Sewer Line Capping at Houses that were a Total Loss due to the Thomas Fire
Sewer lines had to be capped to prevent fire and hazardous debris from entering the sewer system and either clogging or making its way to the wastewater plant. The issue with the plant is that we did not want the hazardous material to cause damage to the biology in the plant. It was estimated that every home had 7-10 pipes that burned to the slabs and into the ground that essentially produced open drains to the sewer system.
Directly after the Thomas Fire, the City hired a contractor to start capping the sewer laterals behind the curb on each property. This was intentionally completed for the following reasons:
- The home owner would not have to hire an “A” Licensed contractor to dig the street up and tie into the sewer system when they rebuild.
- The home owner would not have to apply for and pay for a permit from Public Works to tie into the sewer on the street. Since the sewer connection is located behind the curb, the “B” licensed contractor that builds the house can tie into it at any time.
- The fire was during our wet season and we did not want to have holes and areas where water would erode the roadways.
Most of the sewer laterals are not in the driveway for the house and therefore not an issue. However, many have been located under existing driveways and therefore a hole or the removal of pavers had to take place to dig down and cap the sewer lines.
With the construction of a new house, the sewer line will have to be replaced with new. To assist the resident, the City will have the location of the sewer line, depth of the line, the pipe material, and the size of the sewer lateral available to them at our public counter in Room 117.