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Septic to Sewer Conversion Program

The voluntary Septic to Sewer Conversion Program was established by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to offer financial assistance to current septic system owners interested in connecting to the municipal sewer system. Only existing properties are eligible to participate in the program - new development is not eligible to receive funding.

Why should I convert?

In Southern Nevada, wastewater that is discharged through the municipal sewer system is sent to a local treatment plant where it is highly treated and returned to Lake Mead via the Las Vegas Wash. The water returned to the lake earns us return-flow credits, allowing Southern Nevada to recycle and reuse those resources to stretch our limited water supply. Water from properties with septic systems is not recaptured by our recycling system and is lost.

There are approximately 7,000 municipal customers using Colorado River water that are currently on septic. Those customers discharge nearly 619 million gallons of water into their septic annually that can’t be recycled for reuse. Converting from septic to sewer will capture this water for reuse in the Las Vegas Valley; a critical way to ensure a reliable long-term water supply for our community.

Additionally, wastewater that is discharged through a septic's leach field could contain high levels of nitrate which can contaminate the groundwater aquifer if released in the soil. Converting from septic to sewer eliminates that risk, enhancing our region's water quality.

Conversion pathways

There are three separate pathways to participate in the Septic to Sewer Conversion Program: Partially Funded, GMP Funded, and Fully Funded.

Each pathway has unique eligibility requirements and funding sources which are outlined below. For more detailed information regarding each conversion pathway and the Septic to Sewer Program, please download the program's Financial Assistance Guidelines.

Partially Funded Septic Conversion

Purpose

The Partially Funded Septic Conversion Program was developed for septic owners whose property is served by municipal water wishing to expedite their septic conversion.

Eligible costs

Subject to funding availability, this program will cover 85 percent of eligible costs, up to a maximum benefit of $40,000. Eligible costs include Permitting/inspection fees, connection fees, design fees, construction costs (including digging, re-paving, lateral and main pipeline costs on applicant property and in the public right-of-way), like-for-like landscape replacement costs, and in-place septic abandonment costs.

Ineligible costs under the program include, without limitation, landscape upgrades and costs associated with removal of the septic tank.

Process

  1. Submit the SNWA Septic to Sewer Application.
  2. If application is approved, solicit official bids from three class A contractors using the SNWA Bid Template (provided after application is received).
  3. Submit completed bids to the Septic to Sewer Program team for review and approval.
  4. Work with your SNWA-approved contractor to coordinate all required plans, permits, etc. with your applicable sewer agency.
  5. Complete construction and pay contractor in full. Note: Conversions under this pathway are on a reimbursement basis. Payment will be issued after the project is complete and all requirements for reimbursement are met.
  6. Submit the Project Closeout Package to the SNWA Septic to Sewer Program team upon project completion.
  7. Upon final project approval from the SNWA, receive reimbursement for 85 percent of eligible expenses with a maximum benefit of $40,000.

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Groundwater Management Program (GMP) Funded Septic Conversion

Purpose

The GMP Funded Septic Conversion Program was developed for septic owners whose property is served by a well. This program is funded by a portion of the GMP annual fee.

Note: Applicants must be current on their GMP fees before participating in the Septic Conversion Program, but will not be required to abandon their well to participate.

Eligible costs

Subject to funding availability, this program will cover 85 percent of eligible costs, up to a maximum benefit of $40,000. Eligible costs include permitting/inspection fees, connection fees, design fees, construction costs (including digging, re-paving, lateral and main pipeline costs on applicant property and in the public right-of-way), like-for-like landscape replacement costs, and in-place septic abandonment costs.

Ineligible costs under the program include, without limitation, landscape upgrades and costs associated with removal of the septic tank.

Process

The process for this program will be identical to the Partially Funded Septic Conversion Program.

Apply Now

Fully Funded Septic Conversion

Estimated launch date: Fall 2024

Purpose

The Fully Funded Septic Conversion Program is currently being developed and is expected to launch in early 2024. This program will be funded by federal/state grant dollars and will cover 100 percent of eligible conversion costs.

Funding within this pathway is extremely limited and requires SNWA to achieve certain metrics, as well as follow various federal compliance requirements.

It is anticipated that clusters of properties will be strategically selected for participation in this program based on funding and timing constraints. Areas with known groundwater quality issues will also be prioritized.

SNWA is working with regional sewer agency partners to identify parcels suited for the fully funded program. Project design and construction will be managed by SNWA and its contractors.

Process

There is no application for the Fully Funded Septic Conversion Program. To be added to the interest list for this program, please use the "Contact Us" button below and enter your name, email address, phone number, and address. This will help us identify clusters of properties for potential conversion under this program.

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Frequent questions

The authority to establish the proposed SNWA conversion program was granted by the Nevada Legislature in AB220, Section 33(b). Please note that this is separate from the voluntary conversion program and associated voluntary fee authorized by Section 1 of AB220; that program and fee must be enacted by the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), per the statute. We are unable to provide a timeline for the SNHD voluntary program and fee at this time.

Abandonment of the septic tank in place is a requirement of the program and will be included as part of your contractor's bid. This involves emptying the tank and then puncturing it/filling it with sand or other substrate material to disable it. Proof must be submitted to the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) as part of the project closeout process. Get more information on the SNHD's requirements. 

Eligible costs under the program include on-site and off-site construction costs (including like-for-like landscape replacement), main extension construction costs, engineering/design fees, application fees, service fees, connection fees, oversizing fees, inspection fees, plan review fees, frontage extension fees, easement and relinquishment filing fees, and septic abandonment in place.

Ineligible costs include upgraded landscape and removal of the septic tank.

Each septic to sewer conversion is different and depends on a variety of factors (distance to sewer main, landscaping, design challenges). Your contractor will be able to provide the most accurate estimate of your particular project's timeline.

Generally speaking, your sewer and water service should not be impacted by the conversion process. Exceptions may apply.

No, you are not required to convert your well if you convert your septic system. For information on our voluntary well to municipal water conversion program, please visit lasvegasgmp.com