Posted by Betty Chatigny on October 29, 1998 at 19:43:36:
Received our 1st estimate to convert from septic to sewer line (about 200 ft) from back of house, along side of house, then under existing driveway (tabled to be replaced within next year), across front lawn to existing sewer connection point. $5,010! Isn't this a little high? Could we rent a "ditch witch" to do most work ourselves, then pay plumber to connect? Any suggestions? Betty Chatigny

A ditch witch won't dig deep enough or wide enough to install the new pipe.
We usually figure about $10-$15 per foot, but then you have to add accessing and filling the septic tank, and a cesspool if you have one, plus the cost of any permits. Local digging conditions can also increase the price. The only way to tell for your area is to get several bids and see if there is a large variation in them. hj

That sounds pretty good to me. 200 feet is a long way to ditch with grade, lay pipe on grade, backfill and compact.

In my younger days, I did the same thing, 220 feet out to the sewer line. I brought in a backhoe to dig the ditch, laid the pipe, put in pea gravel around the pipe, using a wheelbarrow. It started to rain, this is Seattle right! It took me forever! My driveway was unusable for two months because the water had filled in the ditch and saturated all of the backfill dirt. But hey, I was young, low on cash, and strong enough to walk the extra 300 feet across the neighbors yard everyday for two months to get to my cars.

A side sewer contractor would do the job, quickly, with all of the power tools needed and the expertise needed to run them right. Not to mention lazer levels and concrete drills to tap into main lines.

I would get two more bids, you may feel better about it.

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