Does this mean I need a new septic system?

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Old 12-08-09, 08:24 PM
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Does this mean I need a new septic system?

I got a call today from the zoning board stating they have a complaint that my septic system is malfunctioning, saying that it smells and is leaking. I've noticed a damp area on my lawn for the past 2yr. (since I've owned the house). I just thought that's where my septic is and I avoid mowing there as it messes with my lawnmower. No ordor, just grass and dirt soggy. Does this mean I need a whole new system. I had it pumped out last summer and the man said it could be that way for years. What's up with this?
 
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Old 12-09-09, 07:05 AM
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Likely yes. Cities, counties and states are really cracking down on septic systems. They are going as far as if you pull a permit to do anything to your property you have to have the septic system tested. Even if it has nothing to do with the system.

Sounds like your drain field is not working right. MAybe you will only have to replace that.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 01:32 PM
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Generally the local health dept. handles those issues where I live. Around here only they can tell a resident that a new septic system IS required. Maybe where you live the zoning board has that power but I doubt it. They do however probably have the right to fine you for an improperly functioning septic system if such a system is in violation of zoning.

Sounds to me like you need to call in a few professionals and have an assessment done. Also your local health dept. may offer an inspection service but there is a good chance that if they come to the property and the system is indeed failing they will condemn the system and have to power to keep you from using it until it's repaired or replaced.

If I were you I'd call a few different septic companies first and have them come out to look at the problem and give you options. Almost certainly any work they do will require a permit and after the work is finished an inspector will come out to look at the system and make sure it's working correctly. By going this route at least it leaves the responsibility of proper repair on the shoulders of the contractor you hire and if the inspector fails the system you may have some leverage with the hired contractor to make repairs right.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 10:52 AM
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There is a contradiction, you say it does not smell, the zoning board say someone as yet un-named has complained to them that it smells.
Does it smell?
Is the lid on the septic tank a loose fit or missing?
Does the drain field smell?
It is so easy for someone to lodge a complaint.
 
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