How to Determine if Abandoned Septic Tank Filled

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Old 11-04-16, 07:42 AM
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How to Determine if Abandoned Septic Tank Filled

My father's house was converted from septic to town sewage over 50 years ago. The house is for sale and the prospective buyers want to know if the tank was filled. Seeing as how he connected to town sewage I'm assuming a permit was pulled.

Can someone tell me if this was the general practice over 50 years ago? The property is in Massachusetts. Should I be able to the town offices and look up the permit to see what was done? Is there anything else I should know?


Thanks
 
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Old 11-04-16, 07:52 AM
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Open up one of the Portals and see if it is filled with solids/fill; or still contains effluent ?

If it was a Steel Tank, an empty tank would eventually present a hazard as the lid rusted, and ultimately collapsed; hopefully not snaring the leg of a pedestrian walking above it.
 
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Old 11-04-16, 07:53 AM
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I'd be surprised if you where to find a permit was pulled that long ago.
Know where the tank is?
If so dig it up to see if there's still a cover over it with access covers still in place.
To day they would require the tank to be pumped out, top to busted up and then back filled.
 
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Old 11-04-16, 08:16 AM
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Alright, that gives me some idea of how to proceed.

There are 5 of us who are splitting the inheritance. Since I'm not getting reimbursed for my efforts or time I'm thinking paying someone is the way to go.

Any ideas on who I should contact to have an outside professional do this? Any ideas on the cost to have this done? I know where the tank is but once again, my efforts are not going to be reimbursed so I'd probably just pay someone. thanks
 
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Old 11-04-16, 08:24 AM
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One other question. The town plumbing inspector said filling the tank was generally the practice back then. Any guesses on the chances this was done assuming the tank was left 50 years ago and converted to town sewage.


I know there's no clear answer until someone looks at it but I'm just trying to think of the best/worst case scenarios. thanks
 
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Old 11-04-16, 08:41 AM
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Oh, having lived in Massachusetts, and the Town would have been involved in the dis-connect of the Septic and the hookup to the Municipal Sanitary System, I'd guess about 57/43. They'd get paid (by somebody) so why not do the work ?

Let me know if I win anything !
 
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Old 11-04-16, 08:54 AM
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They'd get paid (by somebody) so why not do the work ?
Or get paid and NOT do the work......I'm hoping the 57 is in my favor, lol.

Should I be looking to hire a plumber, septic guy, general contractor, etc to inspect if my father is unsure?
 
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Old 11-04-16, 09:04 AM
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The companies that install septic systems have the earth moving equipment and knowledge to do what you want. Just have someone there to be sure it is what they bill you for.

Bud
 
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Old 11-04-16, 09:04 AM
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As in Vermont, Massachusetts now utilizes Licensed or Certified Waste Water Site Technicians, so an actual Septic Installer "ought" to know the current Mass Rules and Regulations as to how it should have been left, and your Buyer apparently wants that kind of affirmation that it was done right and won't come back to haunt him/her . . . . just as you and your fellow Heirs want to make sure it's behind you.

Yeah, the 57% was in your favor that it was done right . . . . but as recently as 1973, I watched a developer cutting corners and installing old junk cars as Septic Tanks in a new sub-division in Bellingham (a Cadillac with the incoming sewage coming in via the Ventilator Window). When it's below grade, and no one can see it, it is often below standard also.
 
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Old 11-04-16, 09:19 AM
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My father is the type that would have hired someone to do it so hopefully it was done right. I'll see what he says and go from there. If the buyer wants proof I'll look into hiring someone to inspect it.

Thanks everyone
 
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