Septic and drain field life cycle

12 Replies

If a park has 9 active tanks, how may drain fields does it have? The drain fields are 20 years old.. does that mean they will all give out soon? If that were to happen, how much money would it cost to fix all of them? Thank you :)

It depends on what kind of septic systems they are. If the water table is high and a raised mound is needed is one variable that can drastically change cost. You need to have a local septic guy look at it to really get an idea. 

Best case scenario, have a local septic company come out and inspect the tanks and Leach feilds. They might say they're working fine. 

in my state the health Dept is in charge of septic systems and I can go to county to check records on them if they were ever changed and what type of system was installed. In my state if it has a cesspool you also cannot close. We're more strict than alot of other states. New systems need to be engineered. Every states gonna be different. 

Worst case scenario could have so many variables. I've seen septics here that could be replaced like for like 10-15k. I've also seen jobs where cesspools were there and the ground water was too high for perculation and a raised mound was needed $20k+. I saw another one here where the land lot was too small, it had a cesspool and needed an alternative system with a raised mound and the quote was 40k. 

End of the day, you need to have a local septic guy come figure out what's needed because there's simply too many variables

Just had a couple of kids sell their farm & got nailed with $11,000 in NEW code requirements/upgrades. The Town 'dump&pump' inspector showed up, apparently triggered by the sale of any homes with septics, then the fun & permits started.

When they had the 20 year old unit inspected & pumped by the local septic guy everything passed. So do your due diligence it could be an expensive surprise.

@George W. This might be a silly question but does each septic tank have thier own leach field, or all septic tanks share one common leach field. I'm a rookie on the septic system here. In other words, if the inspector finds 1 tank and leach field to be working fine, does that mean all the other leach fields are working fine?

@Jingwen Dunford we have a 7 unit with 3 septic tanks & all have separate leach fields & all must pass inspection. You will find that each septic tank services several units per se & that each tank & field must be operational as I doubt if they are in series or allowed to operate as such.

Also are septic systems doomed to fail due to the age of the system. Let's say you have a 40 years old system, that pretty much just means it's about to fail soon?

@Jingwen Dunford the chance of failure due to age is obviously an issue but the major concern I have is whether or not they meet code hence the need to replace them all just to meet NEW enforced codes. Only way to find out is to have the city guys inspect it & have it either grandfathered in or accept the fact it's going to be a very expensive upgrade. Often this occurs as soon as the property sells as it triggers the need to be code compliant.

@Pat L. For things like this, are there any insurance policies that will cover permitting costs? If somehow, some things in the park are not compliant requiring a huge upgrade, are there any potential insurance policies available for an old septic system like this?

Nothing we are aware of. We do have u/ground utility & sewer coverage on most of our policies but that does not relate to septic tanks & code compliance issues.