What goes into a Septic certification?

Discussion in 'Septic Tanks' started by desert_fixer_2019, Feb 12, 2019.

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  1. Feb 12, 2019 #1

    desert_fixer_2019

    desert_fixer_2019

    desert_fixer_2019

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    Can anyone assist with what a septic system must do to get the distinction of "certified"? My understanding that a cert is needed to do certain things like for certain home loans, or to get permits to add plumbing fixtures.

    I understand the system needs to be found to be in good working order, but is there anything else? What about location? My septic is a little bit close to the house I think, for current code, but the tank is old so was installed likely before any new code existed. If it is close, does that mean it would fail?

    Our tank is under concrete right now, so we will eventually need to cut it to access the lid to pump. But everything appears to be functioning fine- no backups or anything, and we are just interested in if it will pass a certification, in the event we need that to add plumbing fixtures inside the house.
     
  2. Feb 13, 2019 #2

    frodo

    frodo

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    Just call me Macgyver Professional Supporting Member

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    To add to your septic system you need to know the size of the system you have now

    tank shall have inspection ports, man hole cover, no closer than 5' from the house

    if your tank is under a slab, before it can be inspected or serviced it must be uncovered
    if you add to your system the tank will have to be brought up to code

    septic_tank_capacity.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  3. Feb 13, 2019 #3

    Mikey

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    Technically, I suppose, you can have your system "certified" by having a licensed inspector inspect it and "certify" that it conforms to your local codes. In one county near me, you can easily become such an inspector, I'm told -- basically, just pay a few bucks for the license and maybe a written exam. I didn't pursue that :). But I had a neighbor who had a "certified" system, and it failed 3 times in 4 years. The previous homeowner had said that this was a super-sophisticated system that never needed to be pumped, so they laid a sidewalk over the tank with no riser for access. Eventually someone who knew what he was doing cut the concrete sidewalk over the tank, pumped the system, had a peek, and discovered (among other things) that the inlet baffle was missing. This was a very expensive lesson, and had the side effect of the insurance company deciding they had had enough, and dropped their homeowners insurance.

    So, long story shorter, have a reputable, qualified and knowledgeable licensed inspector inspect it and "certify" that it conforms to your local codes.
     
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  4. Feb 13, 2019 #4

    desert_fixer_2019

    desert_fixer_2019

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    Thanks! So does "5 feet from the home" mean the cover or opening can be no closer than 5' from the home, or the end of the tank itself must be 5' or further? I believe our cover is 5' from the house, but the end of the tank ends up being closer to the house.

    We won't be adding bedrooms, so do not need to upgrade the size, so long as it's in good working order.
     
  5. Feb 13, 2019 #5

    desert_fixer_2019

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    Good to know, haha! We have every intent of paying someone to inspect/certify and make sure it is good to go. What we do NOT want, is to plan to add plumbing fixtures like an extra sink/toilet and then learn that there's some issue with the septic having to be moved as a result of us adding to the house. Kind of like a domino effect. I know things can get weird with code and making changes. Ultimately, we are going to make the tank accessible by cutting into the concrete and adding a riser or cover so it's able to be pumped. The question is whether we want to move forward with adding bathroom fixtures or not (depending on if there might be a domino effect having to do with the tank and its location)
     
  6. Feb 13, 2019 #6

    frodo

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  7. Mar 2, 2019 #7

    haloflood

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    Five feet from the house means any edge of the tank should be at least five feet from the foundation. There are jurisdictions that grandfather older systems that were installed before any official rules were established. In that case, those systems aren't required to be brought up to code unless it needed significant repairs or resizing, in which case probably the whole thing would have to be replaced. Some jurisdictions have stricter regulations, however.

    If you're just adding fixtures but not adding living space to the house, then it shouldn't be an issue. Septic sizing is usually based on square footage and/or number of bedrooms. Number of bedrooms implies how many people might be able to live there.
     
  8. Mar 3, 2019 #8

    Ryan

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    It looks like your question has pretty much been answered. You should be grandfathered in as far as any permits and keep in mind, believe it or not the system is designed on number of bedrooms as apposed to number of bathrooms. You can have 10 toilets in your house but if only two people live there they are not useing anymore water. But if a home has two toilets but 10 people residing then thats alot of use wich would most likely need an upgrade to the system. You should be fine with adding what you mentioned.
     

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