All over the country, cities and towns are expanding, laying wider roads, and improving utility company coverage in rural areas that have relied on residential plumbing services for many years. The problem is, private systems are not allowed in some areas when a municipal system is available, but municipal lines terminate at the utility’s right-of-way. The result is that homeowners are left with the responsibility of integrating their private sewer lines into the municipal lines. The upgrade entails professionally transitioning to municipal lines and needs to be done by a plumbing company with experience in such residential-to-municipal interfaces.
Municipal sewage systems drain to a treatment facility where water can be processed and cleaned and returned to the community water supply. It is not unusual for sewage upgrades to take place during road widening or resurfacing projects because the utility company has easier access to the underground infrastructure. Unfortunately, connecting to the municipal service is generally a mandatory transition, and homeowners are responsible for the cost of transition from the street-side right-of-way to the sewer line coming out of your home.
In contrast to a septic-based system, municipal sewer systems use modern reclamation processes that separate nutrients, waste byproducts, and water. Where a private installation returns water to the environment, municipal systems purify water using processes such as reverse osmosis. Once purified, that water is returned to the community water supply where it can be used over and over again.
For homeowners, a growing community infrastructure may extend municipal reclamation lines into your area, and then force you to tie into the utility. When that happens, you will need reputable residential plumbing services to disconnect your septic and connect to the community line. In many cases, the old septic tank is either filled in or removed. Your experienced plumbing company can help you determine what your options are based on local regulations. The length of time required for the tie-in depends on how long the line to the municipal sewers are, the type of terrain where the home is located, and similar details. Some projects are completed in about a day, while others may require a few days to complete. Your residential plumbers will be able to give you a more accurate time estimate during the initial consultation, but keep in mind that unfavorable weather conditions may create unexpected delays.
Complying with local building codes can be confusing or even seem irrational. For example, the city or county can require you to comply with a municipal sewer tie-in, but you still have to have the job permitted and inspected separately from the municipal-side project. Well-established plumbing contractors will know the permitting requirements for your location and have the licensed staff necessary to pull those permits, schedule any inspections required by state and local building codes, and perform the work so that everything passes code inspections and the job can be completed. This may seem like a lot of steps, but plumbing codes change over the years, and older lines often have to be replaced to conform to those codes before the tie-in will be approved.
Trenchless Sewer Solutions
Municipal tie-ins typically involve using rigid sewer lines, but trenchless sewer lines can be installed for some systems. And even if local codes prevent you from using trenchless lines for the tie-in, trenchless is still an excellent way to manage replacing any other sewage lines that need to be replaced. The beauty of a trenchless sewer replacement is that new lines can be installed without disturbing concrete slabs, asphalt drives, or landscaping. Trenchless systems are especially attractive to established residences or in situations where the sewer line needs to be installed under footings or foundations. In many situations, the additional cost of trenchless sewer replacement is offset by the time and labor required to restore an area following a more traditional trenched installation
With or without a trenchless sewer replacement, tying into the municipal sewer will cause some damage. Interior tie-ins will need to have the opening used for trenchless installation rebuilt, and a traditional sewer line results in repouring the entire length of the trench cut through your foundation slab. Outside, property restoration means replacing foliage, laying sod, and more. The idea is that your property looks as good or better after the sewer tie-in as it did before the process began.
The Importance of Municipal Services
Municipal water utilities are good for the community and the environment. Areas without sufficient rainfall are protected against water shortages and soil contamination, and everyone is assured of a safe, dependable source of potable water. As populations grow, the use of individual septic systems has to be curtailed to protect both public access to drinking water and to ensure a safer environment.
Another advantage for individual homeowners is that household sewage gets treated by the utility, eliminating septic tank pump-outs, septic treatments to maintain bacteria efficiency, and drain field repair or replacement. Additionally, lawn areas that were previously protected to avoid damaging the septic tank or drain field can be reclaimed as a usable part of the property once more.
Always verify the credentials of contractors you hire, including residential plumbers. In some states, including California, all contractors are required by law to be licensed and insured. This is important for you because it protects you from fly-by-night scams, and insures your home against any incidental damages that may result from the project.
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating provides 24/7 household plumbing services for homes and multifamily buildings. We pride ourselves on our professional and quality work. Contact us through our online contact form or call us at 510-528-4292 for residential plumbing services any time, any day of the week.