Selling House and Failed Septic Inspection

   #1  

Travelover

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I'm selling my house and have a purchase agreement contingent on passing appraisal, home and septic inspections. Everything passed until today when it failed the septic inspection, which is required by the county to pass the title. The house is 50 years old and I've lived here for 27 years with just two people maximum using the system. I'm kind of shocked, as the system has never given any issues at all.

My question is what my options are. The inspector said it probably means a new drain field next to the old one at about $10K, maybe more if the ground does not perk well enough. I'm in SE Michigan, Wayne County.

Anyone have experience along these lines?
 
   #2  

Deere Dude

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Did you ever have the tank pumped? Did they tell you why it failed or what the cause would be?

The only option I heard of was to replace the drain field, possibly get a whole mound system installed, or maybe even a holding tank.

There is no really good option.

You will have to talk t septic installers in the area to get estimates and are familiar with the local codes and are familiar with the area.
 
   #4  

300UGUY

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How did they test the system? I grew up in Wayne county, and we had a septic system at 2 places we lived, lots of low lying areas in Wayne county. I know that 2 people put little stress on a system, the only time mine acted up, we had some family visiting. I'd look up a local guy who does septic pumping. Out here they also do repair, my neighbor had his repaired, cost about $1200.
 
   #5  

Steppenwolfe

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Here in Va the Seller pays for the well and septic cert, depending what was written in the offer. Unfortunately, you are pretty much screwed with the lending bank now. Get a price, and negotiate. This won't go away.
 
   #6  

300UGUY

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Did you ever have the tank pumped? Did they tell you why it failed or what the cause would be?

The only option I heard of was to replace the drain field, possibly get a whole mound system installed, or maybe even a holding tank.

There is no really good option.

You will have to talk t septic installers in the area to get estimates and are familiar with the local codes and are familiar with the area.

The install guys here are excavators. Repair is not their gig.
 
   #7  

300UGUY

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I repaired mine by trenching in between the existing drain lines, putting pea gravel in first, then sock tile, then more gravel, then coved up. I left the existing lines in, basically doubled the size of the field. I don't know if that is legal there....or here! :) but it worked.
 
   #8  

GAFarmer2

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Been there before. Unfortunately, you are probably going to be legally forced to do whatever the locality requires. I would talk to whomever is in charge (here it is the director of the health department) to see what your options are. And always get multiple quotes (at least three). The last time I had work done, the quotes varied by nearly $2000.
 
   #9  

2458n

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Mound system in Ohio costs serious money.
 

teejk

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Probably failed the "dye" test meaning you are getting some liquid coming to the surface that disappears quickly such that you may never have noticed it. Call your septic guy and have him check it out. Might be something as simple as a failed baffle. Around here it has become a science but the pumpers have been forced to learn and know everything there is to know (my septic guy is actually in my phone's contact list). Realize that the banks are going to err on the side of the buyer and even a minor problem will get flagged as a major problem...just the way things work today. Now assuming there is indeed a problem, if you have the room you might be looking at a divertible switch box that will use your existing tank but create a new field. Shut off the old field, use the new field. Then about every other pumping or so switch them...the old field should have had time to rest and you let the new one recover.
 
 
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