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Septic Tank Removal Permit Requirements

Removal of a private septic tank requires two steps:

  • Obtain a clearance from the Public Works Department. Call the Permit Center at 408-535-3555 and state your interest in speaking with Public Works staff on removing a septic tank, cesspool, or other type of private sewage disposal system.
  • Obtain a building permit and plumbing permit.

Permit Process

  1. Complete a Building Permit Application. For type of permit, check both “building” and “plumbing.” Both types are required to abandon a private sewage disposal system and hook up to the City sewer.
  2. Provide a Plot Plan that clearly shows:
  • Location, size and depth of the septic tank
  • Distance from tank to nearby remaining structures, such as a detached garage or other accessory structure. Label all the structures.
  • Non-Buildable Area - If the post-demolition area is to become a non-buildable area, delineate the non-buildable area on the Plot Plan. After waste removal and removal of the septic tank (or cesspool or seepage pit), the pit must be completely filled with compatible material, such as sand or pea gravel. Improper fill may create undesirable settlement. A Building Division Inspector will visit the site and check that the excavation has been properly filled and that the location agrees with the supplied Plot Plan.
  • Buildable Area - If the post-demolition area is to become buildable, you must provide the following two items prior to permit issuance:
    • A Demolition, Drainage, and Compaction Plan prepared and wet stamped by a state- licensed engineer.
    • A completed Special Inspection Form that designates the supervising engineer or Special Inspection Agency that will both conduct the backfill compaction observation and provide a compaction report to the Building Division, declaring the abated area as buildable. The Special Inspection final inspection letter, certifying that the excavation was compacted to 95%, will be accepted as the final inspection.
  1. Prior to hooking up to the City sewer, the Building Division Inspector will perform a general Health & Safety Survey, which includes inspection of plumbing vents and traps.
  • If the survey determines that corrections are needed, the applicant may be required to obtain an additional plumbing permit.
  • After the sewer piping is installed and connected to the city sewer, the work shall remain open and accessible until after inspection.
  • Local codes require the installation of a property line clean-out when a new connection is made to the City sewer. See Bulletin #276 - Sewer Installation Requirements for more information on property line clean-outs.
  • If there is an existing lateral to the city sewer, only the Building Division Inspector will inspect the sewer installation.
  • If a new lateral connection is required to the city sewer, the Public Works Inspector will inspect the off-site sewer lateral, and the Building Division Inspector will inspect the on-site sewer piping located on the private property side.

A PDF handout version of this information is available on our Building Handouts and Forms page.

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