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Sewer Grant

Get help with the cost of repairing or replacing your sewer lateral

What is the Sewer Replacement or Repair Grant Program? 

Sewer lateral diagram The Sewer Replacement or Repair Grant Program (Sewer Grant) is designed to assist homeowners with a portion of the cost of fixing or replacing a sanitary sewer line (building sewer) from an approved cleanout to the face of the building. Funding may also be used to add or replace a cleanout in conjunction with a lateral repair or replacement.

This program only applies to a sanitary sewer line lateral, which is the pipeline that carries wastewater from the building to the property line. Property owners are responsible for all costs relating to their sewer line lateral, including installation, connection, maintenance, repair, reconstruction, alteration, abandonment, or removal to prevent inflow and infiltration.

Who is eligible to apply for the Grant? 

Property owners who:
  • own and occupy the property as their primary residence located within the City of San José’s sewer operation and permit jurisdiction; and 
  • obtain a finalized plumbing permit for sewer line repair; and 
  • are the owner at the time of finalizing the plumbing permit.
A homeowner’s association acting on behalf of an individual member owner whose property requires repair or replacement of the sewer lateral. 

What are the exclusions? 

Applications may NOT be submitted by contractors (application must be signed and submitted by the home owner or agent acting on behalf of a homeowners association).

How much is the grant for?

The maximum grant amount for any sewer replacement or repair is limited to 50% of the replacement or repair cost up to $3,500 per property, whichever is less (until grant funds are exhausted). It is the property owner’s responsibility to inform their selected contractor that the entire sewer MUST pass the City of San José plumbing permit inspection requirements for sewer replacement or repair to be eligible for the reimbursement. Payment will only be made to the property owner after the entire sewer has passed inspection and the plumbing permit is finalized.  

Special consideration: Evidence of Damage Condition

An application must include Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) evidence which documents the sewer damage and subsequent repair. The CCTV must be recorded to DVD format. CCTV inspections must be completed by an independent contractor at the cost of the property owner. These costs are not eligible for grant reimbursement.  

How do I apply?

Download the Sewer Grant application here.

Note: All the below checklist items must be completed prior to the commencement of sewer repair or replacement work to be considered for the Grant.  The cost of the pre-construction and post- construction CCTV inspections are not eligible for reimbursement through the grant program. 

  1. Hire a contractor to conduct a CCTV inspection of the damaged sewer which identifies the obstruction or damage. The applicant/property owner must submit the CCTV inspection in DVD format as part of their application. The date of the sewer CCTV inspection must be no more than ninety (90) days prior to the date of the submission of the Application.
  2. Obtain a minimum of three (3) verifiable quotes from independent contractors for repair or replacement of the damaged sewer.
  3. Provide proof of property ownership.  Proof of ownership can be established using a mortgage statement, property tax bill, utility bill from PG&E or a water company. 
  4. Complete and sign the grant application.

Mail the completed application package, including items listed in steps 1 through 4 above, to:
Department of Transportation
Attention: Sewer Replacement or Repair Grant Program
1404 Mabury Road
San Jose, CA 95133
Applications will be reviewed, and a determination of eligibility will be made by the Department of Transportation. Applications for work already performed may be submitted within ninety (90) days of completion. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Grant funds will be available beginning September 1, 2018. Funds will be allocated on first-come, first-served basis until the annual budgeted funds are exhausted. No appeal of the grant decision will be considered.  Funds will be reserved for a period NOT to exceed sixty (60) days from approval of the application. All work including sewer replacement or repair, inspection, payment to the contractor by the property owner, and submission of ALL paid receipts and post repair CCTV DVD or photos to the City of San José MUST be completed no later than sixty (60) days after approval of the application.  

Failure to submit all required documentation within the sixty (60) day period will render the application ineligible for payment and will result in disqualification from the program.

What do I do after I submit the application package?

The City will issue a Contingent Award Letter if the application is approved.

If your grant application is approved:
  • If you have not already, obtain a City of San José plumbing permit for sewer replacement or repair prior to beginning the repair or replacement work.
  • Have the contractor complete the replacement or repair of the sewer.
Once the repair or replacement work is complete, but prior to backfilling the trench:
  • Conduct a post-construction CCTV inspection
  • Schedule an appointment with the Building Department for a final plumbing inspection prior to backfilling the trench by calling (408) 535-7641, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. 
Submit the following:
  • A copy of signed off plumbing permit showing FINAL inspection was approved.
  • The post repair CCTV inspection in DVD format with date/time stamp.
  • Copies of all paid-in-full invoices to the City of San José for the work performed by independent contractors.  
Once required documentation has been submitted, the City will process reimbursement within four (4) to six (6) weeks.