Connecting Dry Sewer Lines

    Dry Sewer Lines Explained

Pierce County is growing fast, and we are working hard to build the infrastructure necessary to support our expanding population. Sometimes though, that means houses are built on properties that don’t yet have available sewer service. In those cases, Pierce County Code requires builders to install interim on-site septic systems to serve residents’ immediate needs, while also laying pipes, called sewer mains, that will connect homes to the public sewer system as it is expanded.  

These homes are described as having “dry lines” because their sewer lines are not connected to surrounding homes or the public sewer system. Currently there are 22 developments with dry lines in the Pierce County Sewer Service Area.

Once available sewer service reaches these homes with dry lines, Pierce County will notify property owners that they need to connect to the public sewer system and will provide step-by-step information about how to do it. Property owners will have six months (180 days) after receiving notification to complete the connection and decommission the on-site septic.  

Connecting to the public sewer system and decommissioning on-site septic systems could cost property owners between $8,000 and $20,000, including permitting fees and connection charges. Pierce County understands this is a significant cost and is available to help with resources and information. We have already extended the time for property owners to connect their lines to the public sewer system from the 60 days after written notification required by County Code to 180 days, and we have assistance programs to help property owners spread the cost over time.


Steve Chanfrau, PE
Engineering Manager
[email protected]

    Step-by-Step Guide for Connecting to Sewer System 

Choose contractor from the registered contractor list.


Submit project (with scanned documents) online through PALS+ permitting system.


Pay the sewer service permit fee (ranges from $220 to $1,640 depending on system requirements) and applicable connection charges. Rates are subject to change and are accurate as of date of publishing.


The application will be reviewed for compliance with standard plans and the permit will be issued to the contractor.


Once your property is connected to the sewer, any existing septic tanks on the property will need to be decommissioned.

    144th Street East Sewer Extension

144th_Map_Dryline Opens in new windowThe 144th Street East Sewer Extension project includes the installation of approximately 12,360 feet of gravity sewer pipe, 1,150 feet of pressure sewer pipe, 34 concrete manholes, five corrosion resistant manholes, and a valve vault.

The extensions will provide improved access to public sewer facilities to the unsewered area bordered by 144th Street East to the north, 160th Street East to the south, Canyon Road East to the west and 66th Avenue East to the east. A private dryline located in 58th Avenue Court East will also connect to the public sewer system.

Upon completion of this project, several property owners with interim on-site septic systems will be notified to connect to the public sewer system. 

    B Street Interceptor Phase 3

The B Street Interceptor Phase 3 extended sewer access to unsewered properties to encourage further development in the Spanaway Basin area and provide capacity relief to other sewer mainlines in the area.

Pierce County installed approximately 5,500 feet of sewer interceptor pipes along B Street East from 192nd Street East to Hidden Village Drive/10th Avenue East (near the Walmart entrance).

Upon completion of this project, several property owners with interim on-site septic systems will be notified to connect to the public sewer system. 

    Woodland Avenue Pump Station [In design]

The Woodland Pump Station project will construct sanitary sewer facilities to support approximately 110 acres of Urban Growth Area that is currently unsewered. 

The project is designed to improve access to public sanitary sewer facilities for surrounding residential areas in South Hill and Mid-County. It also supports the Pierce County Centers and Corridors Initiative, which promotes compact communities around major roadways and supports economic development.

The project also includes two dryline plats (Woodland Parc and Woodland View) that will connect to the public sewer system. Upon completion of this project, 35 property owners with those subdivisions with interim on-site septic systems will be notified to connect to the public sewer system. 

The project will be located south of SR 512 and east of Canyon Road. 

Check back for more information.

    Assistance Programs


We recognize the challenge of completing this work due to costs and other constraints. They are extending the required connection time from 60 days to 180 days from written notification.

Pierce County offers two new programs to reduce the burden of costs:

Residential Dry Sewer Line Connection Charge Amortization Program
Pierce County charges property owners to connect to the sewer system. These fees help offset the impacts of development on the sewer system infrastructure and allow Pierce County to protect the public health and environment by keeping up with growth. Connection charges are available here. This program will allow eligible property owners to spread that cost over time, up to 15 years in some cases.

Residential Dry Sewer Line Loan Program
This low-interest loan program will cover up to 90 percent of eligible dry line connection and septic system decommissioning costs, or $10,000, whichever is less. For example, if the total cost of connecting a property to the sewer system is $11,000, the owner can apply for a loan for $9,900. If the total cost is over $11,111, the owner can apply for a loan of $10,000. And property owners can repay the loan over a 10-year period. Applicants are subject to loan approval. Terms and conditions apply.