Sanitary Sewer Overflows

If you observe a sanitary sewer overflow in Rancho Palos Verdes, please call (310) 521-3523 to report it.

Recommend Best Practices for Maintaining Sewer Laterals

Residents are reminded that it is a property owner's responsibility to inspect, repair and maintain his or her own private sewer lateral. It is recommended that private sewer laterals be inspected and repaired upon any of the following occurring:

  • Transfer of ownership of the property if no inspection/replacement of the sewer lateral occurred within 10 years prior to the transfer:
  • The occurrence of 2 or more Sanitary Sewer Overflows caused by the private sewer lateral within 2 years;
  • A change of the use of the structure served (a) from residential to non-residential use, (b) to a non-residential use that will result in a higher flow than the current non-residential use, or (c) to non-residential uses where the structure served has been vacant or unoccupied for more than 3 years;
  • Upon replacement of repair of any part of the sewer lateral;
  • Upon issuance of a building permit with a valuation of $50,000 or more.

Recommend Best Practices for Property Owners Who Use Chemical Root Control

Private property owners responsible for the maintenance and repair of their own laterals, who choose to use chemical root control, are reminded of these recommended best practices:

Follow any applicable California or Federal Law, Sanitation District Ordinance, Cal-OSHA rule, Los Angeles County Ordinance, product manufacturer instruction or best practice. In addition, the following precautions can lessen the chance of escape of chemical agents:

  • Blocking the line upstream and down-stream of the area of application;
  • Flushing out the line after application and removing the residue before reopening the line;
  • Random sampling of the line after flushing to insure the protocols eliminate greater than 90% of root control agents; and/or using root control agents that have a half-life of 15 days or less and where the breakdown products are non-toxic to aquatic plants or animals;
  • Not applying any root control agent to any sewer line that has a known Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) rating of 4 or 5 unless the property owner applying chemical root control can ensure that none of the root control agent will escape the sewer line through any line defect; and
  • Not knowingly applying any root control agent in any location where groundwater can be contaminated via infiltration or exfiltration.

It is also recommended that property owners maintain records that include identifying the PACP rating of the pipe section being treated; a map identifying locations where treatment occurs; the chemical(s) used including the Material Safety Data Sheets; and the amounts applied.


Jurisdictions report sewer overflows through the California Integrated Water Quality System Project (CIWQS). Additional information can be found on their website at CIWQS.

Consolidated Sewer Annual Report 2018 (PDF)