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Would it just be too crazy to try to permit a new house construction that doesn’t tie into sewer line or have a septic system?  Can’t the greywater irrigation area just be way larger than could ever overflow, no matter how much rain there is and how saturated is the soil?  And, can I not live a life that doesn’t require occasionally dumping toxic chemicals?

Or, would you say it’s not even worth the fight with the city building/health dept?  Where I’m considering building, the municipality is fairly permissive, so it might be possible to convince them, if I have good arguments.  One reason I’d like to avoid the sewer hookup is that there is a tap-in fee of  $12k, along with a monthly fee.

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Hi Eric,

It’s definitely possible to have a sewerless house, and there are examples of this working. However, to want to do this to avoid development fees is not a viable option. Your local building department views each property and house with a long view. If they let you do this you may be responsible with the system,  but then you sell the house later on and the next people may not comply with or care about a nontoxic life and dump who-knows-what down the drain, or demand services b/c they don’t want to deal with an onsite system. I don’t think there is any chance you could bypass the sewer/septic hookup under typical circumstance.

Unless, your area has exemptions for sites that are a certain distance from an existing sewer line and are unsuitable for a septic. I have heard of some exemptions for this unusual situation (like a community garden that needs some facilities, but can’t hook up b/c they are far from the sewer line and can’t do septic). Some jurisdictions also allow a reduced septic leach field size if there is on-site reuse, but it depends on what state you live in if this is a possibility.

I wish you the best of luck with your project! And maybe greywater could be part of it even if you have to hook up.


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