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Thread: Connecting to Storm Sewer?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Default Connecting to Storm Sewer?

    I figured I'd check here first.

    My house was built before nearly every other one on the block. (1920s) It was built before the street had plumbing.

    Later, sanitary plumbing was added, but there's no connections from the separate storm sewer to my property. All my neighbors around me with houses 1930 and newer have their gutters draining to the storm sewer.

    I have to put in some new drainage to move our gutter water and any surface water away from the house.

    Ultimately, I have 2 options: Connect to the city's storm sewer system or set up a drywell system.

    So, if I do the trenching to the sidewalk; and install piping to the sidewalk can anyone give me a BALLPARK idea of cost of connecting to a Storm drain? I know fees vary a LOT, but I'm wondering if just connecting from the property line to the street is a 1-2K job, or a 6-8K job? Obviously there's fees that the city charges for the connection as well. I'm just trying to see if it's even worth calling a plumber and having an estimate done.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Have you called the city? They may provide the connection.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    No way to tell without getting an estimate from a local guy. Too many variables to even offer a guess.
    Road opening bonds are probably the biggest variable.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you have the room, it might be a good idea to put in a cistern and then use that water for watering the lawn and gardens.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Well I called the city. They informed me that there is a storm lateral stub out to my property line, and that a private plumber would need to do the work.

    So I have one place coming by this afternoon to take a look and give me an estimate. I'm hoping they'll allow me to do much of the work and just have them do the final connection. But we'll see. If it's not cost effective to connect, I'll go the drywell route if I have to. But that's a lot more work, so the storm connection cost would need to be far above the cost of drywells, etc.

    Thanks, and I'll post what happens.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    If you have the room, it might be a good idea to put in a cistern and then use that water for watering the lawn and gardens.
    I may do that with all the water going through a large underground cistern if we have to go the drywell route. Either way, I may be routing the garage gutters to a smaller in garage cistern when I rebuild the garage to provide some water for the garden.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Hmm, have had 2 plumbers by. The first one was helpful, but we'll see what the estimate is.

    The second one wasn't the boss. The boss was out of town. The subordinate showed up apparently high. Nice. So how can I trust that he communicates the correct circumstances to his boss to make sure the estimate I receive is correct????

    So, where I'm at now:

    I have a storm lateral stub out to the property line. I want to connect to it. I will do the trenching myself.

    Based on what I've been told so far, I've concluded this is what I need a plumber to do:

    Pull the permit
    Drop in a catch basin, and then lay 80 feet of pipe in the trench provided by me bedded in the provided gravel and connected to the storm sewer.

    Guy who was here today agreed it'd be less than a day's work for 2 guys.

    How do I find the appropriate type of plumber for this job? It's not too difficult if already excavated! I just want to find someone who does outside work, and will do it right the first time and on time.

    Any suggestions on how to find the right plumber for this job?


    And, I'm thinking a day's work for 2 guys and 80 feet of sewer pipe and a catch basin should be 1-2K. Unless the city has a very high charge for a storm lateral connection, is there any reason it'd be much higher than 2K?

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Oh, and I'm speaking of a catch basin like the one pictured, not a big one w/ a manhole sized-cover for a parking lot.


  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    Depending on the rates in your area, ONE man's labor for two days could approach 2K. That drain is for an area, if you connect the downspout pipes to the storm sewer directly you might not even need the basin, unless you have a low spot in the yard where rainwater pools.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Note that some places require a special license to work on the storm sewers, not all plumbers can legally make the connection, but all should be able to prep for it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    I do have a low spot, that's why the catch basin was suggested to me.
    I've had 3 plumbers look now, and am waiting on quotes from them.
    Since then, I've done more research with the city to find the location of the storm lateral stub out.

    So, couple more questions:

    The city is telling me that the lateral will be 8-12 feet below my lot's grade level. They are basing that on the fact that the storm sewer main is 8 feet below the street level at that point, and the yard is higher up than the street by a couple feet. That is a DEEP hole to dig.

    So, any reason can't run a trench 1-3 feet deep for 75 feet to get from the house to the front of the property, and then drop from 3 feet down to 12 feet vertically, or at a 45? Or do I need continuous slope all the way through the run? If so, I have to trench from the catch basin to 12 feet down over 80 feet!? Also, can I normallly make horizontal direction changes on a storm lateral, or no? (I forgot to ask) I'd like to use a couple 45s to offset the trench to keep it away from the existing gas line so I can use a power trencher for most of it.

    Also, if I want to dig a hole that deep, how do I do so and protect myself from cave-ins? What do you pros use in excavation trenches that require shoring for you to work in?

    I did run what I want to do past a city inspector. As long as the pipe is to the property line (Which the old diagrams say it is) they have no problem with me digging that and the trench myself, as long as a licensed plumber lays the pipe and makes the connection.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    You can run shallower to the stub out from the city line then drop down.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    You can run shallower to the stub out from the city line then drop down.
    Gotcha.

    How does one safely excavate by hand at an 8-12 foot depth? Full on trench boxes are thouands of pounds!

    Is there a wood method for shoring not so deep holes?

    I know some of you must've had to do something like this at some point, right?

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd never try to dig a hole that deep.

    Before you dig anything, though, the city may have a minimum depth for the lines...you need to go at least that deep. While not the same as a water supply pipe, you still wouldn't want things freezing up.

    Also, make sure to call the local utility service, we call it "Dig Safe" around here, to have them mark out any utilities. You wouldn't want to chop through electrical, gas, phone, or some other utility. It can be not only dangerous but elicit a huge fine as well. The service is free most places.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member chris8796's Avatar
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    Default

    A DIY drywell/cystern solution is looking better and better.

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