One-Stop Permitting For Sewer Tap & Septic Tank Abandonment

City of Cape Coral Customer Billing Services Division & Lee County Health Department

The City of Cape Coral and Lee County Health Department have streamlined the permitting process for Cape Coral property owners who must abandon their septic system and tie into the city sewer system. City water and/or sewer permits, and County septic system abandonment permits can all be obtained online at

Water and/or sewer and septic abandonment permits can be obtained at the same time since completion of the sewer tap requires an immediate abandoning of the septic system.  Both permits are issued by the city and assigned a permit number utilizing the City Building Division numbering system. The City will collect the Health Department’s fees and periodically forward those fees to the Lee County Health Department.  In the event the septic system abandonment contractor is not the plumber making the sewer connection, the plumber may authorize the septic system abandonment contractor to sign for and obtain the water and/or sewer permit in the name of the plumber. The same holds true for the owner/builder and septic system abandonment contractors.

Only a state-licensed septic installer, plumber or property owner can obtain the septic system abandonment permit. Upon completing the abandonment process, a Health Department inspector will make an inspection. 

The Health Department standards for abandonment will not change for this sewer extension project. The Health Department will notify the abandonment contractor of problems found during the inspection. The Health Department will then notify the City when the septic system abandonment has been inspected and approved.

The septic system abandonment contractor must request the inspection by calling the Lee County Health Department at 239-690-2100.

Once the inspection of the sewer hookup is complete, contact the Lee County Health Department 239-690-2100 concerning the septic tank abandonment inspection.

Septic System Abandonment

Septic System Abandonment

Whenever the use of an onsite disposal system is discontinued, following connection to a sanitary sewer, the system shall be abandoned. Any further use of the system for any purpose shall be prohibited.

Septic tank abandonment must be completed within 90 days following connection to public sewer.


  • Contact the City of Cape Coral Customer Billing Services Division to obtain a sewer connection permit, septic abandonment permit and sewer hook-up requirements. The cost of the abandonment permit is $100 for most systems.
  • Have the tank pumped out by a licensed septage hauler.
  • Crush or collapse the tank in a manner that will prevent the vessel from holding water, either by punching a hole in the bottom of the tank or collapsing its sidewalls. This work can only be done by the owner, a licensed septic installer or a licensed plumbing contractor.
  • Fill in the remaining hole with clean sand or other suitable material to prevent a safety hazard, then grade and stake the tank site.
  • After these procedures have ALL been completed, please call the Lee County Environmental Health Department at 239-690-2100 to request an inspection. When requesting an abandonment inspection, provide the following:
    • Permit number
    • Address 
    • Contractor’s name 
    • Indicate you are requesting on “abandonment” inspection
  • When used with a commercial septic system, grease traps will remain part of the building’s sewage system and WILL NOT BE ABANDONED.

Recommended steps for putting a 12” hole in the bottom of a septic tank.

  1. Have the tank pumped by a licensed septic pumper.
  2. Crush or remove the tank lid, wearing eye protection and face shield.
  3. Wearing protective eye and face shield, punch a 12” diameter hole in the bottom of the tank.
  4. Place one end of a straight stick or PVC pipe into the 12” diameter hole at the bottom of the tank and extend the opposite end above the final grade surface.


  1. Have the tank pumped by a licensed septic tank pumper.
  2. Wearing protective eye and face shield, crush tank lid or remove lid.
  3. Dig a 9” width trench along the outside wall of the tank which is furthest from the drain bed.
  4. Wearing protective eye and face shield, use a sledgehammer to collapse the wall to the bottom of the tank.
  5. Fill the abandoned tank with clean fill material, grade the area and stake the corners of the tank.