West County Wastewater launched the Public Incentive Program for Efficiency of Sewers (PIPES) to provide rebates to residential and commercial property owners who repair or replace damaged sewer laterals. Sewer laterals are the pipes that connect homes and businesses to public sewer mains.

Left unrepaired, damaged sewer lateral lines can create local contamination issues, damage the environment, and allow excess water to enter and potentially overwhelm the treatment system. To improve the overall environmental quality of our community and reduce the financial impact on property owners, PIPES provides rebates covering half the cost to replace damaged laterals, up to $4,500. The program also covers 50% of the cost of repairing damaged laterals, up to $1,000. Exact rebate amounts are calculated based on geographic location and the length and depth of sewer laterals.


PIPES rebates are available to residential and commercial property owners within the West County Wastewater service area. Both types of property owners are eligible for the same dollar amounts under the program.

Maximum rebate amounts for replacement and repair of sewer laterals are guided by several factors. To maximize effectiveness of the program, incentives are highest for homes and businesses in areas of high inflow and infiltration. These areas have above-average levels of water entering the treatment system through means such as cracked pipes and connections with storm drains and building downspouts. During intense storms, this additional water has the potential to overwhelm treatment facilities.

Other factors, such as the length and depth of sewer laterals, also impact the maximum rebate amounts. Finally, there are different incentives to reflect the cost differences between repairing and replacing damaged pipes.

All repairs and replacement projects approved under the PIPES program are reimbursed at a rate of 50% of the lowest quote from a licensed contractor up to the following limits:


Lateral replacement
longer than 100 feet or deeper than 10 feet
Lateral replacement
all other pipelines
Lateral repair


Lateral replacement
longer than 100 feet or deeper than 10 feet
Lateral replacement
all other pipelines
Lateral repair


Inflow and infiltration refer to groundwater or stormwater that enters into sanitary sewer systems through deteriorated sewer laterals or sewer mains, or at points of direct connection with sewer mains. Areas of high inflow and infiltration often have higher levels of water entering the sewer system during storms, which can then overwhelm treatment facilities. Homes or businesses within these areas qualify for larger rebate amounts, as detailed above.

You can use the map below to determine if an address falls within an area of high inflow and infiltration. These areas are indicated by the purple color. You can also use the map to determine if an address is within the WCW service area, as shown by the gray line. Search for a specific address by clicking the button below the map.

Inflow examples: Manhole covers with holes, roof vents, improperly connected area drains, downspouts, storm drain lines, etc.

Infiltration examples: Cracked/damaged pipes, deteriorated laterals and manholes, leakage from storm drain lines, tree root penetration, etc.

View Full Map


Before any lateral repair or replacement work begins, property owners must receive pre-approval in order to receive any rebates under the PIPES incentive program. Any work performed before pre-approval by WCW will not be reimbursed.


1. Submit video inspection of lateral on USB drive or DVD

2. Receive video inspection letter from West County Wastewater recommending repair or replacement

3. Submit completed application, video inspection letter, completed inspection form, and a minimum of three (3) quotes from licensed contractors to perform the work (dated within 90 days of the application)

4. Receive pre-approval letter from WCW

5. Arrange for construction with approved contractor

6. Submit all receipts for reimbursement

7. Contact WCW for inspection of completed work

Once the work is inspected and approved, property owners should receive their rebate check within four to six weeks.  To apply for PIPES, see page 11 of the Program Guide.



Funded by WCW, this program helps property owners with the cost of repairing or replacing a defective sewer lateral, which is the pipe that transfers wastewater from a home or building to the public sewer main.

Failing and leaking sewer laterals cause serious problems for property owners, WCW, and the environment. Broken laterals can release sewage into the environment, allow rain into pipes and cause sewage spills, and overtax the treatment system. The incentive disbursement is intended to encourage property owners to correct their sewer lateral problems by mitigating the financial burden associated with repair or replacement.

One incentive disbursement is available per property owner, per property located within WCW boundaries. Distribution is limited to the funding available each fiscal year.

Property owners shall submit a video inspection (USB or DVD) showing the condition of the entire sewer lateral for WCW review, to determine whether repair or replacement is warranted. The cost of completing the video is the responsibility of the property owner. 

The video inspection will allow WCW to determine the condition of the sewer lateral and view any unpermitted connections that are possible sources of inflow and infiltration (I/I). To ensure the submitted video inspection accomplishes the referenced goals, WCW has determined the video shall be recorded by a competent person, with a sewer lateral camera. Competency shall be demonstrated by submitting a high-quality video. In addition to submitting the high-quality video, competency may be demonstrated by listing the pertinent CSLB license type/number and/or PACP certification number.

There are two options for submitting a video for inspection: electronic delivery, which is the preferred method, and physical delivery. For electronic delivery, the property owner needs to submit a video of the sewer lateral via email to Inspections@wcwd.org For physical delivery, the property owner must submit a nonreturnable DVD or USB device containing the video file to West County Wastewater at 2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond, CA, 94806.

To participate, a property owner shall first submit a completed lateral inspection form, along with a video inspection (USB or DVD) of the sewer lateral and receive a video inspection letter from WCW requiring repair or replacement. Next, the property owner will submit the noncollusion declarations; at least three quotes for the work; the program application; and proof of property ownership. Owner-Builders and Owner-Contractors will also be required to submit line-item estimates.

Once property owners receive a pre-approval letter from WCW, they arrange for construction and have the completed work inspected by WCW. When the work passes inspection, the incentive disbursement is issued within four to six weeks. Owner-Builders are required to submit all non-labor receipts prior to receiving an incentive disbursement. Owner-Contractors are required to submit all receipts including labor.

Inspections will be scheduled as quickly as possible, within 48 hours of receipt of the request.

Specific incentive disbursement amounts will be determined based on the program rules that are reflected on page 4 of the PIPES Program Guide. The maximum incentive disbursement is $4,500 or 50% of the lowest submitted bid, whichever is less.

Program applications are available on the program’s webpage (https://www.wcwd.org/pipes/). Completed applications can be submitted electronically to PIPESProgram@wcwd.org or by drop box or mail at 2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond, CA, 94806.

Payments are made by check after the work has been inspected and approved by WCW. Funds are typically available within four to six weeks of the inspection.

Resolution No. 2020-28 approved the addition of $400,000 to the budget, beginning in Fiscal
Year (FY) 2021, to fund this Program on a recurring basis.

Please contact WCW by email at PIPESProgram@wcwd.org or visit the program’s webpage (https://www.wcwd.org/pipes/).