line, or portion thereof, constructed in a street, alley, walk or other public place or in a sewer easement granted to the City connecting, or proposed to connect, multiple structures to any public sewer. See LAMC 64.11 Exceptions 1 and 2 for limitations.
Per LAMC 64.70.01, discharge means any release, spill, leak, pump, flow, escape, dumping, or disposal of any liquid, semi-solid or solid substance.
LAMC 64.70.02 and LAMC 64.70.03 discuss discharge prohibitions and exemptions. A BOE SD-Permit is required if you are physically connecting into the City's system through a storm drain , catch basin, or similar structure. In addition, Applicants would be required to show proof the discharge is listed in LAMC 64.70.03 A 1 or 2 and how BMPs would be managed.
Liquid and water-carried waste other than domestic sewage. Wastewater generated from household type operations, including, but not limited to, dishwashing, laundry and car washing, performed at commercial establishments for or to support commercial purposes is considered industrial wastewater.
Industrial Wastewater Sewer Connection
Any house connection sewer, or portion thereof, used in the disposal of any and all liquid or waterborne waste from industrial or commercial processes except domestic sewage.
BOE staff would ONLY issue a Sewer Connection Permit if there is a NEW connection being made. This would have to be done in conjunction with a BOS Industrial Wastewater Permit.
If there is already a connection in place, the Department of Building & Safety would require an Applicant to get Clearances from the Department of Public works. In this case, BOS for the issuance of an Industrial Waste Permit and BOE to provide a Clearance for the change in use of the building. If the discharge changes from the original permitted usage the following BOE fees could be imposed for the following:
Industrial Wastewater Permit (not a construction permit)
A permit issued by the Board per LAMC 64.30 provides for the regulation of dischargers to the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) through the issuance of Industrial Wastewater Permits containing specific discharge requirements and through enforcement of general discharge prohibitions; authorizes monitoring and enforcement activities; imposes reporting requirements on specific permittees; and sets fees for the recovery of program costs. This permit shall apply to all dischargers within the City of LA and to all dischargers outside the City of LA who discharge to the City’s POTW except as otherwise provided herein, the Director of the Bureau of Sanitation under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Works shall administer, implement and enforce the provisions of this section.
As a part of the permit and inspection program provided, the Board and the Director shall have the power, jurisdiction, and supervision over places of discharge of wastewater into the POTW, necessary to adequately enforce and administer all laws and lawful standards and orders, or special orders, to assure the implementation of the following objectives:
- Prevent any discharge into the POTW which may interfere with the operations thereof;
- Prevent any discharge into the POTW which will pass through the POTW, inadequately treated, into receiving waters, land or the atmosphere or otherwise be incompatible with the POTW;
- Protect the POTW, from damage by any pollutants;
- Provide the opportunity to recycle and reclaim sludges and wastewater from the POTW;
- Provide for recovery of costs, including administration, implementation and enforcement of the program established herein, associated with the discharge of wastewater to the POTW;
- Protect the life, health, and safety of operating and maintenance personnel;
- Preserve hydraulic capacity in the POTW;
- Insure the health, safety and welfare of the public.
LAWS, CODES, AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE ISSUING OF SEWER CONNECTION PERMITS
The following Municipal Codes apply to S-Permits
- LAMC Section 64.11 – Sewers - Undedicated Streets
- LAMC Section 64.11.1 – House Connection Sewer
- LAMC 64.11.3 – Basis for Sewerage Facilities Charge
- LAMC 64.11.4. Disposition of Sewerage Facilities Charge
- LAMC Section 64.12- House Sewer Connection - Permit
- LAMC Section 64.13 - Permit Exemptions
- LAMC Section 64.14 - Duration and Revocation of Permits
- LAMC Section 64.15 – Permit and Inspection Fees
- LAMC Section 64.15.1 – Liability Insurance and Deposit Requirements
- LAMC 64.16 – Exemptions from Liability Insurance and Deposit
- LAMC 64.16.1 – Sewerage Facilities Charge for Sewer Connection
- LAMC 64.16.2 - Transfer of Industrial Flow Sewerage Facilities Charge Credits Within or Between Revitalization, Enterprise or Empowerment Zones
- LAMC 64.17 – Sewer Connection Regulations
- LAMC 64.18 – Bonded Sewers – Fees
- LAMC 64.19 – Refund of Sewer Fees
- LAMC 64.20 – Tapping Sewers, Storm Drains, and Catch Basins
- LAMC 64.21 – Emergency Work
- LAMC 64.22.1 – Permit Fee Exemptions
- LAMC 64.23 – Drains, Sewers, Etc. – Notice of Abandonment
- LAMC 64.25 – Investigation on Private Property
- LAMC 64.26 - Mandatory Abandonment of Private Sewage Disposal Systems
- LAMC 64.30 -Industrial Wastewater Disposal
- City of Los Angeles Brownbook
- Special Order 09-0493 - Implementation Of Ordinance No. 168,578 - Two Year Sewer Connection Permit
- Special Order 17-0893 - Extension(s) of Class A Permit for Resurfacing in Conjunction with a Two-Year Sewer Connection Permit
- Special Order 19-0993 - Implementation Of Ordinance No. 169042 Amending L.A.M.C. Section 64.16.1 Waiving Sewerage Facilities (SFC) For Alcohol Retail Businesses Damaged Or Destroyed In The 1992 Civil Disturbance That Are Converted To Another Use
- Special Order 05-0495 - Procedure For Evaluating Sewer Rehabilitation Products
- Special Order 02-0498 - Revising The "Ready To Advertise" Checklist And Procedures For Submitting Plans And Specification To Construction Division For Bid And Award - System Optimization Improvements
- Special Order 01-0511 - Cancellation Of Special Order For Procedures For Emergency Sewer Repair Work
- Special Order 02-0418 - Procedures For Peak Hour Exemption Requests In Accordance With LAMC 62.61 (Supersedes Special Order No. 001-0406, Dated April 14, 2006)
- White Paper - Street Damage Restoration Fee Ordinance (December 6, 2018)