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  • Septic tank question

    I currently have a septic system that is from 1973, typical holding tank and drain field. It was pumped last year and pumper signed off on the condition as ok with the county (required every 3 years). My problem is that I want to do some work on my home. Of course I could go the permit less way, but not how I want to go about things. My issue is that my county banned standard septic systems and require upgrading them if they are failing or if permits are pulled for remodeling, no matter the scope. Anyway, I sure don't have 15-20k to blow on a septic system that currently works fine. Plus they have to be changed to a mound system, and the only place I'm allowed to put it is in my back yard (currently on the side) and would completely wreck my yard and view. Anyone have experience fighting a county on replacing a functioning system?

  • #2
    Re: Septic tank question

    Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
    I currently have a septic system that is from 1973, typical holding tank and drain field. It was pumped last year and pumper signed off on the condition as ok with the county (required every 3 years). My problem is that I want to do some work on my home. Of course I could go the permit less way, but not how I want to go about things. My issue is that my county banned standard septic systems and require upgrading them if they are failing or if permits are pulled for remodeling, no matter the scope. Anyway, I sure don't have 15-20k to blow on a septic system that currently works fine. Plus they have to be changed to a mound system, and the only place I'm allowed to put it is in my back yard (currently on the side) and would completely wreck my yard and view. Anyone have experience fighting a county on replacing a functioning system?
    So am I reading this right, you are remodeling and not adding any plumbing and you would need to replace your septic system? Why would they require a mound system if you have a gravity system now? Do you have a well as your source of water? Would installing a new system behind your house put it closer to the well? That whole thing sounds bizzare. I also have a problem with someone telling me I have to pump my tank every 3 years. I would move to NH "Live Free Or Die"
    26+6=1

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    • #3
      Re: Septic tank question

      Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
      Anyway, I sure don't have 15-20k to blow on a septic system that currently works fine.
      You seem like a very handy guy, you could easily tackle doing your own septic system. Your jurisdiction will have some type of guidelines for the mound system,and I'm sure you know people who own backhoes. You could easily do it for under $10k.

      But don't you just love bureaucrat b/s? But what exactly are you doing to your house?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Septic tank question

        Practically the same thing here. Berm systems are the norm now. I have a buddy in Michigan that's been installing and repairing septic systems his entire life and he says it's the biggest joke he's ever seen and I have to agree with him. So you build the yard up approximately 3' with sand, lay the drain field on top, then cap it with more dirt and sod and pump the effluent up to the drain field. Now, where is the water going to go??? Down... right??? So if it were just under ground level like yours is, where does your water go? Down... right??? Bureaucrats. There should be an open season on them.

        There I've vented.
        Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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        • #5
          Re: Septic tank question

          Alpha after a quick read on MN's septic reg's. It looks like MN is a lot tougher then MD, but MD looks like it is heading in MN's direction. I'm certified in the installation, maintenance & repair of Norweco Singulair systems & in MD once local health dept. decides that you need to replace a std. tank with an aerobic treatment system there is no way around it. It also looks like you cannot install the system yourself, because you are not certified. It also looks like you need to get it maintained & inspected atleast once a year. In MD a ATS w/ sand mound is around $20,000.

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          • #6
            Re: Septic tank question

            I don't agree with it, but scientifically it does make sense to me.

            A standard system relies on the soil under the leach field lines to treat the effluent. I don't know what your neighborhood or community is like, but in subdivisions or high population areas there is getting to be quite a concentration of septic waste entering the soil. In areas with shallow ground water it is becoming more and more important to think ahead and take steps to protect our drinking water source.

            It is true that a standard gravity system as well as a high-tech aerobic system both send the wastewater down into the ground. The difference is that with a gravity system the waste is full strength, whereas with a sand mound or an aerobic system the waste is highly treated before it ever reaches native soil, and is therefore safe to be reintroduced into the aquifer. Studies show that 4' of good filtering media will treat septic waste to safe levels. Aerobic systems are by far the benchmark for treating household waste, but sand mounds have very impressive treatment capabilities if and when they are properly installed.

            Again, I don't agree with your regulations, but when you take the long look it does make sense that at some point we need to take steps to protect our groundwater as population and the number of systems discharging waste into the aquifer continues to increase.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Septic tank question

              Fudd, you are correct. It sucks, and makes no damn sense at all.

              I am doing a full gut and remodel of my main level. Due to rodents (before I bought the home from my grandmother) the insulation was damn near non existant in some walls, hell found a dead cat in a soffet in the kitchen.... Disturbing. Anyway, its sat empty for 4 years now, and I'm sick of it not being done. It's gutted, no walls, no sheetrock, nothing, just one huge 28x50 open space. So, there will be plumbing, framing, electrical, hvac, windows, siding, its everything. I can't even really afford to do the remodel let alone the septic... Frustrating. My other problem is due to cash flow, is that this remodel will likely take me a few years to complete, not looking forward to all those renewal fees on that permit.

              My neighbor is also on the township board, so yeah, that could be a good thing or bad, not sure.

              Sure glad my basement is completely finished and an ok living area, has a kitchen and everything, otherwise my wife would probably killed me by now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Septic tank question

                Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
                Sure glad my basement is completely finished and an ok living area, has a kitchen and everything, otherwise my wife would probably killed me by now.
                Cooking meals out of a microwave and washing dishes in a bucket gets old quick. The hotel bills get expensive even faster.........................
                We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Septic tank question

                  How in the Heck do you guys expect to keep the government happy if you do not pay all the revenue generating fees, taxes, permits, and inspections, so they can come up with more revenue generating rules and laws permits, and inspections, to take more of your moneys, YOU KNOW IT IS ALL FOR PUBLIC SAFETY,
                  Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                  attributed to Samuel Johnson
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Septic tank question

                    I don't agree with it, but scientifically it does make sense to me.
                    I agree that there are areas where something different than the norm, but when they just blanket tell everyone that they are going to spend $20,000 on a septic system, that's just plain stupid. I have been in areas where water levels are real high, and septic systems didn't work real well and I agree, the berm would be a good idea there, but in sandy soil which is real common in my area does a great job without the added ugliness and expense. Then there are these damned ugly backflow preventers sticking up in everyone's yard. Here we go again...
                    Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Septic tank question

                      Be glad you don't have to retrofit your home with fire sprinklers. I warned a friend of mine a couple of years ago about getting his permits pulled for an addition before he has to install fire sprinklers. Well, he did, but the county voted to make him install fire sprinklers in his home anyways. Needless to say he got all of his corrections for his final dealt with except for the sprinklers, and is going to let the permit sit and do absolutely nothing....
                      We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Septic tank question

                        Most of the dirt on my 10 acres is clay, very little sand or gravel. My house is a couple miles from one of the highest elevations in my county and my well is over 250 ft deep. I also have a creek in my back yard that is approx. 40' lower in elevation than my foundation, and about 130' away.

                        I wish I could just leave the tank and install some type of lift system from there to some other area for the drain field. Anyone know of alternative systems out there that I could try and convince my county into letting me do under the guise of "experimental system"? There has to be a better, more cost effective system than a stupid mound system.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Septic tank question

                          Originally posted by masterbeavis View Post
                          Be glad you don't have to retrofit your home with fire sprinklers. I warned a friend of mine a couple of years ago about getting his permits pulled for an addition before he has to install fire sprinklers. Well, he did, but the county voted to make him install fire sprinklers in his home anyways. Needless to say he got all of his corrections for his final dealt with except for the sprinklers, and is going to let the permit sit and do absolutely nothing....
                          In MD they started requiring sprinklers before they started requiring ATS tanks . The new legaslative secession is just starting looks like we are getting our flush tax doubled & ATS tanks required on all new construction & repairs in critical ares. By the way if your house burns down that is considered new construction when you rebuild. I had put 2 tanks where this happen & their systems were working.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Septic tank question

                            Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
                            Most of the dirt on my 10 acres is clay, very little sand or gravel. My house is a couple miles from one of the highest elevations in my county and my well is over 250 ft deep. I also have a creek in my back yard that is approx. 40' lower in elevation than my foundation, and about 130' away.

                            I wish I could just leave the tank and install some type of lift system from there to some other area for the drain field. Anyone know of alternative systems out there that I could try and convince my county into letting me do under the guise of "experimental system"? There has to be a better, more cost effective system than a stupid mound system.
                            A mound system is a lift system. Sewage from the house enters the std. or ATS tank then goes to a pump chamber then to the mound. But from what I read you need to replace your std. tank with a ATS tank. It's your house just put some sheets over the windows & finish the remodel. What happens in the house stays in the house

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Septic tank question

                              Fudd.... Trust me.. its tempting, especially since I don't ever plan on moving, and if I did sell, its to a developer and the house gets bulldozed anyway. Only problem is I eventually want a much larger garage, can't hide that under a sheet.... LOL

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