Private Sewer System Program

Pinellas County Utilities (PCU) is committed to protecting people and the environment while delivering high-quality wastewater collection and treatment services. 

Private Sewer Systems are privately-owned sanitary sewers, manholes, lift stations, force mains and any other facility that releases wastewater into the County wastewater collection system, excluding single-family residences.

PCU recently revised its Private Sewer System Program for all existing and future private sewer systems. These changes add specific requirements for private systems intended to reduce the risk of emergencies, overflows and elevated levels of inflow and infiltration (I&I) to the PCU system. The Private Sewer System Program applies to all existing and future private sewer systems that discharge into the Pinellas County wastewater collection system.  

PCU will permit and periodically inspect all private sewer systems to ensure they are in good condition.

The goal of this program is to reduce I&I and operation/maintenance-related sanitary sewer overflows from private sewer systems and to reduce I&I entering the County sewer system. This will reduce the risk of sanitary sewer overflows in the County sewer system and excessive flows to the wastewater treatment facilities.

Permit and Fee

Any person or entity that owns private sewer system must obtain an operating permit from PCU and renew that permit every three years. The operating permit includes conditions of operation, maintenance, reporting and recordkeeping, with enforcement as described in Pinellas County Code Section 126-400. The permit fee is determined by the size of the system and will appear as an item on the bi-monthly utility account bill, which is subject to late fees established by PCU Business and Customer Services. 

Private Sewer System Requirements

Private sewer systems are required to maintain the following:

  • Operation and Maintenance Records – The operation and maintenance records for the three-year period before the operating permit renewal application submission date must be provided.
  • Private Sewer Pump Station Service and Maintenance Agreement – All private sewer systems that include a sewer pump station must have a maintenance agreement with a person or company holding a State of Florida master plumbing certificate of competency, a Pinellas County master plumber certificate of competency, a certified wastewater operator, licensed in the State of Florida or be a person approved by PCU for such work.
  • Sanitary Sewer Overflow Response Plan (SSORP) – The SSORP must adhere to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance and include response to and remediation of sanitary sewer overflows caused by, but not limited to, line failure, line collapse, line obstruction, power failure and/or mechanical failure. When a sanitary sewer overflow occurs within the owner’s private sewer system, the owner is responsible for notifying PCU and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) within 24 hours of becoming aware of it.
  • Emergency and/or Backup Power Plan – The private sewer system owner shall have a back-up power plan with protocols for managing flows during a power outage to prevent sanitary sewer overflows from occurring. This plan shall meet current State and PCU requirements.

If you have additional questions, please contact or (727) 582-2379.