Step 3: Hire a Contractor and get a cost estimate
Property owners will find that hiring a Licensed Drainlayer to assist from the beginning on will help tremendously. Although you can wait until you have all approvals in hand you will find that professionals who work regularly with the LSDC understand the connection process and can assist you with the permitting.
For those who have a typical connection - a gravity connection with easy access to service stub in street, no indoor plumbing issues, etc., we recommend that you call three or more drainlayers from our licensed contractor list to discuss the work and provide you with a cost estimate. Make sure that you fully understand the service they are providing.
Typically, drainlayers will provide permitting assistance (optional), materials and labor, removal of the old septic system, and restoration of your property. They will also be able to advise you of any site or plumbing issues that could complicate your connection process. More complicated connections may require the assistance of a professional engineer.
Step 4: Review construction plan
Most services connections can be constructed in a day or two. The progression of works typically starts with exposing the Commission's sewer connection stub at the street line and the residential sewer pipe at the house. A trench is then excavated between the two and a PVC sewer pipe is layed in a bed of crushed stone and sand. A cleanout will need to be installed near the house foundation so that any clogs that may occur in future can be easily cleared. In certain cases, where the property sits low compared to the street or in a low-pressure sewer area, your sewer connection will need a grinder pump to get to the sewer main.
Once the sewer connection is installed between the house and the street the final plumbing connection is made and the old septic tank is pumped out and crushed in place and covered over. The LSDC’s inspector will spot-inspect critical steps along the way for compliance.
Connect an Existing Home or Business
The Lancaster Sewer District Commission knows that the connection of your property to the Commission's sewer can be a large investment that deserves careful consideration. This step-by-step guide for connecting existing homes and businesses with failed septic systems in our service area will help you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
If you are trying to connect a newly constructed home or business without a failed septic system please review our guide for new construction.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you with any questions.
Step 1: Confirm that your property is eligible to connect
First and foremost, confirm that the property is eligible to connect to the Commission’s sewer. This means that the property must have frontage to an existing public way and access to a sewer main in the street.
For existing houses on septic systems it must be demonstrated that the septic system currently serving the property is no longer adequate. For septic systems built before 1995, this will almost always be the case. Otherwise, the septic system must have been deemed to be in failure by a certified Title 5 inspector and verified by the Lancaster Board of Health.
New lots without septic systems or existing lots with a change in use will need to obtain sewer capacity flow credits from the Sewer Bank in order to connect. The sewer bank is a “bank” of sewer capacity flow credits used by the LSDC to allow new connections. If you are in this situation please review our guide for new construction.
Step 2: Prepare and submit Permits
Download and complete the LSDC Service Connection Application Multiform. A portion of this application must be brought to the Lancaster Board of Health for certification before you submit your permit to the LSDC. If the installation is unusual or triggers a special permit category please additionally be sure that any site plans are submitted in accordance with our Site Plan Submission requirements. The owner, or owners representative, will submit the full permit package to the LSDC for review. Be sure that your payment for all permit costs is attached to the submission. Sewer connection permits do not authorize other permits that may be required such as street opening permits and wetlands permits.
Permits are typically signed every two weeks at a scheduled Commission meeting. Once a sign off occurs the LSDC will send an email to the applicant noting that the permit was approved and that arrangements for construction can begin. Applicants who do not provide an email address must call the LSDC’s office to confirm that the permits were approved.
Step 5: Schedule construction and inspection
At least 48 hours in advance of the commencement of construction the contractor must arrange for inspection with the LSDC Inspector. There are no exceptions to this rule. The LSDC must inspect the connection or it will be ordered removed.
Upon request, the LSDC will provide a certificate of compliance once the connection has been completed and inspected. This certificate serves to demonstrate to lenders and others that the connection was made in accordance with the LSDC’s standards.
Typical Sewer Connection