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City explains lateral sewer inspection process

By: Cheri March
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Colfax City Council members approved a set of guidelines for lateral sewer line inspections on Wednesday evening. In January, an ordinance went into effect requiring property owners to have private laterals inspected with closed circuit cameras before selling a home, performing certain remodels or, for commercial and multi-use residential properties, within a year. Inadequate laterals must be repaired or replaced as a result of the city’s settlement agreement with the Edwards family, which aims to reduce infiltration and inflow to the sewer system. If determined to be defective, a lateral must be fixed or replaced within 180 days or, in the case of a property sale, before the close of escrow. Once a lateral has passed an inspection performed by a licensed closed circuit inspector, the property owner can apply to the city for a certification of compliance, according to the approved resolution. Certification lasts for 10 years. The guidelines recommend the city implement a fee to cover the city engineer’s review of repaired or replaced laterals, estimated at approximately $400. Council members also authorized the city to enter into a $40,415 contract with low-bidder Nor-Cal Pipeline Services for closed circuit inspection of the city’s sewer mains. In yet another sewer-related issue, City Manager Bruce Kranz cautioned the public against dumping pesticides down household drains. An increase in the chemicals recently showed up at the wastewater treatment plant, affecting the city’s compliance with the Edwards settlement. “What you send down drain affects what happens down at the plant,” Kranz said. “Pesticides showed up in testing, but (as to) what kind of pesticide, or where they are coming from, we don’t have a clue. We don’t even know they’re there until we get the test results from the lab.” In other news, council members updated city code to ban public urination and defecation, a recommendation by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office directed at an increase in transient activity in the city. To combat the problem, Colfax has already banned sleeping in vehicles – with the exception of travelers resting in their cars – and public camping, said Mayor Josh Alpine. A ban on loitering was also up for discussion, but the council decided to postpone the issue until May 12. Council members will also make a decision on whether to begin renovation work at the city pool at that meeting.