Moving from Septic to Sewer Service

AllClear 3:28 pm

Moving from Septic to Sewer Service

Greenville County, and the entire Upstate of South Carolina, has some serious sewer issues. From limits on the system to a crumbling infrastructure that is costing the county millions. The result is a lot of local homes and businesses built with septic tanks.

Septic tanks are typically underground. These receptacles do the dirty work of decomposing human waste when sewer service isn’t available. The tanks sit underground, somewhere in your yard, working away with the handy help of bacterial activity before finally draining via a leaching field. This is perfectly safe and takes place in hundreds of places across the county.

septic to sewer switch

Septic tanks are a bit more sensitive than a sewer system and occasionally need to be emptied, so the upkeep isn’t too bad. However, septic tanks can be more risky for a homeowner. If your home or business is moving from septic to sewer, that’s something that All Clear Plumbing can help you facilitate.

Step One: The Tap

A plumber can’t put you on a sewer line if there isn’t a sewer tap available. That’s why a lot of homes end up on septic in the first place. A tap is an entry point into the sewer system, and there is a limit to the number that any sewer line can stand. Availability is also dependant on the proximity of a sewer line to your home. To find out if a tap is available in Greenville County, you’ll have to call ReWa.

The homeowner must do this step, as they won’t talk to a contractor about tap availability.

The owner will need to ask ReWa the following questions:

  • Is a tap available for my home/business?
  • Where is it located in proximity to my home/business?
  • How much is the tap fee?

We recommend sitting down for the tap fee. It ranges, but is typically at least $3,000. Keep in mind, this is just the tap fee and does not include any plumbers fees or parts. Moving from septic to sewer is an expensive project!

septic to sewer

Step Two: The Estimate

Armed with this information, you can now work with a plumber to get an exact estimate. A job this complex requires an on-site estimate. Just a few of the factors that go into the cost of the final job include:

  • How far the sewer line needs to run. In other words, how many linear feet are between the output at the house and the tap at the road?
  • What is between the house and the tap? For instance, if there is a driveway, retention wall or a road (sometimes the tap is on the other side of the road), the plumber will need to work with a company that bores holes or cut into the asphalt. If the road has to be cut into, it may include extra permits and DOT has to get involved.
  • In some extreme cases, things like a slope to the yard or other landscaping considerations may affect the price.

Step Three: The Work

The majority of the work for the switch takes place in one long day, although there is usually a follow-up day to tie up loose ends. For instance, DHEC regulations require that the now-abandoned septic tank be emptied of waste and filled with solid matter. This is usually gravel or sand.

It is important to note that moving from septic to sewer is a permanent change. You can’t go back! Make sure you want to make this change.

On the day of the switch, remember that the water will be turned off in your home. It won’t have anywhere to go until the plumber is finished!

Septic or Sewer: Which is Best?

Septic tanks do come with some inherent risk such as your yard flooding with sewage during a really bad storm. However, keep in mind that sewer systems aren’t necessarily better or worse. Dependable service in your area is not a factor you should take for granted. Talk to your neighbors and see if they’ve had any issues.

Also remember that as the homeowner, you’ll be responsible for the maintenance on the sewer line between your home and the tap. This includes breaks in the line and clogs. While a brand-new sewer line shouldn’t have any issues (unless you are abusing it), there are no guarantees in life. There is a guarantee on All Clear Plumbing’s work – again, excluding abusive behavior. Treat your pipes right and they should last at least 50 years!

Moving from septic to sewer can be an expensive, but rewarding, investment for a homeowner. Ready for an estimate? Give us a call at 864-979-7059 or book a service request online.

Article Author: Anja Smith

Managing Partner

Anja Smith is the author behind the All Clear Plumbing blog. She also writes regularly for Plumber Magazine, TradeBizToolbox.com, and on Medium