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Bogus septic inspections

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-07-10          131944


Just sold my farm. Had to install a new septic system since the old system "failed". My question is: I've never had a problem once with the old septic, but the inspectors failed it on the grounds that it didn't adsorb the flow fast enough. Who designs the specs for residential septic systems? Who approves them? I've always been annoyed to find out that county inspectors and installers had a cosy relationships and/or held both jobs at once. Kinda sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-07-10          131946


There are published design specifications for each area or jurisdiction.

Basically they are looking for two things, the rate at which it can give off, not absorb, water, and the rate of loading, or the amount of water the system will receive.

The design size is based on several factors, mostly the number of drains dumping into it, toilets, sinks, showers, etc., and also the use, residential, commercial, etc.

The system is supposed to deliver the water to a ground cover like grass, which will use the water, and transpire it off into the air. If the water is merely absorbed by the ground, there is a very real risk of it entering the ground water and contaminating an area.

Mind you, it was cattle runoff, but we had a problem near here a few years back where both the runoff from a farm entered the ground water, and the local water board was asleep at the switch. The end result was 7 people dead, and countless more very sick from e. coli. in the water. In the end it cost more than $150 million dollars to clean it all up.

A recent study (US & Canada) after the tragedy showed that approx. 40% of all shallow wells are routinely way over the allowable limits for contamination.

Pass me a Coke, hold the ice cubes!!

Best of luck. ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2006-07-10          131950


I alway thought it was a simple perk test, but was stung in KY when I had to go 1500 ft from the house to find the right soil. It turned out the house I was buying had no septic system at all. It was built in the 80's. The pipe just emptied into a gully. I thought it was interesting that the inspector was asleep at the switch in the 80's and then hammered me for 10K in the 90's. It cost me the only flat field I had in the property. ....

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wingwiper
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 676
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2006-07-10          131955


Denis

There is a chemical called "POW" and it eats the Detergents and Grease that clogs the drainage of the field. I have NEVER pumped nor had to dig my Leech field and I use it twice per year, been here for 22 years. You may try pouring a gallon or so in and then give a few days, your cost about $25 for a gallon. Small price to pay for a possible solution. Hell for that matter pour in two gallons. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2006-07-10          131958


In my part of the world there is a permit issued before the septic tank system is installed. Once the system is installed per the specs given then and no sign of problem shows up, there is no reinspection when property is sold. Been years since I sold real estate but I think it was the VA that required a reinspection such as this. If that was it you possibly could have refused to sell, but your real estate agent should have pointed out this. But boy this type of regulation sure does vary from one area to another. Sometimes in the same state. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2006-07-10          131971


Murf; I gotta good chuckle out of that remark.

Our County was out to clean up any and all that flowed into the Owasco water shed and went thru and dyed all the septics with a Red dye.

Have a little watering hole that looked like it would fall down anytime and it looked like that 35 years ago. Anyway one night a happy little fellow was talking to another very happy fellow about the very cool red colored ice cubes the bar had been using for the past few nights...

Needless to say that story has had lots of mileage...

Glad I never drank water then... ....

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-07-11          131995


I had to sell the house and for that the septic had to pass the inspection which it didn't. Once it fails you can't sell the house, so you have no choice but to do what is necessary to remediate. In my case it meant installing a new septic. The sepctic fiasco cost me around $16K. In my township there are a lot of older homes that have been selling and needed to replace their septic systems.

There definitely needs to be protection for ground water, but, in my case, the ground water tests passed with flying colors so there's wasn't a contamination problem, just an "overzealous inspector/specsheet problem". ....

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Bogus septic inspections

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lbrown59
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 931 First Organized Permanent Settlement In The Northwest Territory.
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2008-01-23          150639


Quote:
Originally Posted by DenisS | view 131944
I've always been annoyed to find out that county inspectors and installers had a cosy relationships and/or held both jobs at once.Kinda sounds like a conflict of interest to me.
I've often had my suspicions that septic regulations are more of a ploy to create business for septic sellers and installers than anything else.
= L B =
....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-01-24          150646


Murf, since this has come back, just where do they get the water for Coke? The local Pepsi bottler uses ground water. Think they distill it. kt ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-01-24          150649


Actually Kenneth, most soft drinks these days, in the age of rampant litigation, is made from highly purified tap water. If they start with 'clean' city water, and then scrub it some more then there's not much chance of someone getting sick from it.

Ironically, the expensive bottled water that the 'big' soda companies all sell now is the same thing, purified tap water.

I chuckled the other day about that, I was grabbing a bottle of water (damn dry air in the truck) at the filling station and noticed that a certain brand of soda was CHEAPER than their own brand of purified tap water was!!!

I always knew the sugar, caramel, colour & flavour were cheap, but never realized it was a negative number!!

Best of luck. ....

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randywatson
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 109 texas
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2008-01-24          150659


for everyones info, Texas has gone all areobic,

trash tank, spills into a treatment tank, spills into a third tank where clorination takes place, system is auto matic and sprinkles the lawn when fluid levels require.

heres the catch, you have to have a system maintance agreement with a state regulated servicer.

Initial system install is running around 7-10k and annual contract is about 200.00

....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-01-24          150661


Quote:
Originally Posted by kthompson | view 150646
.....just where do they get the water for Coke? The local Pepsi bottler uses ground water. Think they distill it. kt


I believe distilled water is bad for you depending on how distilled it is, I think we had a thread on this in the archives. In our supermarkets the distilled water is placed with the laundry detergents ;)
....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-01-24          150662


In all but a very few instances the water is the product of a reverse osmosis circuit.

Distillation is too expensive for producing water for commercial uses. Well, all except for making hooch that is. ;)

Best of luck. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-01-24          150670


Murf, as to the higher cost of the water compared to soft drink, I think that is to a big part related to shipping. The water is often not bottled locally as they try to keep the same taste and there is no flavors added to it so you taste the water only. Where as the soft drinks have so many different items added that affect the flavor or covers up the water's true taste they bottle that locally. Years ago I traveled to Wilmington NC often and here would drink Pepsi and there would drink Coke because it tasted more like our Pepsi than did their's due to the water used.

Now to fountain drinks and the water they use...wonder what kind of filter system the small stores use? kt ....

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