septic systems in rural communities

suz1023May 6, 2011

i live in a rural area in a 3bdrm home. the existing septic system is over forty years old and will fail one of these days, so i have already had an engineer design a new one (in a new spot) which has been permitted by the state and town.

i'd like to also replace my old system after the new system is in place so i will have two brand new septic systems for a total of 6 bdrm capacity.

once i have two new septic systems i'd like to build an addition which would have a 3bdrm apt in it--essentially i'd have a duplex of sorts in the long run.

i'm wondering how best to approach the town about this.

the home directly north of me has several apts in two buildings, (possibly not legal) as does the site two doors south, which has three mobile homes sharing a legal ten bdrm capacity septic.

any tips on how to help get this approved?

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Everything will depend on your local zoning ordinances for your property and the separate septic system regulations that your health department has.

Here, what you are proposing would never be allowed on any normal "homeowner" or "estate" sized lot. You would have to have quite a lot of acreage, and would be required to split it into separate lots, even if you retained ownership of all. A single "normal" sized property would have to be zoned for multi family dwellings to even consider it. And the health department would not allow two active septic systems on one property, even if they were serving one larger single building raather than multi family structures. A new septic system would have to be designed for the larger home, not adding a different system to serve the additional bedrooms.

There will be a lot of very specific hoops to go through for what you want to occur legally. It might get pretty ugly if your neighbors have done their remodeling without municipal or health department approval. Bringing that to the authority's attention as a rationale for them approving your project would likely backfire. You've got your work cut out for you, and the first step is to stop at your local codes office.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 2:25PM
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Also, just because you have one now doesn't mean they'll let you just put one back. Perc test standards have changed over the years - they may not even have done one on your original. Have you had one done?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 4:04PM
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