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Septic System Abandonment
Your septic system has served an important function. This on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system allowed your property to be developed when municipal sewer was not available at your location. Now that you are connecting to municipal sewer you will want to take the proper steps for abandoning your septic system. Following are four simple steps for proper abandonment:
  1. Once a licensed plumber completes installation for the connection to municipal sewer, a permanent cap should be installed on the old sewer line supplying the septic tank.
  2. Next, a licensed septage hauler should pump the septic tank out. If the tank contents are not removed they may deteriorate the tank possibly resulting in a tank collapse.
  3. Finally, the empty tank should either be filled with compacted clean soil or crushed in place and filled with clean soil. If this step is not performed it is possible for tank lids to crack and collapse over time. This creates a potentially hazardous situation and can become a liability for the property owner.
  4. If your septic system used a lift station (pump tank) you should contact a licensed electrician to properly disconnect and secure the electrical wiring for the system. After the wiring has been properly secured the pump tank should be abandoned following steps 1 through 3.
Rarely are septic tanks or drain fields excavated and removed from a site. If system components must be removed, caution must be used and the excavated materials should always be handled and disposed of properly.

Improperly abandoned septic tanks can pose hazards and create undesirable situations. Tanks that have collapsed pose safety hazards for people and pets. Tanks that are not properly abandoned may fill with water over time. This can impact or prevent plans for future additions or renovations at your house. Improperly abandoned tanks may not be able to support the weight of vehicular traffic, building foundations, or other structures built on the property.

Businesses should contact the MCHD for additional information on how to properly abandon a septic system used by a business or industry.

Following is a list of telephone numbers that may aid in the proper abandonment of your septic system:

Groundwater & Wastewater Services  704-336-5103
Mecklenburg County Building Standards Department  704-336-2831

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