Have you heard about the new time of sale requirements for testing property sewer lines? In Norcal many municipalities are requiring that sewer lines pass a water test at the time of sale. The concern is infiltration and exfiltration. For infriltration, this occurs during heavy rains. For example, root intrusion into sewer lines results in sewer pipe pentetration, or holes in the line. When it rains, water enters the city sewer system via the holes left by root intrustion. This causes undue over capacity at municiple treatment plants. Simply, the plant is unneccesarily treating rainwater. For exfiltration, this occurs when a property sewer line allows wastewater to vacate the line into the soil through the same holes left by root intrustion. Exfiltration and infiltration can occur anytime there is disruption in the line. This can be from roots, separation or age. The basic test requires that the sewer line be able to hold water for approximately 30 minutes, then measured for verification. For this test the house line to the street will need to be isolated via 2 cleanouts. That is, a cleanout at the house, and one at the sidewalk or street using sewer test baloons. Then, the isolated portion will be filled with water at the house cleanout until in reaches the top of the same cleanout. Wait 30 minutes, then measure and verify. If the test fails, then there is infiltration, and a repair will likely be required. Stay tuned. We'll post a video of the process in the near future. See the March 2015 plumbing tip blog for information on how to locate your property's cleanout.