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.What is a Nonconforming Sewer Line?

Because this can have such a huge effect on your property’s value, it’s a good idea to define what a nonconforming sewer line is. There are three types of nonconforming sewer connections. These are:

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.

A recent 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 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 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 accidently 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.

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