Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

Leaky Sewers - Likely Responsible for Large Amounts of Medications in Streams

Many of the Monterey Bay cities have started addressing groundwater contamination. As a Monterey Real Estate broker, we have to get these inspections done as part of a sale in most cases. These inspections and repairs are often required as a condition of sale for single family homes and sometimes townhomes. Condominiums are often exempt for individual owners. If there's a leak or break in the pipes, those will need to be repaired, typically by the seller. The main sewer lines in question are between the home and the sewer main in the street. Oftentimes the yard has to be dug up, or if the connection at the main is faulty, the street. This can be expensive due to traffic mitigation and the depths sometimes of these connections. 

These leaking sewer pipe issues can be from the old clay or transite pipes that were used and having joint separations, to plastic lines that tree roots have invaded the couplings. Some plumbing companies pull in completely new single piece polyethylene that is then put in the line of the old faulty line. This "trenchless" style is the least disruptive of landscaping and walkways. A single line with no joints to separate or for trees to get their roots in is probably the best long term solution in my estimation. 

Typically these inspections are up to $350 to do with the camera, though some are free. That video file is sent to the appropriate jurisdiction and the public works personnel then directs what they think needs to be done to bring the pipe into compliance. It had been my belief the offending issues were more fecal matter contamination, but as you can see, quite a few drugs are causing potentially a much greater and more disruptive issue in the ecosystem. Fecal matter has always been a part of nature but these drugs have not.

The 2021 infrastructure bill may...

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