Cost of Sewer Line Repair in the 5 Boroughs of NYC

October 29, 2013

There are 6 primary factors used when structuring the total cost of sewer line repair throughout the five boroughs of NYC. It is very important for an estimator to make an on-site visit to the location being discussed. To figure out how much a sewer line costs, the estimator will obtain pricing variables by taking measurements at the property, along with evaluating the layout of the house and the location of the new sewer line.

The primary cost factors are:


The average sewer line replacement will require 40-45’ of new cast iron pipe from the house to the city sewer, which is usually located in the roadway. The cost for new cast iron pipe ranges from $1,000-$3,000 pending the size and amount of the pipe being installed. Most sewer line installations will require 6” cast iron pipe, unless working in Manhattan where it is required to install a minimum of 8” cast iron pipe.

Installing new cast iron pipe
Installing new cast iron pipe

Excavating with backhoe
Excavating with backhoe


Labor is the costliest factor of the sewer line installation, and thus one of the biggest factors in determining the cost of sewer line replacement. The labor costs include the onsite mechanics, usage of equipment such as backhoes, jackhammers, compressors, dump trucks etc. The average sewer line installation takes from two to three days with the labor cost accounting for more than 50% of the total job cost.


All permit fees are fixed prices established by the city; the only variable is whether the roadway has been paved within the previous five years. If the roadway has been re-surfaced within the previous five years it is considered a protected roadway, resulting in a more expensive DOT permit and a higher sewer line repair cost. The total cost for the DOT permit ranges from $250-$450.

*All permits are subject to expediting fees.

Restoration of the roadway

On average the city sewer is usually located 13-18’ from the curb line of the property being worked on, this will result in approximately a 12’x7’ section of the roadway being excavated. The cost to restore the average roadway hole is $700-$1000. If the roadway is “protected”, it will require an additional $400-$1500 for restoration pending the size of the hole. A protected roadway will also require a compaction test on the soil being used to back-fill the hole. You may also experience additional fees for time and labor associated with protected roadway restoration.

Restoring concrete
Restoring concrete

Restoration of roadway
Restoration of roadway

Restoration of concrete

A sewer contractor may have to break anywhere from 2-6 flags of concrete on the city sidewalk and the property. The average cost to restore the disturbed areas ranges from $250 to $1000.

Parks Dept. Permit and Arborist Fees

If a city tree is located within 50’ of the area being excavated, there is a possibility of the Parks Department requiring a special permit as well as a certified arborists on-site for the excavation.  The arborist will advise the contractor where and how he can dig to protect the city tree from being damaged. The average cost is from $700-$1000 pending the amount of time required on the job-site.

Total cost

Determining how much it costs to replace a sewer line requires you to address several variables pending the factors mentioned above. The average sewer line replacement will cost anywhere from 10,000- $15,000. If you are looking to repair a small section of the sewer line, the cost may range from $4,500- $9,500.

Note- it is common to find that restrictive working hours and challenging working conditions may result in additional charges that are not included in this article. It is common to find these conditions in Manhattan and certain areas of the Bronx.

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