If you reside in the Town of Amherst and are thinking of selling your home, there’s a new code on the books that you need to know about.

On June 19, the Amherst Town Board passed an amendment to its local sewer use law. This amendment requires a time-of-sale inspection of all residential properties constructed prior to 1975 and located in the town’s sanitary sewer district. Compliance with the new amendment will be determined by inspections conducted by employees of the Amherst Engineering Department.

To be in compliance, a property must have its sanitary sewer flow separated from stormwater and groundwater flows. What does this mean? In a nutshell, inspect your downspouts and basement sump pump to ensure that they are not illegally connected to the town’s sewer lines. If they are, they will need to be disconnected and redirected.

Why is this happening? Well, the Town of Amherst believes that the commingling of these flows is causing significant issues in the town’s sanitary sewer system, leading to sewage backing up in some basements. And that’s a headache that no homeowner wants to deal with. Ever!

An application fee of $25 will be due at the time an application is submitted when the property is placed for sale. Homeowners, their agents or attorneys would then need to call the Town of Amherst Engineering Department at 716-631-7157 (Monday through Friday8 am – 3 pm) to schedule an inspection with 48 hours advance notice. The homeowner or a responsible adult must be present at the time of inspection.

The Town will issue a compliance certificate if the inspection is satisfactory. The certificate is good for only 180 days from when it is issued.