Factors to Consider Before a Septic to Sewer Conversion

Are you considering investing in a septic to sewer conversion? This can be a large investment, but it also can add value to your home. The lower maintenance of hooking into a municipal sewer system is desirable, especially if you have an older septic system that needs constant repair or renovations. However, beyond the benefits, you may have other factors to consider before you decide to convert from septic to sewer. Here are a few factors that can affect the cost and time needed for the conversion:

  • Trees. If you have large trees between your home and the street, you may have tree roots that could cause an issue for your new sewer lines. They can also hinder a direct path to your connection. In some cases, a tree may need to be removed to facilitate a sewer conversion.
  • Cement. Sidewalks, patios, driveways and other paved surfaces can also be a factor when installing new sewer lines. It may be necessary to remove portions of cement if there is no other path between the home and street.
  • Pools and spas. An in-ground pool or spa can be obstacles when installing new sewer lines.
  • Landscaping. If you have expensive landscaping or hardscaping, it is important to determine what damage will be done to these elements and the cost of repair.

The best way to find out exactly what will be needed to convert your septic system to sewer is to schedule an in-depth inspection and estimate from a quality sewer service company. They can determine any additional expenses or issues for your project, giving you the information you need to determine whether a sewer conversion is a good option for your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

What Does a Septic-to-Sewer Conversion Entail?

Conversion from a home septic system to a city sewer system typically requires a fairly significant up-front investment, but can also easily pay for itself in terms of money saved on septic system maintenance and resale value of your home. Furthermore, the elimination of pumping requirements and the nuisance of unpleasant smells is another major perk. If you’re considering a septic to sewer conversion, learning more about the process is probably at the top of your list, as it can be a major undertaking and you’ll want to be prepared for all that it entails before committing to ensure that you’re not faced with surprises during the conversion. 

In most cases, converting from a septic system to the city sewer requires disconnecting your home from the septic system, filling the septic tank with soil, and installing a sewer lateral from you home and connecting it to the main line of the city sewer. This is typically a fairly straightforward, if a bit time consuming, process. However, swimming pools, retaining walls, sidewalks and mature trees can present a challenge.

An experienced sewer and septic technician or specialist will be able to work through the obstacles, but it can make the process a bit more expensive and increase the amount of time the conversion takes. Upon completion, however, you will never be faced with the prospect of having your septic tank pumped or lawn saturation during grass dormancy periods. Consulting a technician or specialist in your area to discuss the pros and cons of a septic-to-sewer conversion on your property can help you to make an informed decision about what’s best for your family and your home.

Septic to Sewer Conversions

If your home is on a septic system, you may be wondering if there are any advantages to converting to a sewer system.  The first consideration is whether you even have the option of converting to sewer.  If there is no municipal sewer service in your area, your only option is to continue with your septic system.

If municipal sewer service is available, then you should consider whether the cost of the conversion makes sense.  Making the conversion is a big job that should be left to a local plumber or sewer-septic professional with experience in sewer installation

The cost of the conversion varies depending on connection fees, the distance between your home and the municipal sewer line, and any obstacles in between such as driveways or swimming pools, but a typical conversion can cost in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $10,000.   Most sewer-septic professionals will be happy to provide a free estimate.

The advantages of sewer service include less maintenance and lower potential for problems to arise than septic.  Septic systems require regular maintenance including period septic tank pumping and inspections.  The life expectancy of a septic system varies widely depending on the installation and how well it is maintained, but typically 20 to 30 years is about average.  Some septic systems fail much sooner, especially if they are improperly installed or maintained.  A sewer connection lasts almost indefinitely.  In addition, most homebuyers prefer sewer over septic so the value of your home may increase. 

The disadvantage of a sewer connection is primarily the cost of the conversion.  In addition, there are monthly charges for sewer service which are generally calculated based on water usage. 

Your sewer-septic professional can help you decide if a conversion to sewer is right for your situation.