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Dye Testing

Various laws and codes prohibit the use of sanitary sewers to carry storm or surface water. However, over the years, some properties have for various reasons failed to keep the systems separate and some downspouts, driveway drains and other area drains have been connected to the sanitary sewers. The purpose of dye testing is to determine where this has happened so that property owners can correct the situation and bring themselves into compliance. View the Dye Test Ordinance.

The dye testing procedure is simple but effective: Powdered dye is inserted into a downspout or drain and flushed down the pipe. The water turns a bright, fluorescent green and can be easily spotted if it reaches the sanitary sewer and passed through a downstream manhole. When that happens, a notation is made on a form which is completed for each building as the test is done. Mt. Lebanon’s chief inspector then receives a report on which drains are in violation and notifies the owner to correct the situation.

Point of Sale Dye Testing Requirements

For questions regarding point of sale dye testing requirements, call the Public Works Department at (412) 343-3403.

  1. Submission of Evidence of Compliance must be made a minimum of 10 business days prior to the closing date. Appropriate fee ($50) must accompany request.
  2. Submission of a request for Interim Evidence of Compliance must be made 14 business days prior to the closing date. Please contact Public Works at 412-343-3403 for information. Escrow Agreement Pertaining to Inclement Weather / Escrow Agreement Pertaining to Defects.
  3. Upon receipt of the completed Evidence of Compliance form and the appropriate fee, the dye test information provided by the plumber is reviewed by the Public Works Department. Once approved, the Public Works Department sends a letter of compliance to the Finance Office, who then includes it in a pack with the requested Municipal Claims and Tax Certification Letters. Any violations, open permits and dye testing requirements must be resolved before the municipal claims letter and/or tax certification letter will be released.
  4. Mt. Lebanon Municipality does not schedule dye tests.

The plumber you select must be registered and licensed in Allegheny County.

Testing must include, but is not limited to any of the following:

  • Dye-testing at each downspout.
  • Dye-testing at driveway and area drains.
  • Dye-testing by flooding negative slope driveways with fresh-air vents at the base of the driveway (surface water should be captured by an area drain and not the vent).
  • Dye-testing at each roof drain on flat roofs where the rain leader is enclosed within the structure.
  • Dye-testing at interior French drains or sumps.
  • An approved dye test is good for three years.
  • Refinancing does not require a dye test.
  • A failed dye test and an explanation of why the test failed will be reported to the Mt. Lebanon Inspection Department by the plumber conducting the test. Corrective measures must be approved by the Inspection Department. Contact the Inspection Department at 412-343-3408.