It’s not often a businessman has good things to say about new government regulations. But for Chris Carlin, owner of C. Carlin Plumbing in Erie, Pennsylvania, new ordinances that made Erie-area homeowners responsible for repairing their own sewer laterals thrust his company into a completely different — and more profitable — direction.
The ordinances went into effect during the mid-to-late 1990s as municipalities realized they couldn’t afford to fix all the inflow and infiltration issues plaguing thousands of aging lateral lines in the region. “They figured out there were a lot more miles of laterals than there were miles of sewer mainlines,” says Carlin, 54. “So they made homeowners responsible for laterals from the house to the main.
Jim Mor started his contracting company Clear Flow Drains in 2004, concentrating on residential and commercial plumbing. In 2005, Boston Water & Sewer was looking
On the eastern edge of Salt Lake Valley, the Sandy (Utah) Suburban Improvement District sits among similar sewer entities at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. It’s a mature district and percolates along day by day without dramatic changes in the offing.
Most homes in the Motor City (Detroit) area were part of the rapid growth and expansion during the booming economy dating back to the early 1920s. These “cookie-cutter” neighborhoods add to the complexity of sewer repairs because the residential properties are generally very small lots with lateral sewers running out to the backyards, continuing to the city main.