Converting Septic to City Sewer

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by an edhat reader

Old septic needs to be replaced. Been told that new septic systems under new recent regulations cost $50-60,000! We are way down a private lane with a long connection to sewer line. This is our preference. Will be getting bids. Any recommended companies based on your experience? Thanks.

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jak Aug 19, 2021 11:13 AM
Converting Septic to City Sewer

The work you will need bids on will depend on your geography. You will need some sort of survey because as the old joke goes, it rolls downhill and there are strict standards for the slope of the pipeline. On a “very long lane” you sometimes cannot get the fall that you are required to have and will need a lift station which is a whole other thing.

We just went through this (outside California) and decided to just go with a private septic system. Our local university has strong environmental and civil engineering programs and our system was surveyed and specified by grad students as part of their required practical work. Cost us six grand but that included upgrading the older parts of our house to pvc pipe. A connection to the nearest municipal sewer system would have cost over ten times that just for a couple of lift stations. Then you have to maintain the lift stations.

Good luck.

tagdes Aug 19, 2021 10:45 AM
Converting Septic to City Sewer

Trenchless, at least and especially for the City or County part and we saved thousands using Low Cost Plumbing. The tie in has to be done and inspected by Lash or Tierra, that's all.

a-1629386460 Aug 19, 2021 08:21 AM
Converting Septic to City Sewer

I do not know any specifics about your project, but even if the distance from your house to the main were close, it also depends on depth underground to the main. If you go too deep, it will require shoring and more expensive excavation techniques. These costs can add up. The price you got seems reasonable considering it is for removal of old and install of new.

a-1629392067 Aug 19, 2021 09:54 AM
Converting Septic to City Sewer

The price is for septic tank replacement. OP is interested in instead abandoning septic and converting the property to sewer.

JB86 Aug 18, 2021 08:48 PM
Converting Septic to City Sewer

I second Tierra for the pipe. As suggested, you might save money using local labor to do the excavation, it does make it more complicated (you would be the project manager). In any case, you will need a civil engineer to do the basic plan and drawings, and likely to get required permits.

Surfrun Aug 18, 2021 07:31 PM
Converting Septic to City Sewer

I went through this myself 2 years ago. I ended up with an 800ft long sewer line, 160 of it was on the county road.

You will need a civil Engineering Plan. They will draw the line and you can use that to go to the city/county. You will also need to plan to fill in the existing septic and need approval/plan from the health department.

There are 2 ways to do this:

1). Split the work into a)digging and laying pipe on your private lane and 2)digging and laying pipe in the public street.
If you have to dig on the street, the city/county will make you hire expensive labor (one of the established companies that have prevailing wage requirements....I used Tierra and they did a great job). If you are blocking access you will need approval from the roads dept where they will ask you to having a traffic management plan. This is not as hard as it sounds....simple drawing on a powerpoint with where the people/signs will be that will direct the traffic.
One way to save money is to have your private lane dug by laborers. Just follow the drawings on the Engineering Plan and your plumber will lay the pipe and get everything inspected by the city/county

2). Hire one firm to do all of this for you. It will be more expensive but you have 1 person to go to and they will take care of it. Not many companies do this, I had a tough time finding someone.

Good luck! I am happy I got it done.

Surfrun Aug 19, 2021 08:58 PM
Converting Septic to City Sewer

The long line cost me half the price of the short line which was on the public road (that involved digging, laying pipe and a putting in a new manhole). The reason for the cost difference was because I hired my own laborers to dig the long line and then hired a plumbers to work by the hour to lay the pipe. I had the laborers put in the yellow sand, which I purchased and was required per the engineering plans, and then, after the inspection, I had them cover the pipe with dirt. I was lucky that most of the long line was on my non-blacktop part of the property. I hope this helps.....

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