Septic Field options

kennethtOctober 7, 2008

A similar issue was recently posted, but the answers were so helpful, I thought I'd post my problem with specifics.

The lot on which I'd like to build has no city sewage so I need both a septic field and reserve field. Basically, the entire lot is a ravine that runs along the road and the county will not permit a septic field on almost any of the property.

Here, I think, are my options. There's enough room (BARELY) for the main septic field and house (I'll need variances even for this...). I could put the reserve field (or second field) since it would actually need to be installed) under the house. A neighbor just did this.

OR ....

There are three other homes which access their property by using a driveway that crosses my property. There's no legal easement for this driveway. Although it's quite a distance away (200 feet and above the grade of the house) there is, I believe, AMPLE space for a reserve field on the property behind my lot (they are multi-acre lots).

I was thinking about proposing a legal easement giving the neighbors behind access to their property in exchange for an easement to a reserve field on their property which I strongly suspect would never be used/built.

Any thoughts?

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Have you had your county [or whatever] sanitation officer out to your house? The code can vary so much from one are to another that discussing the situation with the actual 'decider'-- on site, if at all possible-- is crucial.

Depending on the lay of the land, you may be able to fill enough of the ravine to do the job there. In my location [near the edge of a hill], it was cheaper to 'terrace' down the slope for the septic than it would have been to go with the pump system that was originally proposed.

Do you own the lot already? Was the issue of how you could do a drainfield in that spot discussed before you signed the check? Just curious...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 3:26PM
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Septic under the house? This doesn't seem possible with the normal setback requirements.
Be careful about assuming their is no legal easement. Just because no easement is not recorded, a good lawyer can argue a easement by use or "prescription".
Other options might be to pump to another lateral field (LPP type system) or you could try bargaining with the neighbors.
Good luck

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 3:38PM
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yes, I had the health inspector out before purchasing the property, but we did not discuss putting the septic field on another location. The ravine may not be filled for two reasons: protected dune and because drainage field may be placed on hillsides, but not hillsides surround a 'small' ravine such as this one.

And, yes, the legal route isn't one that I would want to take, but I'm hoping my neighbors wouldn't want to take that route either. Putting a 'reserve' septic field on a large piece of property in exchange for 'legal' access to the property seems like a fair bargain, but (of course) I'm very biased.

Thanks for the posts!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 2:17PM
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around here your only choice to install/dedicate a main and reserve field would be to purchase more land around you.

field lines cannot be under ANY drive/sidewalk/foundation. PERIOD, no exceptions.

the neighbors drive may not have a written easement, but if they have used it for many years it may be impossible to take it back from them or block it off.

lastly, in no way, shape, form or fashion may your field cross teh line onto another person's property. it cannot even come close to the property line.

again though, that is the laws HERE. your only real way to find out is contact your health dept and get the info straight from them. in my area THEY design the systme and tell you where it WILL be on your property. then you place your home/drive around that.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:08PM
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If you don't have enough land for the main and backup septic fields, another option you might look into is getting an aerobic treatment system. They ARE more expensive and some municipalities that aren't familiar with the systems don't allow them. But if yours does you might want to investigate them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Publication explaining aerobic treatment systems

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:42PM
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Our area requires aerobic treatment systems. Septic tanks have not been permitted in new construction for a long time. The treatment systems work well and are not that costly.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:08AM
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In our township you have to have a plan and have it approved. You have to hire a company to do perk tests to find the location that will work best for the system. They tell you where the septic system has to go and how far from the house it can be. Also where the well can go, because it has to be 100 ft away from the system. The System also cannot be closer then 100 ft from a neighbors system. The house has to be a certain amount of feet away from the system for the proper grading of the pipes.
I suggest you check with your local Township to find out what the zoning is in your locale.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:16PM
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