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How Deep Are Sewer Lines Buried

By February 17, 2022Plumbing
sewer line

Have you ever stopped to think to yourself, where the sewer lines are for your home? Ever wondered why the cable company and phone companies would do line detection and spray paint the line of where your phone lines or cables were buried? This is not any different than detecting where the sewer lines are. Knowing the precise location saves you from potentially damaging or completely breaking your sewer line. How deep are sewer lines buried? Depths vary depending on the state code. The flexibility of about a foot difference within the range is typical.

Let’s take a look below at the varying depths based on sewer line type.

Sewer line in the ground.

What Are Sewer Lines

Sewer lines are drain pipes installed in your home that run away from your home towards the street city connections or your septic tanks. They carry your waste and water away from the home and into the city sewer system. It is then taken through the city sewer system to the wastewater treatment facility. Lastly, the waste is removed and then the water is sent back to your home for continuous usage.

Residential Lines:

Residential sewer line pipe depths range from as shallow as 18 to 30 inches in depth or 5 to 6 feet deep. However, in colder climates where freezes occur, you often see sewer line depths ranging from 4 to 8 feet deep. This ensures the pipes are below the freeze line.

City Sewer Lines:

City sewer lines are completely different depths. They need to be deeper than the deepest residential line. This is so that the flow of waste can continue to run downhill. Also, this allows the waste to make its way to the wastewater plant. Additionally, 12 feet deep is the depth city sewer lines are buried. They can go as deep as needed to stay below your residential sewer lines.

Why Do I Need To Know

It is important to understand how deep your sewer pipes are so you can prevent an accidental cutting or crushing of the underground pipe when digging a trench or planting new trees and foliage. Fortunately, there are mechanical devices available to detect how deep the sewer pipes are. Private property depth and public sewer depths are two different depths.

The main reasons why you would want to know the depth of your sewer lines are as follows:

  • Cities can charge a penalty fee if you do not meet local, county or state plumbing code for building requirements. So, understanding how deep the sewer line should be is important to avoid added fees.
  • If you live in a cold climate where freezes occur, you will want to make sure that your trench is deep enough for the pipe to be installed below the frost line. In most cases, the trench should be at least 4 feet deep. In cold climates the pipe will be buried deeper than in warm climates to prevent freezing in the winter.
  • Living in an area of your state where you experience tornados, hurricanes, or even a typhoon, it is important to know the depth of your sewer lines. Also, wind and heavy rains or flooding can cause trees to uproot and the root systems can break your sewer lines. This will require a fixing of the damage.

How Much Does It Cost

On the off chance that you need a sewer line replaced, you are looking at an average of $50 to $250 per linear foot. This varies based on materials needed and labor. The national average for getting your sewer lines inspected is $100 to $500 depending on the depth, length, and time required to complete a search of your sewer lines.

However, sometimes the city is responsible for replacing the sewer lines if there is an issue. This is when they start at the main underground sewer pipe and go past your property boundaries.

While you are getting a sewer scope and home inspection completed, it is a great idea to have them check on your AC unit to see why it might be leaking. Fortunately, HVAC inspections are part of the home inspection process. The inspector can recommend a reputable licensed HVAC repair technician to fix any leaks in your AC unit.

Another area to maintain is the yard and landscaping. You want to make sure that water isn’t gathering in the yard in puddles as this can cause a few problems. One of those is attracting mosquitos. You can get rid of mosquitos naturally by getting rid of standing water, buying plants that are natural repellants, inviting bats, and using eco-friendly mosquito control solutions.

Seamless gutters help with the water.

Lastly, gutters are a great way to make the water flow from the roof to the ground. You may notice while looking at the sewer issues that you don’t have any gutters. There are different types you can get and one of those is seamless gutters. Do your research about the type that works for your home.

When Do I Call A Professional

Unfortunately, finding the depth of your sewer lines and determining if they are damaged or intact requires some equipment that you likely do not have. In this case, it is a great idea to call a professional to detect and inspect your sewer lines. This could save you time and money as you find out if there are roots in your pipes or if they have cracks. Better yet, if they are completely intact and running smoothly is even better.


The good part is that everyone has sewer pipes in their home and leaving their home. Also, they are essential to our everyday lively-hood of getting water and flushing waste out and away from our home. It is a great idea to detect how deep your sewer lines are buried prior to installing new trees and plants.

You wouldn’t want to break the pipes upon installation of your new vegetation. Call on your local home inspection team to complete a thorough home inspection and sewer scope of your property. Call, Honor Services for your home inspection and sewer scope in Brevard County, FL.

Michelle Shishilla

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