Septic Tank/Broken Foundation

9 Replies

Hey hey hey BiggerPocketeers!

I have a friend who is looking at a house in Wisconsin. Sheboygan area.

The current owners are looking to sell, and there are several problems, including a septic issue: "During the inspection, the pumper indicated the septic tank was deteriorating above the liquid level. ... deterioration is in an aggressive, advanced state..."

And the property has a broken foundation.

Does anyone have any ideas about septic tanks in general and the cost of replacing the tank itself in Wisconsin? I'm not well versed on septic systems, so I'm not sure what else could be wrong. Suggestions on questions to ask is helpful, too.

I'm looking at a ballpark, not exact figure. Is a tank $1,000 or $25,000? 

Thank you!

Hi Mindy,

When I helped my sister find a vendor to replace hers in Southern Wisconsin it was about $6k installed. I would put the range between 6k and 9k.   

Make sure any quotes she gets include backfill, electrical work, any tests, fees, or permits (building or otherwise) imposed by local laws. Most anyone that comes out to bid should create a design package which is like blue prints for a septic. 

Hope that helps your friend. 

Originally posted by @Frank Yang :

I would walk away from a property with foundation problems AND septic issues. Thanks!

  Why? Please enlighten us....

I have found some of my best deals are the ones people like you are afraid to take on.....

Depending on the soil, and if they can hook on to the existing drain field,just a tank replacement can run as little as $2500, but im pretty sure Sheboygan county will not issue a sanitary permit with out a soil eval, $450-600, much of Sheboygan county has a mix of gravel and rock, with some strips of clay, I know of many people that have old systems that last forever, but if they have to replace them, they would not be allowed to install a conventional system to replace it. the best would be to extend the inspection period, and ask the seller to allow an installer to do a soil test and a real estimate. the cost could be $3K or $20K depending on what is needed, the rules are much different than when the old system was installed.

This is definitely a ball park but if a mound system is required you could be looking more in the area of $12000-15000 at a minimum I would think. We purchased a home over 15 years ago which required a mound system where the conventional failed and the price back then was $12000.
Haven't had to deal with the issue since so not sure if those prices have remained around the same or not.
Hope that helps

Well as someone who is going through a septic project currently (at my personal residence) I will chime in with what I know so far.

First you will likely want to contact your county sanitary department (search "county" POWTS) they should be able to guide you to a county licensed inspector. I see you mention the pumper inspected it (if they also do installs I would try and find a different inspector to get an opinion of someone that doesn't stand to make money on the new system).

You will then need to locate septic designer. I called a local excavating company that does septic installs to get recommendations. The septic designer should be able to guide you in planning the new system based on your local regulations. (In my case the septic field is failing and my property is too close to the water table for a conventional septic to meet code. I have to install a mound system. This is also the step I am currently at due to travelling for work. I need to find time to meet with the planner.)

Finally you will have to have the plan to get an accurate measurement of the required materials so you can get a quote from the installer (usually and excavating company).

The excavating company I plan to use said they can usually quote the same day they they planner is onsite.

Supposedly the previous owner received two quotes for a new mound system($10,200 and $10,500) however, I'm not sure that a formal septic plan was made and these may just have been ballpark numbers. I probably should have pressed the issue harder when I purchased but the issue was discovered one week before close and I could not extend.

I will update this thread once I have more information (hopefully next week I can schedule the planner) 

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