Connecting to the JEA Vacuum Sewer System

A vacuum sewer system is a method used to transport wastewater from its source to a sewage treatment plant. It uses the difference between atmospheric pressure and a partial vacuum maintained in the piping network and vacuum station collection vessel (vacuum sewer pod). This differential pressure allows a central vacuum station to collect the wastewater and transport to a nearby JEA Sewer Pump Station which then transports it to a JEA Wastewater Treatment Facility. 

Vacuum Sewer Pods vs. Regular Sewer Lines

While a County inspector is responsible for approving a permit to connect to the JEA sanitary sewer system, connecting to a JEA Vacuum Sewer System requires the additional step of having a JEA Inspector witness the connection.

Maximum Services Connected to a Pod 

Current JEA standard is that no more than two (2) connections are allowed on a sewer pod. Anyone wanting to connect to a pod that already has two (2) connections will be required to pay the fees to have a new pod installed as well as the normal JEA connection fees. 

Abandoning Septic Tanks and Connecting to JEA's Vacuum Sewer System 

Step 1: Request a Letter of Service Availability

A drawing will be provided that outlines specific installation requirements that are necessary. This letter will confirm if JEA sewer services are available and identify if a vacuum sewer system exists.
Request a Letter of Availability 

Step 2: Request an As-Built Drawing

Request an As-Built drawing to help the certified plumber identify the location of the point of connection.
Request an As-Built Drawing 

Step 3: Understand Specific Installation Requirements

View the PDF drawing that outlines specific installation requirements that are necessary to connect to the JEA Vacuum Sewer System. 
Vacuum Sewer System Drawing for Plumbers

Step 4: Pay the JEA Fees

The property owner or a certified plumber must pay Sewer Capacity Fees prior to any work occurring. Fees can be paid in person or by mail to the JEA Water and Sewer Pre-Service Department located at 21 West Church Street CC-1, Jacksonville FL 32202.

For questions about fees, please contact the JEA Water and Sewer Pre-Service Department or view current JEA connection fees. See the Cost Sheet for Connection document below for associated fees for Septic Tank Phaseout areas that were part of the Better Jacksonville Program.
Cost Connection Sheet for former BJP Project Areas

The property owner or a certified plumber may be required to show the County Inspector documentation that the required JEA fees have been paid prior to their inspection. For more information, contact the Building Inspection Division for your county. This inspection is not the JEA inspection mentioned later in this process.

Step 5: Obtain a Plumbing Permit from the County 

The property owner or certified plumber applies for a plumbing permit through the county (see below). The property owner or certified plumber should indicate that they are connecting to a vacuum sewer system.

Duval County Building Inspection Division
214 N Hogan Street, Room 280
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 630-1100

Nassau County Building Department   
96161 Nassau Place
Yulee, FL 32097
(904) 530-6250 
(800) 948-3364 

St. Johns County Building Services   
4040 Lewis Speedway
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 827-6800 

In some circumstances, St. Johns County will require an assessment fee be paid to the County. To see if this fee applies to the property being connected, contact the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners Project Manager at (904) 209-0794

Step 6: Obtain a Septic Tank Abandonment Permit from County Health Department

The property owner, certified plumber or licensed or registered septic tank contractor must contact the Health Department for their county for verification of proper septic tank abandonment. Septic tank abandonment cannot be performed until the authorized connection has been made to the JEA system and witnessed by a JEA Inspector.

Duval County Health Department Website
(904) 253-1280 

Nassau County Health Department Website
(904) 557-9150

St. Johns County Health Department Website 
(904) 209-3250  

Step 7: Review the Instructional Drawing to Connect

Review the drawing that outlines specific installation requirements. You can also request this document be mailed, faxed or emailed to you by contacting the JEA Water and Sewer Pre-Service Department or JEA Project Outreach at (904) 665-7500 or by emailing projectoutreach@jea.com.

Step 8: Running the Sewer Line and Abandoning the Septic Tank

The property owner or certified plumber will run the gravity pipe from the home (within 2-4 feet) toward the JEA connection at the property line. All sewer pipe and cleanouts shall be installed in accordance with the current Florida building code. The County Inspector should have inspected the line from the house to the pod by this step.

It is extremely important that you do not disconnect the home or business from the septic tank and do not connect to the JEA system at this point. If the property owner makes connection to the vacuum sewer system without a JEA inspection, the property owner/plumber will be responsible for maintaining the sewage until the authorized connection is made.

Step 9: Contact JEA Project Outreach to Schedule a Vacuum Sewer Inspection by a JEA Inspector

The property owner or certified plumber will contact JEA Project Outreach to set-up an appointment for the JEA inspection. Individuals must call JEA Project Outreach at (904) 665-7500 during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) a minimum of 24-hours in advance to schedule this JEA inspection. The JEA Inspector must witness the flushing of the newly installed sewer line. The property owner or certified plumber must be present to assist in the flushing. 

Step 10: The JEA Inspection

After the JEA Inspector has witnessed the flushing, the homeowner or plumber will make the connection at the property line. The JEA Inspector will provide the insect screen for the air intake line (candy cane). The JEA Inspector will then install a new valve in the vacuum chamber which is located in the right-of-way. Upon completion of Step 9 (including the installation of the new valve in the vacuum chamber by the JEA Inspector), the property owner or certified plumber can make the sewer connection to the home. 

Step 11: Finalize the Plumbing Permit with the County

The property owner or certified plumber will contact the Inspection Division for the county they are working in. Have your plumbing permit number and the inspection code available (Plumbing Inspection Code: 31).

Once Connection to the JEA Vacuum Sewer System is Complete 

  • Plumbing permits will not be finalized until the proper connections are made and all JEA and County requirements are completed. 
  • The customer will begin receiving a monthly sanitary sewer bill from JEA.
    • Questions regarding billing can be answered by calling JEA at (904) 665-6000
  • If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please contact JEA Project Outreach at (904) 665-7500

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