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Septic Systems

Man digging a ditch

Sewer Availability

Is sewer service available to you?


All parcels located within Tacoma city limits that are directly abutting a public sewer located in a public right-of-way or public easement are considered available to sewer and may connect to the sewer once any sewer fees are paid and permits are obtained.

All parcels not directly abutting the sewer shall be reviewed by Environmental Services for determination of whether a connection to public sewer will be permitted, or whether a public sanitary sewer main extension or other alternative is required to serve the parcel.

If your property is within 200 feet of a public sewer line, you are considered to have sewer available to you.  If sewer is available to you - even if you are not hooked up - most likely you already are paying a monthly sewer charge.

If your property is not within 200 feet of the public sewer line, check with us anyway - especially if your septic system shows any signs of failing.  We might be able to help you extend the sewer line to reach your property.

You have two years from the time City sewer service is extended to your area to take advantage of the half-off hook-up fee offered under the Septic Amnesty Program.  Though the average cost of a hook-up varies, this offer could save you thousands of dollars.  In the meantime, follow these tips for keeping your septic system in good shape.

For information about sewer availability, call (253) 591-5760 or visit Chapter 2 of the Side Sewer and Sanitary Sewer Availability Manual.

Septic Amnesty Program

Need a sewer connection? The City may be able to help.


Is your City of Tacoma home still on a septic system? Would you like to connect to the City's sewer system? Did City sewer service become available to you within the last two years?

If you answered yes to these questions, the City may be able to help with hook-up fees. The City's innovative Septic Amnesty Program allows homeowners to cut their hook-up fees in half (up to a maximum of $10,000) if they need or want to connect to the City's sewer system.  As a homeowner, you can do this through an individual, private sewer line extension, or by forming a Local Improvement District (LID) with your neighbors.

This offer is only good for two years from the time sewer becomes available to your home.

Every property in the city is charged a one-time fee (LID sewer assessment or a charge-in-lieu-of assessment) to cover the cost of the sewer pipe in the street.  Most homes in the city already are connected to the sewer line and have paid the assessment, but there are still a few homes served by private septic tanks that might not have paid. Those homeowners have to pay a fee to hook-up.

If your septic system fails, you are required to hook up to the City sewer system if sewer is available to you.  Consider doing it now while we'll help you pay for it. 

Financing Available

You may qualify for a low-interest loan to cover your costs of the side sewer connection and your share of the assessment fee.

For more information about the Septic Amnesty Program, call (253) 591-5760.