Nonconforming Sewer Services 101

Nonconforming sewer lines are a big problem in Portland real estate right now. Homeowners looking to sell their homes or buyers hoping to land a great piece of property are faced with home inspection issues like nonconforming sewer lines.

If you are unfamiliar with nonconforming sewer lines, you are not alone. A lot of individuals are unaware of how these systems work and function, especially if they have never looked into buying a home or property before.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What a noncomforming sewer line is and how to identify if your property has one.
  • The three main types of nonconforming sewer lines
  • How to work with our experts to address nonconforming sewer line challenges.
  • Why it is so important to work with a professional team for nonconforming sewer line issues.

Prospective home buyers in Hillsboro being shown a home

What is a Nonconforming Sewer Line?

According to the City of Portland, a nonconforming sewer connection is defined as “two or more private sewer laterals joining in a single pipe before connecting to the public sewer in the public right-of-way.”

Portland city code requires that properties with nonconforming sewers have an independent connection and legal route access route to the public sewer system. Additionally, if you happen to own or purchase a property with a nonconforming sewer, the system must be abandoned and redirected within 180 of notice of a proper sewer connection to the property.

Because nonconforming sewer connections can have such a huge effect on your property’s value, it’s a good idea to define what a nonconforming sewer line is in more detail. There are three types of nonconforming sewer connections you need to be aware of. Keep reading to learn more!

Blue house in Oregon with nonconforming sewer problems

Types of Noncomforming Sewer Connections

Below you will find descriptions of nonconforming sewer types. If you have questions or concerns related to your property and nonconforming sewers, Clog Busters can assist with all of your inquiries.

Party Sewer

Probably the last thing you think about when it comes to sewers and waste disposal, in general, is a party. And in this case, a party sewer is no celebration. Instead, it’s similar to the old party lines we used to have in telephone connections. That is, two or more private sewers use the same line to access the existing public sewer.

In a party sewer, one home is the “host,” meaning all sewer lines connect to that home – and that home’s sewer takes all of the waste to the public sewer. When everything is working fine with the host sewer, the party line should function correctly. However, if you are the “guest” sewer and your neighbor is the host – and that sewer backs up – both your waste and his waste is involved in the backup. In the case of nonconforming sewer lines, the “guest” sewer is the one that is not in compliance.

An Oregon Live article discusses the problems that having a party line sewer can present to a home sale. In the article, the seller is the “host” sewer and her neighbors the “guest.” For the sale to go through, her neighbors had to detach from her sewer line and funnel their waste directly to the public sewer. This means that, not only are there buyers, sellers, agents, lenders, and title companies involved in the sale – now the neighbors had to get involved as well.

Here at Clog Busters, we can help you discern and fix a party line sewer connection.

Cross Property Line Connection

This type of nonconforming sewer connection can get complicated. While every home should make a direct link to a public sewer, crossing private property lines to do so can be a complicated process. To attach your sewer line properly to a public sewer – while still running through your neighbor’s house – requires that you file an easement with your city.

An easement provides you with the right to cross or use another person’s land for a very particular purpose. Different cities have different requirements for filing such a document, and there are often fees associated with the filing. If you are concerned about a potential cross-property line sewer connection, let us know. We can map the connection and consult with you on the best way to sort out your sewer lines.

Private Sewer Line in the Public Right-of-way

So, what if your sewer line does not cross private land but instead connects to the public sewer by going through the public land? This can cause complications as well. If the city decides to do a construction project or road improvement project on land your sewer line runs through, they may accidentally hit the line or discovery of the line can cause construction delays. All of this can make you liable.

One of the quickest ways to work through this issue is to call us and ask us to scope your private sewer. This will let you know exactly where your sewer line runs. Once you have this information, we can provide an assessment on how to solve your problem.

Do you suspect that you have a nonconforming sewer line? Contact us today and let us help you find the right solution for your needs.

Clog busters nonconforming sewer services logo

Noncomforming Sewer Services | Hillsboro, OR

Need professional, nonconforming sewer services? Clog Busters is here to help! We offer nonconforming sewer services in Hillsboro, Portland, and elsewhere in the metro area. No matter how frustrating or stressful your situation may be, we are committed to exceeding client expectations and ensuring your nonconforming sewer is up to code and properly redirected.

In addition to nonconforming sewer services in Hillsboro, we also offer sewer line repair, clog removal, and drain cleaning services. As your local drain and pipe expert, you can count on us to take care of your sewer line and pipe problems with care, precision, and skill. We deliver exactly what you need, when you need it most!

With nearly a decade of experience with nonconforming sewers in Hillsboro and across the Portland metro area, we know firsthand the unique challenges that homeowners and property managers experience when dealing with underground pipes and sewer lines. We consistently receive exceptional feedback from our clients. Check out what one of our latest customers had to say about their experience with our team:

“Clog Busters is the absolute BEST!!! We are a Real Estate firm and Clog Busters is at the top of our list for anything sewer related! They have actually saved us a couple times now where other companies have failed us miserably! Tom and his crew are solid and are absolutely trustworthy! ”
-Kassie A’s 5 Star Google Review

For more resources from Clog Busters, or to get in touch with us to schedule nonconforming sewer services in Hillsboro, Portland, or elsewhere in the area, follow the links below:

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Schedule nonconforming sewer services in Hillsboro now: (503) 680-8947

*This post was originally published on 11/14/16 and updated on 2/15/21.