Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I call for service?
Call BCSS at 251/971-3022 for grinder pump repairs, maintenance, septic tank pumping, etc. On-site service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for existing customers. We offer septic tank pumping anywhere in Baldwin County on weekdays. Learn more about the services we offer here.
Is Baldwin County Sewer Service part of Baldwin County?
No, Baldwin County Sewer Service (BCSS) is not part of Baldwin County or any other governmental entity. BCSS is a private utility company.
Do you offer garbage service or any other utility services?
No, we do not offer garbage pick-up, water service or any other utility service. You may need to contact Baldwin County Solid Waste about garbage pickup, and this list of Baldwin County utilities with contact information can be helpful.
How do I transfer a sewer service account?
Visit this site for all information on transferring sewer service into or out of your name, or reconnecting, disconnecting or installing sewer service.
What services are offered after hours?
BCSS has servicemen on call 24/7 for existing BCSS customers and to address sewer service emergencies and repairs on our system. Additional charges can apply to sewer service calls after hours, which is explained by our answering service before after hours service calls are scheduled. We do not offer septic tank pumping 24/7. After hours calls are considered after the following office hours: Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
How does BCSS determine its rate structure?
Since BCSS does not provide water service and monitor fluctuations in water usage, we charge flat residential rates and flat standard commercial rates for sewer treatment. BCSS provides sewer service to thousands of customers across many areas of a very large county that encompasses several different water service providers. Our fees, including treatment fees, impact fees and tap fees, are based on various factors. BCSS maintains and pays for every aspect of our system, treatment plants, equipment, employees and more. Unlike many municipal utilities, we are not supplemented by government funding. It is important to consider that transporting wastewater away from properties is a crucial service, and fees for luxuries such as cable, internet and cell phone services can be more expensive.
What does my monthly treatment bill cover?
Customers’ monthly sewer service bills are charged to transport and treat all of the wastewater away from the property. Monthly sewer service treatment payments cover costs to maintain and upgrade every aspect of our sewer system, wastewater treatment plants, equipment, employees, etc. It does not include sewer system repairs on customer’s property that aren’t covered under warranty.
What if I can’t afford to pay my bill?
We greatly sympathize when customers struggle to pay bills. We do everything we can to help customers with unanticipated fees, such as grinder pump repairs, which we offer to divide into smaller monthly payments on your bills. However, we have to treat all of our customers the same and cannot make exceptions of not paying bills. If you have trouble paying your bills due to emergencies or unexpected circumstances, there are great nonprofit organizations in Baldwin County that offer assistance with utility bills. Please contact the organization closest to you to learn more about their guidelines and how they may be able to help. Visit our Payment Options page for their contact information.
Does BCSS conduct formal septic system inspections?
BCSS does not provide a formal septic system inspection while pumping the septic tank. The Baldwin County Health Department is an option for a formal inspection, and they can be scheduled by calling (251) 947-3618. Our septic tank pumping crew can arrange to meet inspectors on site.
What is your service disconnection and reconnection policy?
Can renters put the sewer service account in their names?
BCSS allows tenants to add their names to accounts and pay bills, but ultimately, it is the owner’s responsibility since we don’t want to disconnect sewer service at an owner’s property (if there is recurring nonpayment by tenant) without their knowledge. In addition, if renters suddenly move away from a property, we may not know of this, and an outstanding balance could be on the account. BCSS sends notices to tenants and owners so that both parties are informed of the account status.
What happens when BCSS detects a sewer overflow on the sewer system?
Sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) happen for various reasons, most commonly because of sewer lines being cut during construction activities and heavy rain infiltrating the system. BCSS is continually updating vulnerable areas of main sewer lines, lift stations, and other parts of our system to prevent SSOs. Please visit our Safety site to read about our protocol for handling an SSO.
What is the difference between a septic system and sanitary sewer service?
A septic system is a type of onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS), consisting of a septic tank that collects all the (wastewater) sewage. The sewage separates into a solid (sludge) that settles to the bottom, and a liquid effluent that flows into a leach field for final treatment by the soil with its natural bacteria. There are different types of septic systems, as described by the EPA’s septic system glossary. Read more about septic systems on the EPA’s Septic Smart website.
A sanitary sewer system collects wastewater (sewage) from homes, businesses, and many industries, and deliver it to wastewater treatment plants for treatment by an intricate process involving either chlorine or ultraviolet disinfection.
In summary, a conventional septic system treats (cleans) wastewater onsite, or within the soil on personal property, and typically, a [public] sewer system removes wastewater from a property through pipes and pumping systems to a wastewater treatment plant where it is treated and then discharged back into the environment.
If I want to replace my septic system with sanitary sewer service or I'm building with the option for a septic system, what do I do?
What can delay my installation?
The number one delay for sewer service installation is permitting. Baldwin County Sewer Service, in most instances, has to petition the county, state or a city, or all of the above, to get permission to run or tap a sewer line in the various rights-of-way. Depending on the complexity of the installation, it can be costly and time consuming. Some permits can even take months. The second most common delay factor is rain. BCSS cannot install while the ground is wet.
If a new customer or developer requests that BCSS extend its sewer main line to serve a property, what is involved in the process?
After the new customer/developer signs BCSS paperwork, BCSS then begins the permit application process with the related City, County and/or the State that maintains the Right of Way along the requested path. As part of this process, we contact Alabama Once Call to mark all of the utility lines within the area. BCSS submits all of the required information, usually to the building or permit department, and waits for approval. Once the extension is approved, BCSS schedules its crews to expand the line. We often extend lines in Baldwin County to serve customers in need, especially since all of the city sewer utilities cannot cover the entire County.