Connecting to the Public System

Approved Sewer Service Area

sewer service area map In order to connect a structure to the sanitary sewer, it must be located within the approved sewer service area and public sewer must be deemed available to the property. On July 2, 1979, the Board of Supervisors adopted the following wording to clarify Board policies on extending sanitary sewer service:

The delineation of the sewer service area boundary is determined to include the immediately adjacent area which can be served by the smallest allowable gravity lines installed in accord with the normal engineering practices which will result in the safest and most cost-effective operations and, further, any extension of a sewer line across the surface drainage divide of an approved sewer service area shall not exceed a distance of 400 feet nor a manhole depth of 12 feet without approval by the Board of Supervisors.  View the Board Amendment to Sewer Policy (PDF).

To request public sewer extension outside the approved sewer service area, please contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1380, TTY 711.

For questions about the Fairfax County Sewer Service Area, call the Wastewater Planning and Monitoring Division at 703-324-5030, TTY 711.

Public Sanitary Sewer Availability

Sanitary discharge shall be conveyed from a building by gravity to the sanitary sewer wherever public sewer is available. A sanitary sewer main shall be deemed available when the main is within the distances specified below:

  • For one- and two-family dwellings: within 300 feet of the property line.
  • All other occupants: within 500 feet of the property line.

Pumped sewage systems will only be permitted in unusual circumstances when it can be proven that connection to the sanitary sewer is technically unfeasible.

Any extension of public sewer shall be made at the expense of the owner of the premises to be served.


Once sewer is deemed available to the property, a permit must be obtained to connect the structure to the system. Information regarding how to obtain a permit can be found online.

Only a licensed plumber can obtain a permit to perform the actual sewer tap into a sewer main. If there is an existing spur, a homeowner may connect to the spur and install the sewer line to the house.

If you are going to abandon a septic field, contact the Health Department at 703-246-2201, TTY 711.

As part of the permit process, all applicable sanitary sewer fees must be paid prior to the issuance of the permit. The schedule of charges may be found in Chapter 67.1, Article 10 of the Fairfax County Code.

For information regarding which fees apply to a given property, call the Wastewater Planning and Monitoring Division at 703-324-5015, TTY 711, or visit the Public Service Counter at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 358, Fairfax, Va. 22035. Directions

Effective Sept. 25, 1986, payment of availability fee will not be accepted for any type of project or area that is not in an approved sewer service area.

Forms for permit approval process:


Manhole Taps

Direct service connections to a sanitary sewer manhole must be inspected by the Wastewater Collection Division. The plumber must call the Wastewater Collection Division at 703-250-2003, TTY 711, at least 48 hours prior to actual connection.

Additional information regarding connections to the sanitary sewer may be found in Chapter 65, Article 6 of the Fairfax County Code.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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