Sanitary Sewers & Dye Tests
Sanitary Sewer Lateral Inspection Ordinance Goes Went Into Effect on Jan. 1, 2018
If you are going to sell a home in Upper St. Clair, you must first get a sanitary sewer lateral inspection and dye test. First, call the Public Works office so the employees can prepare the forms. The phone number is 412-831-9000, ext. 2710. Then, go to the Public Works office at 1751 McLaughlin Run Road to pick up forms and maps.
1. Sanitary Sewer Lateral Inspection
Sellers must hire a National Association of Sewer Service Companies-certified contractor to conduct a video inspection. Return the video and form from your contractor and a $25 check to the Township Tax Office located at 1820 McLaughlin Run Road. FORMS MUST BE TURNED IN AT LEAST 14 DAYS BEFORE CLOSING DATE. You can go to NASSCO.org for more information regarding NASSCO guidelines and/or to verify a NASSCO certified technician.
2. Dye Test
Sellers must hire a registered plumber to perform the dye test. Return the form and a $25 check to the Public Works Building located at 1751 McLaughlin Run Road. FORMS MUST BE TURNED IN AT LEAST 14 DAYS BEFORE CLOSING DATE.
Please perform these tasks early in your selling process in case you don't pass and have to make repairs. Please read the Dye Test Ordinance and Sanitary Sewer Lateral Inspection Ordinance below if you'd like to learn more about the ordinances.
The Township owns, maintains and inspects over 831,000 feet of sanitary sewer lines. These lines carry wastewater from the home to ALCOSAN for treatment. Every home has a private sewer lateral, connecting the home to the Township sewer line. Homeowners are fully responsible for the maintenance and repair of their sewer lateral.
The Township owns, maintains and inspects over 50 miles of storm sewers, over 2,000 inlets and 37 storm water retention ponds and tanks.
Points to Remember
- Sanitary sewer backups and your homeowner's coverage. Most homeowner's insurance policies do not automatically include coverage for sewer-related damage expenses. If a sewer backup should occur there is potential for significant loss. It is advisable for homeowners served by a public sewer system, particularly those with finished basements, to obtain some level of coverage.
- Storm sewer lines may not be connected to sanitary lines. In compliance with the Department of Environmental Protection requirement, the Township is responsible for the testing of illegal storm water tap-ins to sanitary sewer systems. Dye testing is also required for the sale of real estate within the Township and is the responsibility of the seller.
- Maintenance of lateral sewer lines. The lateral sewer lines from homes that are connected to Township sewer lines are the responsibility of the property owner. When a sewage backup occurs, if the problem is due to the lateral lines, the homeowner will be responsible for correcting the problem.
- Manholes are not to be covered or buried. Manholes provide access to sewers for maintenance. They must be kept uncovered so that they are quickly available in the event of a sewer emergency and to conduct tests and maintenance on the sewer system.
- Keep sewer easements open. Trees, valuable plantings, and structures other than easily moved fences should not be planted or erected in sewer easements. Easement locations can be determined from property surveys or by observing the location of manholes. The imaginary line between two manholes is generally the location of an underground sewer line. Easements are a minimum of 15 feet wide.
- Roots from trees may damage or clog sewer pipes. Trees, valuable plantings, and structures must be removed to maintain or repair sewers. The Township does not replace or pay for the replacement of these items and incurs additional costs in removing them for maintenance or repair of the lines.
- Do not grade over sewers. No cutting or filling of earth over sewers is permitted without approval of the Township Engineer. Such grading can crush and damage sewers or make them inaccessible for future maintenance and repair.
- Use common sense in disposing of waste. Do not flush diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, tampon applicators, etc. in toilets. These materials lodge in lateral lines and clog processors at pump stations causing backups in the sewage system.
- Don't pour solvents, pesticides, paint thinners, engine oil, or household cleaning products with hazardous chemicals down the drain or into storm sewers. If you need information on how to dispose of items, contact the waste management chemist in the DEP Regional Office or call the PA HHW Hotline at 1-800-346-4242.
- Use water wisely. Fix leaks and install water-saving devices and appliances. In addition to the environmental benefits you should see a reduction in water bills and sewer usage fees.
The Township entered into an Administrative Consent Order in March, 2004, with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), as mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). The Consent Order outlines minimum requirements for the assessment and future maintenance of the Township sanitary sewer system.
Dye Test Ordinance
The Township created Dye Test Ordinance 1787, adopted in December 1998, as required by the Consent Order. The Ordinance prohibits surface and ground water connections to the sanitary sewer system and requires dye testing prior to the sale or conveyance of property.
A dye test is required prior to selling a house. It must be performed by a registered plumber.
A dye test form may be ordered by calling the Public Works Department at 412.831.9000, at least 24 hours in advance. The form will be prepared along with a map, which may be picked up at the Public Works Department, 1751 McLaughlin Run Road (across from the Township's 3-Hole Golf Course) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m..
The dye test expires one (1) year from the date of performance. The completed dye test form, if acceptable, should be returned to the Township Tax Office, at least 14 days prior to closing, along with a check made payable to the Township of Upper St. Clair in the amount of $25.
An evidence of compliance letter will be prepared and released along with the lien letter and tax certification letter by the Township Tax Office.
Easements and Manholes
The Township owns, maintains and inspects over 5,000 sanitary sewer manholes. Manholes are access points for sewer line maintenance and are placed where the sewer line changes direction. Manholes should not be covered or buried. Manholes must be kept accessible, especially in the event of a sanitary sewer emergency or backup.
Sanitary sewers and manholes are located within easements. Easements allow for access to sewers for routine maintenance, repairs or during emergencies. Easements should be kept free of obstructions such as trees, plantings, storage sheds and pools. The Township does not replace or pay for the replacement of obstructions removed from easements during sanitary sewer repairs.
Operation and Maintenance Program Plan
The Township has written an Operation and Maintenance Program following the guidelines set forth in the Consent Order. ACHD reviewed and approved the plan in May 2011.
The Township of Upper St. Clair owns and maintains the Brush Run Pump Station located at 721 Circle Drive. The pump station serves a very important function. Wastewater from Deerfield Manor, Old Farm and the Chapelwood area flows through gravity sewer lines to the pump station. Once inside the station, the wastewater is then pumped through a 16", 3500-foot long force main to a manhole on Boyce Road. From Boyce Road, the wastewater again flows through a gravity sewer to Alcosan.
Sanitary Sewer Operation & Maintenance.
Sanitary Sewer Lateral Inspection Ordinance
In September 2017, the Board of Commissioners adopted the Sanitary Sewer Lateral Inspection ordinance to support the timely inspection, repair and replacement of private sewer laterals.
Effective January 1, 2018, two events require property owners to hire a National Association of Sewer Service Companies certified contractor to conduct a video inspection of their private sewer lateral, at the property owner's expense.
1. Prior to the close of sale of any property
2. Property improvements that require a Township building permit and an Allegheny County plumbing permit.
The property owner will be required to submit the inspection results and a copy of the video to the Township. If the inspection yields no defects or failures, the Township will issue a letter of compliance.
If there are defects or failures, any repair or replacement of the sewer lateral must be completed prior to the close of escrow of the sale, or, if there is no escrow, prior to recording the deed or other document transferring title. Inspection of any work required will be made by the Allegheny County Health Department.
Contact the Department of Public Works or Community Development at 412-831-9000 with any questions or comments.
The Township has five (5) watersheds: McLaughlin Run, Chartiers Creek, Painters Run, Brush Run, and Peters Creek.
Clean Streams Act
The Township participates in the Clean Streams Act by designating storm inlets that flow to water ways.
The Township operates under a Non-Point Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit, required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). This permit outlines rules and regulations which Municipalities must follow in order to discharge storm water into creeks and streams from outfalls and impervious surfaces.
Storm Water Management
The volume, or amount, of storm water runoff and its rate of runoff substantially increases as land development occurs. The Township Code has storm water requirements for new developments, in addition to following the guidelines in the NPDES Permit.
The Township encourages the use of rain barrels, rain gardens, bio-swales and permeable paving to help manage storm water flows.
Sources of additional storm water information:
- Pollutant Reduction Plan Lower Chartiers Creek
- Pollutant Reduction Plan Middle Chartiers Creek
- Total Maximum Daily Load Plan Brush Run Watershed
- Freddy The Fish Teaches About Stormwater
- Three Rivers Wet Weather
- Allegheny Conservation District
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
- Stormwater Management
- Stormwater Smart!
- Preventing Pollution in your Neighborhood
- Downspout Disconnect Information
- Downspout Disconnet Poster
- Storm Water Detention Structures
- MS4 - Car Wash Poster
- MS4 - Car Wash Information
Use Water Wisely
The Township recommends good stewardship of water. Fix leaks promptly and install water-saving devices on all potable water appliances. Do not pour solvents, pesticides, paint thinners, engine oil or hazardous materials into floor or sink drains. For information on the proper disposal of hazardous and harmful material please go to the trash/recycling page.