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Septic System vs. Sanitary Sewer Service


Collects wastewater (sewage) from homes and businesses and deliver it to wastewater treatment plants through underground piping and pumping systems for treatment by an intricate process involving either chlorine or ultraviolet disinfection.

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.

 Sanitary Sewer Service  Septic Systems
 Transports thousands of gallons of wastewater away from each home/ business per month Failing systems are the third most common source of groundwater contamination
Virtually maintenance-free  Costly pumping needed every few years
Provides on-site service 24/7/365 and a real person will always answer your call Malfunctioning systems cause hazardous, destructive sewage backups and overflows, with possible obscene odors and unsightly messes
One small, secure service line that should never need to be repaired or replaced. If grinder pump is needed, it’s a perfectly engineered pump installed underground with a discreet, easily accessible lid. BCSS is currently the only local company to offer temporary pumps if off-site repairs are necessary. Several parts take up large portion of property and can be expensive & difficult to repair / replace
Could increase property value. Some mortgage lenders even require connecting to sewer service if available for refinancing & purchasing property May decrease property value and discourage potential buyers when trying to sell, especially if a septic tank inspection indicates system problems
Discounted installation package available, including sewer tap fee, service line installation, any permitting and lines locates needed, grinder pump if applicable and pump installation and septic tank pumping if needed. Flexible financing available, including 0% interest, and can be conveniently added to onto service bills Most septic installers expect full payment upfront. Installation and repair require Health Department approval, plus permitting and engineering may be necessary
Wastewater utilities recommend keeping unsuitable items out of the drains to prevent system problems, including but not limited to grease, plastic and personal wipes The EPA & other resources recommend keeping unsuitable items out of the drains to prevent system problems, including but not limited to grease, plastic and personal wipes

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.

Sewer Service Benefits

  • Less Hassle. Takes the burden of waste water removal away from consumers, especially during heavy rain.
  • Can Improve Property Value. Some mortgage lenders even require connecting to sewer service where available for refinancing or purchasing property.
  • Good for the environment. Field line effluent from septic systems can pollute ground water. Public sanitary sewer is the cleanest, safest way to treat wastewater.
  • Promotes Development. Takes up much less space than septic systems, increasing room to build & develop land.
  • Reliable. BCSS offers sewer service and repairs for its customers as needed 24/7/365, and your call is always answered by a real person.

We have had problems with our septic tank since hurricane Ivan. We have new field lines and the septic tank has to be emptied every 6 months. We constantly smell sewage.

Pam VanSicler

Gulf Shores

Environmental Enhancement Program (EEP)

With the EEP, properties in our service territory can connect to our sewer service at discounted rates if they are outside of a BCSS subdivision and meet any of the following criteria:

  • Conversion to sewer service from septic system
  • New construction home/ building that qualifies for a septic system
  • Waterfront Property

Flexible financing is available after a low down payment with 0% options and no credit check. Payment for recent septic tank pumping by BCSS may count as a down payment.

Contact us for more information on connecting to our service at (251) 971-3022 or office@baldwincountysewer.com.

I have two kids, myself and my wife living in our little house. There is a lot of water usage and when it rains a good bit, my septic system area becomes a mud pit. My septic line for my kitchen sink backed up last year, and I had to have a field line put in. The smell was horrid, and with two kids, I am tired of worrying about the nasty septic waters and back ups.

Chris Atchison


Currently my house is a septic tank nightmare. All this rain has filled my field lines, and currently anywhere I run water causes other areas of the house to backup with water. Please help.

Michael Butler




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