Well and septic problems on 33 unit purchase

8 Replies

I'm looking at a 33 unit that needs well and septic, current septic is not working correctly and they pump it monthly, current well is shared and upon sale we need to drill our own well. Any advice with this situation would be appreciated.

@David Thornton if you were on city water and sewer you would be paying around 25k+ per year sewer and water. Get a contractor's bid on total person capacity for the well and septic system. Either monthly pump out or  leeching field. Potentially you would be saving money providing those services and city water may not be an option anyway.

@David Thornton definitely talk to someone who knows the city/town rules about both wells and septic. Just because they allowed one or both 30 years ago, codes have changed and you may not be able to install the same type of system there today.

You will probably need a perc test for the septic, and the well needs to have certain distance requirements from other septic fields, streams, house, etc.

it might be an easy installation, or the price could increase significantly. Make sure you know what you’re getting into!

There is more to the septic than it sounds . A septic tank holds a set amount of liquid and solids , say 1500 gallons . 10 gallons of waste enters and settles , and it displaces the same amount which go into the drain fields . So if you have a 33 unit bldg , and you have 2 people average in each unit . A person with showers , toilets , cooking etc uses 50 gallons a day . So 100 gallons per day per unit , thats 3300 gallons a day , in a month that would be about 100,000 gallons a month . Your tank isnt that big . The fields must be working to some degree . 

Is this a conventional sale using financing? In NY where I live the county requires well and septic to pass inspection when the property changes hands, unless it's like a foreclosure or similar where buyer assumes responsibility. Septic tank (s) should be pretty huge for that many units. 3 bedroom house here requires 1,500 gallon tank.

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

There is more to the septic than it sounds . A septic tank holds a set amount of liquid and solids , say 1500 gallons . 10 gallons of waste enters and settles , and it displaces the same amount which go into the drain fields . So if you have a 33 unit bldg , and you have 2 people average in each unit . A person with showers , toilets , cooking etc uses 50 gallons a day . So 100 gallons per day per unit , thats 3300 gallons a day , in a month that would be about 100,000 gallons a month . Your tank isnt that big . The fields must be working to some degree . 

Good point.   I'm just going by what the seller told me.  They said they pump it a few times a year.  Currently only 12 tenants on property.  It is a very old system, but it may still be somewhat working.  Might need to pay to get it inspected.  Thanks for the input


 

Originally posted by @Jon Thompson :

Is this a conventional sale using financing? In NY where I live the county requires well and septic to pass inspection when the property changes hands, unless it's like a foreclosure or similar where buyer assumes responsibility. Septic tank (s) should be pretty huge for that many units. 3 bedroom house here requires 1,500 gallon tank. 

 Yes regular commercial financing.  I'll have to look into it a little more and see if there is a similar requirement in this area.   Or I may have to try and get the seller to install before closing.  I appreciate the suggestion

Originally posted by @Mike McCarthy :

@David Thornton definitely talk to someone who knows the city/town rules about both wells and septic. Just because they allowed one or both 30 years ago, codes have changed and you may not be able to install the same type of system there today.

You will probably need a perc test for the septic, and the well needs to have certain distance requirements from other septic fields, streams, house, etc.

it might be an easy installation, or the price could increase significantly. Make sure you know what you’re getting into!

 Thank you for the advice.  I have had local well and septic companies look at the property.  They both work closely with this municipality and are confident it won't be an issue.  It is on almost 6 acres of land.  But if I move forward and accept it as is I will be very careful.  

Originally posted by @Bjorn Ahlblad :

@David Thornton if you were on city water and sewer you would be paying around 25k+ per year sewer and water. Get a contractor's bid on total person capacity for the well and septic system. Either monthly pump out or  leeching field. Potentially you would be saving money providing those services and city water may not be an option anyway.

Very true.  That is a positive part of having your own well and septic you don't have to pay the city....or at least the cost to operate the well and septic may be less than municipal.  Thanks for the input