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Tapping Into An Existing Sewer Line: Septic To City

If you want to know how tapping into an existing city sewer line can benefit you, you’re in the right place. This article discusses the benefits of connecting your home to an existing sewer line, why it’s better than relying on a septic system, and what the process involves.

The Benefits Of Tapping Into An Existing Sewer Line

If your home is currently connected to a septic tank and your city is running new sewer lines (or a sewer line already exists), it might be time to consider tapping into the new system. Septic tanks are very popular in rural areas, especially in New England and the Southeast. Unfortunately, septic tanks are often the source of water pollution and disease transmission. They also need to be drained every few years to prevent them from overflowing onto your property, which can be a huge mess. This is why experts recommend converting your septic system into a sewer system, tapping into any existing or new sewer lines.
tapping into an existing sewer line graphic
All homes have a main sewer line underneath, including homes connected to septic tanks. For septic systems, the main sewer line runs to the tank, whereas for city-connected systems, it runs to a pipe beneath your street. If your city is expanding its sewer lines near your home, take the time to consider some benefits of making the switch.
  • You won’t have to call someone to pump out your septic tank – Septic tanks need to be pumped and emptied every three to five years. With a city connection, you’ll only need to clean or empty your pipes if they become clogged.
  • You won’t need a drain field – Drain fields, also called leach fields or absorption fields, allow septic tanks to dispose of their waste into your soil once it’s been broken down. These fields can deteriorate over time and cause your septic tank to overflow. Once you tap into your city sewer line, you won’t need your drain field anymore.
  • You won’t need to worry about your tank leaking – A leaking septic tank can lead to toxic, gross odors and overgrown plant life. There are some cases where your sewer line can leak, but as long as the problem is underneath the city-owned street, then your municipal department should take care of it. If there’s a problem with the sewer line on your property, then it falls under your responsibility.
  • Your property value increases – When you connect your home to the city-owned sewer line, your property’s value could increase by 110%.
  • You don’t have to worry about permits failing – In some cities, building departments will not approve pools, remodels, or room additions if your home has a septic tank. This is because the extra space in your home will produce more sewage, which means you’ll need to upgrade your septic tank first.
  • Your costs will decrease – Quarterly sewer bills are less expensive than installing and maintaining a new septic tank.

What Does Tapping Into An Existing Sewer Line Involve?

Some of the most common questions about tapping into an existing sewer line are about newly added bathrooms or septic conversions. If you’re trying to connect new plumbing fixtures to your main sewer line, we recommend calling in a professional.

Adding New Plumbing Fixtures

Tapping into an existing sewer line in your home will involve some carpentry and plumbing skills, including drywall work, and unless you’re prepared for some light construction, reach out to an expert. This type of work also involves shutting off your water and waiting until the connection is complete before you can use your new plumbing fixtures. You’ll also need to expect some odors and leakage since you need to open your existing sewer line to connect to the new one.
Sewer Line Construction

Converting From Septic To City

Tapping into an existing city-owned sewer line is more complicated than adding new plumbing fixtures and will require you to call a professional sewer line repair company specializing in septic conversions. This process involves digging up the main sewer line below your home, disconnecting your septic tank, and rerouting your pipes to the city connection. Either you or your sewer line contractor will need to alert your local municipal department so they can complete the process and connect the pipe to the city line.
Septic-to-city conversions involve lengthy but necessary procedures. If your septic tank is not disconnected correctly, wastewater can leak into your soil, leading to environmental, health, and safety issues. You’ll also need to empty your septic tank of all its waste before you have it filled in (the Uniform Plumbing Code requires empty septic tanks to be filled with concrete, soil, or any other approved material). Otherwise, your abandoned septic tank can collapse or cave in, creating a huge safety hazard. Depending on your property, experts might need to disinfect the areas to prevent contamination.
Once your sewer line professional reroutes your piping, you’ll need to pay a tie-in fee. This fee can be expensive, but if your city is installing a new sewer line under your street, it’s worth it.

Who Can Help With Tapping Into An Existing Sewer Line?

If you live in the Greater Los Angeles area and need help tapping into an existing sewer line, call SWE Sewer Solutions. We’ve been helping homeowners convert from septic tanks to city-sewer lines for nearly 30 years. We also offer sewer line installation, trenchless sewer repair, sewer line cleaning, and more. Call today for your in-depth inspection and free estimate.