Cesspool to Septic rules in NJ

6 Replies

Hi all! I just bought a property in New Jersey and it was a bank-owned foreclosure. I was aware that there was a cesspool rather than a septic system at this prior to purchase. That's part of the reason that the price was so good. We're going to have a surveyor and an engineer draw up plans for the septic system but I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried to install it themselves? Apparently this is legal but I'd like to confirm it. 

Anyone know of any resources regarding the laws for septic systems in New Jersey as well as information about installing it yourself?

In NJ health department is in charge of septics. Depending on county they may have records going back 20 years it you reach out to them. As far as doing them yourself, you need an engineer to draw the plans up. I believe that you are allowed to but it is not something that most homeowners are capable of doing themselves. Ex: moving a 2000 gallon septic tank and excavating the hole. 

It's definitely a chore...My neighbor spent 3 weeks installing his new one BUT he owns a construction company. Prepping & laying the leech field took a week at least. Then they had to go back into the leech field a month later to repair crushed piping...apparently one of the young kids must have crossed the leech field with heavy equipment after laying it.

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I've assisted Sellers (estates) in selling houses with failed septic systems that needed replacement.  @George W. is right about the municipal health departments being in charge of septics.  You also may need to go in front of the local planning board if you plan on replacing the cesspool with a septic.  On one estate, we had to go in front of the planning board because we were increasing the capacity of the failed septic from 2 bath to 3.  The local health department may be able to answer your question on that.

I have not heard of someone installing the septic themselves.  I would be very hesitant to attempt it (maybe watch the installer do his work and then the next time flip try it yourself), but then again, I have 0 skill in that department.