The last thing on Scarsdale residents’ minds is sewage disposal. But they should start paying attention. Starting October 1, homeowners must obtain a discharge certificate for their septic system to sell a home or start a major renovation project in Scarsdale. The new requirements are aimed at keeping waterways cleaner, protecting the local sewage system from excessive inflow during heavy rain and curbing flooding problems in the village.
In February, the village’s board of trustees passed a law requiring homeowners to obtain a “certificate of sewer lateral compliance” when selling, transferring or transferring property within the village. A certificate of compliance is also required for homeowners applying for a building permit for work that costs more than $100,000, such as a kitchen renovation.
To obtain a certificate, it is necessary to check how any sump pumps on the property drain and ensure that the line to the sewer is clear. Having a plumber inspect the system and correct any deficiencies may require changes that can cost the homeowner anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars.
“The purpose of this program is to reduce the infiltration and inflow of clean water into the public sewage system and to reduce the leakage of sewage into the natural waterways of the village while ensuring that the proper integrity of sanitation facilities is maintained,” it says it said in a news release from the village Aug. 23, ahead of the law’s effective date on Oct. 1.
Residents of the City of Mamaroneck face similar requirements, such as lawn sprinklers having a backflow device and no sump pumps that drain into sewer lines. But in Scarsdale, lines from homes to the street need to be tested.
Common sewage system deficiencies and illegal connections found on private properties must be addressed as follows:
- Sump pumps connected to pipes that drain into the sewer system must be disconnected and rerouted, ideally into your own property or a dry well, but not into the village’s right-of-way.
- Driveway or yard drains that flow into the sewer system must be cut off and redirected. This is possible by installing a new sump pump that drains into a dry well or onto the homeowner’s property.
- Gutter downpipes that flow into the sewer pipes must be cut off and relocated to a dry shaft or your own property.
- Broken or missing sewer line caps must be replaced.
- Tree roots that have invaded sewer lines on private property must be cut off and removed from the sewer pipe. The pipe needs to be repaired and checked regularly to avoid inflow problems.
- Broken, sagging or cracked joints and pipes should be lined with pipe lining materials or sealed with grout. If there is significant damage where lining is not possible, sections of pipe may need to be excavated and replaced with new pipe.
The village has posted information about the certificate program requirements as well as other information about sewer defects and how to fix them. To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/45pMmvM.
Residents with questions or concerns should contact David J. Turiano, PE, who works for the village’s consultant, LaBella Associates, at 914-305-3761 or [email protected].