How to Connect to a City Sewer

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As cities have grown and expanded the quality and reach of their services, the need for septic tanks has diminished. Although cities charge a fee for sewer service, the improved overall plumbing operation in the home or building is worth the typically small monthly fee charged. While it is generally not possible for homeowners or building owners to connect their property to a city sewer line on their own, property owners still play a large role in the process as they need to select a competent contractor capable of completing the task.

  • Contact the local city utilities office to determine what type of permit is required to be submitted prior to connecting to the city sewer. Further, inquire about the fees as well as any mandatory inspections and when they need to be performed.

  • Select a contractor to connect the home to the city sewer system. Almost all cities have ordinances that require that homes be connected to the city sewer system only by licensed and bonded contractors because of the risk involved. Ask around or use the Internet to find contractors in the area and request bids. Ask the contractors for local references and details of how the task will be completed.

  • Abandon the septic tank once the home or building is connected to the city sewer system. Typically, a septic tank is considered "abandoned" once it has been crushed or removed and the remaining area filled in with earth or gravel. Review the application form or permit form required for sewer connection as some cities require that any septic tank be abandoned in a particular way prior to allowing connection to the city sewer system.

  • Confirm with contractor that all of the utilities will be marked before any work is performed. This is critical as there many buried wires and lines going into homes and businesses that could be easily damaged or destroyed by an inexperienced or neglectful contractor. Further, seek confirmation that the contractor is in contact with the city regarding inspection of the connection.

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