(310) 388-7332 jamesc2@gmail.com

Septic or city sewer?

Hillside homes in Los Angeles sometimes are on Septic Tank systems and not city sewer.

Bureau of Engineering Public Counter, located at 1828 Sawtelle Blvd, on the 3rd Floor

The Bureau of Engineering is in charge of the LA sewer system. Their website Navigate LA is a great resource.

There is no documentation that I have found anywhere that explains how to use the Navigate LA website. The best way to learn how to use it is to speak to a city engineer because they use it every day. Navigate LA will show you whether a property is Septic or city sewer.

Accept the disclaimer and type in the property address you want to find out about. A Plat Map with the parcel will load. To find out information about the sewer, you will need to switch from the default layers to “Infrastructure – Sewer Information”

When the Sewer Information is selected. The map will reload.

Ridpath has city sewer, Walnut & Brier Dr do not- they have septic

Main Sewer Pipe color lines will appear on the map when you view Sewer Informaiton. If the property has city sewer, it will have a SOLID GREEN LINE on the street in front of it. No SOLID GREEN LINE- no city sewer, that means it must be septic.

Sewer Pipes Legend

The grey line in the middle of streets threw me off because the light grey solid line doesn’t have a sewer pipes color code. This light grey line indicates the center line of the street and has no relation to sewerpipes. Seeing that line instead of a colored line means that there are NO CITY SEWER PIPES on that street which will tell you immediately the property must be on septic.

* (When The “Infrastructure – Sewer Information Layer is turned on)

Just because there is a SOLID GREEN LINE, doesn’t necessarily mean the property is hooked up to city sewer. It just means that it can be. The Sewer Main line has “WYES” that branch off it that lead to private residences.

These sewerline pipe fittings are called WYES because they look like the letter “Y”

You need to confirm that the property has a WYE Hooked up in order to be sure it is connected to the city sewer.

Double click on the blue paper icon next to the property address to pull up the “available parcel Reports” window.

Click on Parcel Sewer Wye Report

There will be two types of Wye Reports.

If the Wye report looks like this, this is all you need to see. This property is hooked up to the city sewer. The Sewer Permit number on the bottom of the report confirms that.

If the WYE Report looks like this, then it is not hooked up to the city sewer. It costs about $15,000 to connect to the city sewer, because you have to dig up the street to lay the pipe and then recover it.

If you want to stop in person, the Bureau of Engineering also keeps physical maps of all the sewerlines- this was how it use to be handled before computers. You can still use these maps to determine whether a property is septic or sewer. Public counter hours are 7:30am-4pm


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