City of Valley Park
Residential Sanitary Sewer Lateral Repair Program
Policy & Procedures
Section I – General
- The owner of a 6 family home, duplex, condominium building, or multi-family building containing not more than six (6) dwelling units is entitled to have their defective sewer lateral line repaired by the City of Valley Park’s Public Works Department in compliance with the City of Valley Park’s Residential Sanitary Sewer Lateral Repair Policy and Procedures governing this program. The policy and procedures stated in this document must be followed in order to benefit from this program.
- Commercial and industrial properties cannot participate in the program. Multifamily and condominium developments that contain more than six (6) dwelling units per building are not eligible for this program.
- Each Owner of a single-family home, duplex, condominium building or multi-family building containing not more than six (6) dwelling units shall be assessed $30 per year on their annual tax bill. Owners who are delinquent in paying the tax bill will not be allowed to participate in program.
- A lateral sewer service line, which is eligible for the program, is a sewer line, which extends from three (3) feet outside of the building foundation wall or exterior wall to the sewer main in the street or sewer easement. It does not include a sewer line located under any part of any building or structure. A lateral sewer line may be located in a front, side or rear yard.
- Lateral sewer service lines that extend from three (3) feet outside of the building foundation wall or exterior wall to septic tanks are eligible; however repairs to all mechanical, electrical and tank components and the drain field for the septic system, are ineligible.
- A defective lateral sewer service line is defined as a line that is not functioning properly do to one or more of the following reasons;
- Collapsed or broken to the extent that adequate flow is not permitted.
- Service offset of a joint that does not permit adequate flow.
- Service back fall or belly that does not permit adequate flow.
- Service blockage that cannot be physically cleaned out.
- Tree roots growing through the bells and joints of the pipe are not considered to cause the line to be defective. Removal of the roots, which is a routine maintenance issue with older lateral sewer service lines, will allow the line to function.
Section II – Investigation
- If an Owner is expecting a problem with their sewer service, the Owner must first contact Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).
- If MSD determines that the problem is being experienced by the Owner is not caused by the sewer main, the Owner must contact a licensed plumbing company or a licensed drain layer to have the lateral sewer service line cabled, (Sometimes the problem is not with the line itself, but may have come clogged by materials in the line). As a common home maintenance expense, the cost of this cabling is not reimbursable by the Program.
- If the problem is not resolved by cabling of the line, the Owner should contact the City of Valley Park Public Works Department to perform a video investigation of the lateral sewer service line and mark the location of all line failures on the ground surface of the property.
Section III – Application by Property Owner
- The owner must submit an application for participating in the program. The application package can be found on the City of Valley Park website valleyparkmo.org or can be obtained at the City of Valley Park Municipal Building located at 320 Benton Street, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- A completed application form is to be submitted to the Department of Public Works by the property owner with;
- Written documentation from a licensed plumbing company or license to drain layer that the line could not be opened.
- $250.00 deposit for video investigation to be performed by the City of Valley Park Public Works Department to determine failure within the lateral sewer service line and photographs of the ground markings, both which serve to locate the line failures.
- Paid real estate tax receipt.
All information which must be submitted to the Department of Public Works, shall be generated and dated no more than 30 days prior to the date, which the application is submitted. Applications may be submitted after January 1, 2007.
Section IV – City Review
- The Department of Public Works reviews plumbing company or drain layer report stating that the line could not be opened, videotaped and photographs performed by the City of Valley Park, deposit, payed real estate receipt will determine eligibility to participate in the City program.
Section V Repair or Reimbursement Procedure
- If it is determined from the application that the lateral sewer service line is defective; the owner will be contacted by the Public Works Department to schedule repairs. In the event that the Public Works Department is unable to make repairs, due to scheduling conflicts or other circumstances the following procedures must be followed.
- The owner shall solicit bids for the necessary repair work from at least three contractors, who shall be master drain layers license by St. Louis County. From the bids receive, the Owner may hire the contractor, which they determined to be the best contractor to perform the work. However the Program will only pay up to the $3,500.00 limit. The selected Contractor shall obtain the necessary permits from the City of Valley Park and St. Louis County and shall preform the work in accordance with all applicable City and County codes.
- If the Owner request a change in the scope of the bid or change in the bid amount, such changes will only be paid for by the Program if approved by the Public Works Department.
- The contractors selected by the Owner shall be responsible for locating all underground utilities prior to commencing work.
- The corrective work, which is subject to repair or reimbursement under the Program, is limited to the excavation and repair of the damage portion of the lateral sewer service line and backfilling in a workmanlike manner. Additional work, such as that which is excluded by Section VF & VG, not covered by the program and shall be done at the Owner’s expense.
- The costs associated with repairing sidewalks, driveways, street payment, and lawn and landscaped areas located within public or private right-of- away or private properties shall not be covered by the program. The costs associated with the relocation and repair of utilities services shall not be covered by the program.
- In the event that primary structures or accessory structures such as sheds, garages, porches, decks, swimming pools, etc, or fences, patios, landscaping and retaining walls, are in the path of the lateral sewer service line and lie over the damage portion of the line, the Owner will be responsible for moving, and/or relocating any of these items, and will also be responsible for any and all costs associated with moving, and/or relocation of these items. If the Public Works Department determines that the items may not be moved, a new lateral sewer service line segment shall be installed in an alternate location, which is subject to the Department of Public Works review and approval. The Owner shall be solely responsible for all costs associated with the installation in an alternate location.
- Within 60 days of the completion of the corrective work, the Owner shall notify the Department of Public Works that the work is completed and shall file the following with the Department;
- Copy of all three bids received.
- The itemized bill from the Contractor and accompanying letter from the contractor stating that the bill has been paid in full for all work performed on the property, including those portions of work which are not included in the program.
- Final lien waivers from the Contractor.
- A written statement from the Owner that the work has been completed to the Owners satisfaction.
- Repairs or payments will be made, as adequate funds are available as determined by the Department of Public Works. Repairs or payments will be issued by the City in order that it receives information submitted in accordance with Paragraph H of this Section. The City will make a payment to the Owner up to $3,500.00 of the corrective work as stipulated in Section V.
- When the Department of Public Works determines that an emergency or special circumstance exist, such as the Owner being incapable of soliciting bids, the building requirements may be waived by the Department of Public Works. In these special situations, the Department of Public Works shall obtain a bid from a Contractor, and if the bid is in order, shall have the Contractor perform the work on behalf of the Owner.
- When the Department of Public Works determines that an alternative method of repair (e.g. trench less) would be best suited to fix the identified problem, then Department of Public Works will require the Owner to solicit bids from contractors who performed this specialized type of work. The Department of Public Works will supply the owner with a special set of bid specifications for the other alternative method of repair.
Section VI – Eligible Reimbursement Cost
The following cost are authorized for reimbursement under the Program, subject to the provisions of Section V.
- The cost of video investigation of the sanitary lateral sewer service line to determine the location and cause a blockage or leak. This cost component is not to exceed $250.00 and is to be included in the program payment limitations described in Section I, V and VIII.
- The cost of excavation, backfill and repair or replacement of the defective portion of the lateral sewer service line. This program does not cover excavation and repair of defective lateral sewer service line, which is located under a building or structure.
- Site restoration is limited to re-establishment of a reasonable grade using material on site.
- Administrative costs incurred by the City including but not limited to bidding and contract management cost performed by the City under this policy. Such cost shall include recovery of proportional amount of salary and benefits cost incurred in administration of this program. Such cost shall be reimbursed to the General Fund of the City is miscellaneous income.
Section VII – Non – Eligible Cost
The following cost are not authorized for reimbursement under the program:
- The cost of interior clean-up or other damages to the interior of the home or personal property caused by sanitary sewer backups resulting from failure or malfunction of the sanitary sewer lateral.
- The cost of lost wages or income to the home occupant due to absence from work necessary to work with the City or contractors to complete the repairs necessary under the program.
- The initial cost of cabling the sanitary sewer lateral or other similar methods to attempt to clear blockage prior to repair.
- The cost of repair, replacement, relocation or damage to mailboxes, underground sprinkler systems, underground dog fences, utility services, trees, shrubs, landscaping, retaining walls, fences, patio, porches, decks, accessory structures or any damage caused by the performance of the contractor.
- All cost, if it is determined that the need for such repair or replacement of the sanitary sewer lateral is determined to be the result of a natural disaster, negligence or damaged during the course of other excavation or construction on the site.
Section VIII – Program’s Fund
- No individual repair shall be charged against the Fund in an amount in excess of $3,500.00. Any costs in excess of this amount shall be responsibility of the Owner.
- This City shall invest the money collected for this Fund until needed. Any interest earned shall be added to the Fund. The money in this Fund is dedicated to and shall be used only for sewer lateral repairs, including all administrative costs incurred by the City.
- The Mayor and Board of Alderman may periodically amend these guidelines in the best interest of the City and its homeowners, except as state law may restrict them.
Download the Residential Sanitary Sewer Lateral Repair Program Application here.