Can you have city water and a septic system?

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williaty
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Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by williaty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:51 am

I hope someone on ZS knows this because I'm not sure who else to ask. We're having some well problems that might mean we have to have a new well drilled. This, obviously, ain't cheap. However, the township ran a city water main down the street in front of our house just before we bought it but the previous owners elected not to hook up to it. Since there's already an assessment for the cost of the water main, we can hook up to city water for "free", meaning that the city won't charge us for hooking up, we just have to pay a plumber to run a pipe to the house. That might be cheaper than having a new well drilled.

However, I DON'T want hooked up to the city sewer and all the problems that can go along with that. Is it possible to take city water (chlorinated) and dump it into a septic system (that we already have) without screwing up the septic system?

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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by gundogs » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:59 am

I think you need to ask your township codes guy if you can have city water without city sewer. Where I used to live the billing was linked btween the 2

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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by Zimmy » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:15 am

I have city water and a septic system. Everyone in my area does. No one has a problem with traditional or aerobic systems due to chlorine

I hope that helps.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by ZombieGranny » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:28 pm

We also have septic tanks and city water here.
No problems that I've heard of.
Might want to double-check your area codes; but I should imagine if you do, then most of your neighbors have septics as well.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by BigDaddyTX » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:38 pm

Pretty much the same as above, but my well has TERRIBLE water, so we have a chlorine injector and our septic is just fine. If they ever manage to get city water here, I'd hook up in a second.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by NT2C » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:19 pm

Sorta makes you wonder just how effective chlorinating the water is, doesn't it?
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by DarkAxel » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:44 pm

The answer to this question is going to depend a lot on the codes and local ordinances in your county and township/city.

Here in my home county, getting electric service or municipal water service for a home requires either a connection to the municipal sewer system or a septic tank, and the septic tank has to be inspected/tested and certified before the utility can be turned on (We've had a serious problem with people piping raw sewage into our lakes and streams in the past). Here, the County Health Department sends out the inspectors. That might be a good place for you to start.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by CitizenZ » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:12 pm

All depends on your cities rules. Usually once they provide a service, like water or sewage, they want everyone in the future to use it. You are probably grandfathered in, but they may not allow any new homes to be built with a new well or septic (if there is water and sewage available). Here in my town we still have some homes on septic and some wells, but no new ones are allowed.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:10 pm

It depends heavily on your local codes. From a technical viewpoint, there's no reason at you couldn't have city utilities AND the well and septic- some homes have both, with certain portions of the home piped to one or the other, but the two can NOT share piping. This may seem like a real pain, but if you think out the difficulties that could arise if one system started flowing into the other, it makes good sense- especially since you, the homeowner, would have to foot the bill for making it all right again.

Myself, I currently have city water and a septic tank. The reason being that the installation of a sewer line in our area would be massive amounts of money- shallow depth to bedrock, high/steep hill to go to one existing main, and a VERY long run to the next closest main (which would probably mean we could only pipe the upstairs bathroom into it, or forget maintaining pitch the whole way) LOL.

As to chlorine content in most city water supplies- keep in mind that most cities use copper pipes, if not in the street, than certainly in existing homes (newer homes are using plastic pipes more and more), and chlorine EATS copper. If the city made the chlorine content as strong as you'd use in a swimming pool, for instance, your home would be springing leaks all over in pretty short order. Even so, as low in content as it may be, it's still effective to keep the creeping crud from finding a home in the city mains, so it's usually good 'as-is' for storage, again, depending on location. Adding chlorine up to the point it can be smelled easily is one way to be sure your water is clean of biological problems. If it comes out the tap reeking of chlorine, I'd leave it alone and just make sure my containers were clean before filling them.

Having installed quite a few water lines, both from wells and city mains, the cost of the city hookup is WAY less than having a well drilled- and should be a lot more reliable. The old well very well might recover it's ability to provide water, so there's your back-up plan, already installed, and probably a dim memory in your neighbor's minds, if there at all. Get an inverter that can provide the correct voltage forms for your well pump from 12VDC, and you are GTG.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by DannusMaximus » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:51 pm

KJ4VOV wrote:Sorta makes you wonder just how effective chlorinating the water is, doesn't it?
Not even a little bit. Excerpt from an article from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry:

"One of the major achievements of this century is the extent to which waterborne diseases have become
of minor significance in the mortality and morbidity of most developed countries. The use of chlorine and
its compounds for the disinfection of drinking-water has played a central role in reducing the incidence of
these diseases and can be considered one of the most important success stories of our times for the preser-
vation and promotion of public health."


Link to the entire article is here: http://pac.iupac.org/publications/pac/p ... 9x1731.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On topic, we have a large number of subdivisions in our area that have city water and septic systems, no problems that I'm aware of.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by Anianna » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:56 am

To sum up the thread:

It is physically possible, but may or may not be legal in your area. :mrgreen:
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by Stercutus » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:28 am

I have found the best place to do this is just outside city limits where they run a water line but decide sewer is too much effort. I find this the best of both worlds. There are significant advantages to having a septic system.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by CrossCut » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:42 am

Our last home had city water and septic. Lived there 7 years, only had the septic pumped out before selling it as a condition from the prospective buyer. Never had a problem with it. The prior owners had a well/pump before they brought city water into the area, when they attached to it they left the well/pump/pressure tank in place, cut the pipe from the well where it entered the basement, and plumbed in the the city water about a foot from the old well pipe. I attached a "T" and a foot of copper, added shutoff valves for each leg, and could switch from city to well water at will.

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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by DarkAxel » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:33 pm

CrossCut wrote:I attached a "T" and a foot of copper, added shutoff valves for each leg, and could switch from city to well water at will.
That is illegal as hell in my AO. Here, you can't have a well and municipal water service sharing the same plumbing at all.
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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by williaty » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:36 pm

DarkAxel wrote:
CrossCut wrote:I attached a "T" and a foot of copper, added shutoff valves for each leg, and could switch from city to well water at will.
That is illegal as hell in my AO. Here, you can't have a well and municipal water service sharing the same plumbing at all.
Here, the way he did it won't fly but you're allowed to do it if you install a check valve between the well-side and the municiple-side. The idea is that, if the municipal side were to drop to a lower pressure than the well side, water from the well can't flow into the city's pipes. So long as you do that, they're ok with you bi-sourcing your water.

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Re: Can you have city water and a septic system?

Post by delarey » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:17 am

We have city water and a septic. No problems in the 6 years we've been here.

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