Environment & Science

California Assembly bill could make sewage fixes via lien happen for more homeowners

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Sacramento lawmakers are moving forward with a law that would help homeowners improve their connections to city sewer systems.

The idea behind the bill sponsored by Marin County Assemblyman Jared Huffman is to cut down on sewage spills. If passed, it would add a provision to existing law to let local wastewater agencies essentially loan money to private property owners.

County and local agencies could upgrade homes from septic systems to sewage ones, and pay for fixes to sewer laterals – the pipes that go from a private house out to the sewer pipe in the street. The repair would become a lien on the property.

Broken pipes and septic systems can leak sewage into groundwater. This kind of financing is only available now to properties that have already been declared a public health hazard or nuisance – in other words, after the damage is done.

The bill has passed out of the Assembly. Now state senators will consider it.