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Fact Sheet: Septic System Abandonment and Sanitary Sewer Connection

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Septic System Abandonment and Sanitary Sewer Connection

Whenever sanitary sewers are constructed in an area that utilizes Sewage Treatment Systems (STSs), Ohio Sanitary Code requires that those systems be abandoned and the structure’s building drain be connected to the available and accessible sanitary sewer.


Who determines whether the sanitary sewer is available and accessible to my property?

The sanitary sewer authority determines availability by looking at the capacity of the sewer. Once availability is determined, properties are deemed accessible if the building’s foundation is within 200 feet of the sewer easement boundary and private property does not need to be crossed to reach the sewer.


How long do I have to comply?

Once Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) is notified that a structure can be connected to the sanitary sewer, official Board of Health orders are issued to the property owner(s) requiring the sanitary sewer connection within:

  • 90 days if the sewage treatment system is inoperable or is within a declared Public Health Hazard Area.
  • 2 years if the system is an operable discharging type system (e.g. sand filter).
  • 5 years if the system is an operable non-discharging type system (e.g. leach lines).


What permits do I need to connect to the sanitary sewer?

What permits do I need to connect to the sanitary sewer?
Permits are needed to:

  • Tap the sanitary sewer; call the Metropolitan Sewer District at 513-244-1330.
  • Abandon the STS and changeover any plumbing; call HCPH Plumbing Division at 513-946-7854.
  • Open cut the roadway; contact the roadway maintenance department.
  • Washing Machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Floor Drains
  • Garage Drains


What happens to my existing sewage treatment system?

HCPH will continue to inspect your sewage treatment system for proper operation and maintenance until it is properly abandoned and the structure is connected to the sanitary sewer.

Upon abandonment, your contractor is required to have the tank(s) pumped out by a registered sewage hauler. They are also required to collapse the top and one side of each tank, and then fill them with a solid inert material. Buried absorption fields or filter beds that do not contain large underground cavities can remain undisturbed on the property.


What needs to be connected to the sanitary sewer?

All plumbing fixtures and drains must be connected to the sanitary sewer. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Tubs
  • Washing Machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Floor Drains
  • Garage Drains


Is the cost to connect my property to the sanitary sewer included in the sewer installation cost?

Connecting the building sewer from your property to the sanitary sewer is not included in the public improvement or assessment cost. This amount is the responsibility of the property owner.


How much does it cost to connect my property to the sanitary sewer?

The private side cost varies greatly and is dependent upon many factors such as length of pipe, construction obstacles, depth, plumbing configurations, location or even the contractor. It is recommended that the property owner obtain several bids in order to compare pricing.



For more information, call the Water Quality Division at (513) 946-7966.


Download a printable version of this fact sheet here.


250 William Howard Taft Road
2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890