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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Old wells and old septic systems
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# Posted: 11 Feb 2020 20:37

Hi, as I browse properties looking for a cabin/cottage/or land, I often see where a property has an old existing well and maybe a septic. Listings usually do not elaborate on these, but sometimes they are promoted as selling features. House that used them are GONE, or perhaps there is a mobile home still there. Are these old wells still useful? Can they be inspected and improved? Septic systems have a useful life in years. Can they be inspected and repaired? Best to leave these and construct new? Thanks for your input!

Irrigation Guy
# Posted: 11 Feb 2020 22:36

My property came with well, septic, and electric service and that’s what drew me to it initially. It turned out the septic didn’t have a permit so we got them to knock off some from the price. Well needed a pump knocked some off for that, electric needed new panel knocked off some for that. As it turned out the septic was in the wrong place anyway for where we wanted to build. My advise is don’t take the sellers word for it. If hey can’t verify it, it’s worthless in terms of adding value to the property.

# Posted: 12 Feb 2020 07:35

In almost any real estate market people just expect those things to be there and work. This means unless there brand new, permitted and in the right place for you there not of much value.

The fact that the house isn't standing anymore would basicly mean the septic is useless to me. What's the average trailer last? 30-40yrs? No septic is going to be like new in that time and if they let the house to to crap...the septic isn't going to be new.

Wells how ever can be tested pretty easily and you can't go down to your local equipment rental company and rent a well drilling rig.

# Posted: 12 Feb 2020 13:57

Septics are tightly regulated in some places and the "sanitarian" has the final say. On a lot I bought in Ga, the county lost records of septic tank inspections and my lot had a tank, but no record. The inspector showed up and said he couldn't find the tank and therefore there wasn't one. There was a trailer on the lot in the past and it had to be hooked to septic to get installed.

I located the tank and showed it to him on his second trip. He then said it was a concrete lid on fifty five gallon drums. I showed him the sides made of concrete. He then could not locate the pipe leaving the tank. I showed him where to probe for it. He then said it did not have a baffle even though he could hear the sewer cleaning tape hit it. He said he would return the next week and I needed to remove a chain link and privacy fence over the tank. That was over four years ago. He forgot but I got my permit for electricity.

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