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Side Sewer Permit

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What Is It?

A side sewer is a pipe system that carries wastewater and/or drainage water from the plumbing and downspouts of your building to the public sewer system or outlet. This includes the pipe system up to, but not including, the connection to the public main. A side sewer includes all the piping located outside the building footprint. The entire side sewer is owned and maintained by the property owner. All the piping inside your building is considered plumbing and is regulated, permitted, and inspected by Seattle-King County Public Health.

A side sewer permit allows you to work on a side sewer, including new installations, alterations, repairs, pipe abandonment, relocations, removals, and temporary groundwater removal work (usually for large projects). Both sanitary and drainage lines may be included on the same permit application.

If you need to work on a side sewer located in the public right-of-way, a Registered Side Sewer Contractor must get the permit and complete the work. This side sewer permit includes a street use permit for the work in the public right-of-way.

How Much Does It Cost?

Side sewer permit fees vary based on the scope of work.

  • A sanitary repair permit for work on private property generally costs $280 (includes one to two inspections)
  • A drainage repair permit for work on private property generally costs $375 (includes one to two inspections)
  • An addition / alteration permit generally costs $375 (includes one to two inspections)
  • A new construction permit costs $375 each for sanitary and storm ($750 total), plus fees for any required recording documents (includes one to four inspections)

We bill additional inspections at our hourly rate.

If you are working in the public right-of-way, you need to pay an additional one-hour Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) inspection fee.

For more information on fees, see the list of fees by category.

How Long does It Take?

We usually issue your permit over the counter on the same day you apply.

Steps to Get Your Permit


1. Research

Determine restrictions to your project. Read the Side Sewer Code to understand the rules that apply to your project.

Find incentives for your project. Research the City's different incentives that might apply to your project.

2. Start Permit Application

Prepare your plans.

Fill out forms. These documents may be required depending on the project

Special conditions forms (these are rarely needed)

Coordinate with other agencies. You may need permits or approvals from other agencies. These are the most common agencies you may need to work with for your permit type:

3. Submit Plans

Bring your application materials to the drainage counter in the Applicant Services Center to get your permit.

Registered Side Sewer Contractors can apply for side sewer repair permits online.

Emergency work is allowed without getting a permit in advance, but a permit and inspections must be obtained from us the next business day.

4. Schedule Inspection

Know when to call. You need to request a side sewer inspection before you cover your side sewer pipe.

Contact us. Call our 24-hour inspection request line at (206) 684-8900 before 7:00 a.m. on the day you need the inspection. You can also request an inspection online.

Coordinate with other agencies.

  • Contact Seattle Public Utilities at (206) 615-0511 to schedule a core tap
  • Contact the SDOT Job Start Notification Hotline at (206) 684-5270 48-hours before starting work in the public right-of-way


What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

 Ask Us

  • Side Sewer & Drainage Counter: (206) 684-5362
  • Problems With the City Main: (206) 386-1800
  • Street Use Counter: (206) 684-5283