The City’s sanitary sewer system consists of a network of pipes and manholes. The system is designed to carry wastewater from homes and other buildings to the Hercules–Pinole JPA Sanitary Wastewater treatment plant, where it is processed before being emptied into San Francisco Bay. The City’s sanitary sewers are designed only for sanitary wastes.
Sewer backups and backflows, and the damage they inflict, represent a major cause of inconvenience and loss for homeowners and communities around the San Francisco Bay. The Association of Bay Area Governments’ (ABAG) Pooled Liability Assurance Network (PLAN) initiated the Be Sewer Smart program and works with Bay area cities, sanitary districts, and other partners to educate the public on how backflows can be prevented.
Anytime backups occur, before contacting a plumber or sewer service, homeowners should first contact the Public Works Division.
For after business hours emergencies, contact Non-Emergency Police Dispatch at (510) 724-1111
Sewer Lateral Ordinance
On May 13, 2010, the Sewer Lateral Ordinance No. 457 was put into effect. The purpose of this ordinance is (i) to provide for operation and maintenance of the City's sewer system in a reliable and serviceable condition, (ii) to eliminate or minimize sewage overflows by eliminating or minimizing stoppages and reducing sources of infiltration and inflow into the City's sewer system, (iii) to comply with applicable legal requirements pertaining to the City's sewer system and (iv) to protect the public health and safety by establishing and providing a mechanism for enforcing performance standards for private sewer laterals that are connected to a City Public Sewer Main.
As required by this ordinance, a private sewer lateral shall be cleaned and inspected when any of the following events occur:
- The installation of additional plumbing facilities that produce a major increase, in the judgment of the City, in sewage flow from the house, building, property or other structure served.
- A change of use of the house, building, property or other structure served from residential to business, commercial, or other non-residential use; or from non-residential, non-restaurant, non-commercial, non-industrial to restaurant, commercial or industrial uses.
- Upon repair or replacement of any portion of the Building Sewer Lateral.
- Upon the determination by the City that the cleaning, testing, repair or replacement is required for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare.
- Prior to the close of escrow upon a sale or other transfer of the house, building, property or other structure served or, if there is no escrow, prior to recording a deed or other document transferring title to the house, building, property or other structure served. A transfer of ownership between family members does not require testing if reassessment of property value is not required by the Contra Costa County Tax Assessor.
- In a probate or other testamentary proceeding or in the event of a transfer pursuant to the terms of a revocable living trust, joint tenancy termination or other similar instrument, within 180 days after the sale, transfer or conveyance of the house, building, property or other structure served.
- Upon request by the City at any time commencing upon the expiration of the fifth year after the effective date of this ordinance.
The requirements to obtain a Sewer lateral Certificate of Compliance are to act in accordance with the Sewer Lateral Ordinance Requirements. An Application for the Sewer Lateral Certificate must be submitted along with a payment fee and a video inspection of the Private sewer lateral conducted by a plumbing contractor from the City's approved Plumbing Contractors List.
Sanitary Sewer Fees
On April 28, 2009, the City Council of the City of Hercules adopted Resolution No. 09-070 increasing the sewer service charge by $2.00 per month per year successively for eight (8) years (2009-2010 through 2016-2017) along with an increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). A notice was sent to all property owners regarding $2.00 per month increase in the sewer rates along with the annual CPI increase for the year ending December, 2010 of 1.4%. The monthly sewer rates charges for FY 2011-2012 will be $45.64 for Single Family and Multifamily Residence, $30.25 for Apartment Units, and Commercial, Retail, and Institutional are charged based on individual water consumption provided by East Bay Municipal Utility District.