Common Trench Sewer Lateral Improvement Partnership Program

On June 6, 2022, Ordinance 2022-32 was adopted by Berea City Council and signed by Mayor Kleem. This ordinance establishes the Common Trench Sewer Lateral Improvement Partnership Program to help improve the sewer system and reduce basement flooding for properties served by common trench sewers.   Common trench sewers exist where the sanitary and storm sewer pipes were installed in the same trench during original development, which is now prohibited. Most common trench sewers were constructed before 1960 and are problematic when the clay pipe degrades and causes leakage into the soil or into the other sewer in the same trench. This leakage can cause surcharging of the sanitary sewer and may allow crossflow of sanitary sewage into the storm sewer and contaminate streams, rivers, and eventually Lake Erie.

In addition to the main sewer pipes, in most cases the sewer laterals are also in common trenches.  Sewer laterals are the portion of pipe from the main sewer to your house. It is common practice for the City to replace the public portion of lateral sewer lines when the public portion of the line is obstructed or degraded. However, this program will go beyond that and ensure that the City will improve the public portion of clay sewer laterals at the time a property owner replaces or relines the private property portion, even if it is not obstructed or degraded.  This will provide a direct benefit to the property and also to the sewer system in the neighborhood to help reduce the risk of basement flooding.  

The City will begin implementing this program immediately. The process of identifying and confirming properties that are eligible and may already qualify has been started. If you have questions, are interested in replacing your portion of the lateral, or believe your property meets the requirements because your portion of the lateral has been replaced or relined, please contact the Engineering Department at 440-826-5814. For more information, please review the following documents: