A Philadelphia City Council Committee has approved legislation that tightens rules for home inspections.
If the measure is approved, inspectors will have to check for something that has gotten by many in the past.
When a contractor makes an extended connection to the city sewage system, it’s called a “private” sewer, one that must be maintained by the homeowner.
Councilman Bill Greenlee’s bill calls for all home inspections to include a check on whether a private sewer is involved in the home sale.
“This is a ‘buyer beware’ bill,” Greenlee said. “The issue of private sewers comes up, we’ve all heard about it where people are caught off guard when, all of a sudden, they are getting violations about a private sewer and they didn’t even know they had one.”
If the inspector cannot determine if a private sewer is involved, a statement to that effect must be issued as part of the home inspection report.
Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug said there are 70 miles of private sewers in Philadelphia.
If those pipes break, the costly repairs are on the homeowner.