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Old 07-29-2019, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Hopatcong, NJ
2 posts, read 853 times
Reputation: 14

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I'm in the process of purchasing a home with a septic system. The old system failed inspection and an alternative septic system is to be installed prior to closing. The engineering design has been approved by the township board but must be approved by the state board prior to installation. I was wondering if anyone was familiar with this and\or knows a timeline in which septic approval takes at the state level?
Thanks for the input,
Chuck
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:27 PM
 
296 posts, read 151,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpurcell88 View Post
I'm in the process of purchasing a home with a septic system. The old system failed inspection and an alternative septic system is to be installed prior to closing. The engineering design has been approved by the township board but must be approved by the state board prior to installation. I was wondering if anyone was familiar with this and\or knows a timeline in which septic approval takes at the state level? Thanks for the input,
Very interesting. What type of system? Peat Moss? Trickling Filter, etc...? Unfortunately I have no idea how long NJDEP approval would take as I only have experience with conventional systems. What County? What were the contributing factors? Groundwater level, presence of ledge, etc...? The only thing I can suggest is to politely but firmly follow up frequently with the folks at NJDEP. There is not enough discussion of septic systems on this board. Has your engineer ever done an alternative system in New Jersey before?

*EDIT* Just realized that your location is Hopatcong so I'm assuming you're near the lake. Very tough conditions there between proximity to the lake itself and the fact that there is ledge basically everywhere.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Southern Most New Jersey
1,384 posts, read 928,037 times
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Is the old system a cesspool. Do a Google on this topic.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:00 AM
 
296 posts, read 151,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBoy3 View Post
Is the old system a cesspool. Do a Google on this topic.
What was there to begin with doesn't matter. This is a rather one-off situation as unlike a conventional septic system which is approved by the County Health Department, this is an alternative system which is approved via a Treatment Works Approval or TWA which is all handled by NJDEP in Trenton. TWAs are used for everything from an alternative septic system for a single family home to a public sewer system extension. There are a lot of variables here and a Google search would likely reveal nothing conclusive.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Southern Most New Jersey
1,384 posts, read 928,037 times
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Swamp -

I am confused. I know a family that has been in a house for over 25 years. They were told by a realtor if they want to sell the house the cesspool has to be replaced. They are getting estimates of 30K for an up to date septic system.

They also used to own a takeout deli down in here in southern most NJ and that system required pressure. Also lots of constant maintenance by professional services.

As I drive thru the old communities by the Delaware Bay I am seeing more and more abandon houses. I can't help but wonder if one of the reasons is the cost of a current/legal septic system (required at time of sale). Also taking into account the high and only rising water tables are making replacement impossible.

Please educate us regarding septic in NJ.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Hopatcong, NJ
2 posts, read 853 times
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Just a couple of quick notes. The old system is a standard septic with a drain field unfortunately it fails the struck standards of nj and is actually cheaper to replace rather then repair. The alternative septic system does have to be approved by the njdep. I was just looking for a timetable of anyone is familiar. The njdep has no information regarding this on their website nor do any Google searches. Also I fear my traditional drain field may be the cause of the failure due to rocky,damp and sloped property.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Southern Most New Jersey
1,384 posts, read 928,037 times
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Will you have to use a mound system. I see a lot of these now being used in south Jersey. Also in parts of Delaware.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:20 AM
 
296 posts, read 151,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBoy3 View Post
Swamp -I am confused. I know a family that has been in a house for over 25 years. They were told by a realtor if they want to sell the house the cesspool has to be replaced. They are getting estimates of 30K for an up to date septic system. They also used to own a takeout deli down in here in southern most NJ and that system required pressure. Also lots of constant maintenance by professional services. As I drive thru the old communities by the Delaware Bay I am seeing more and more abandon houses. I can't help but wonder if one of the reasons is the cost of a current/legal septic system (required at time of sale). Also taking into account the high and only rising water tables are making replacement impossible. Please educate us regarding septic in NJ.
The types of systems you are referring to (ie: mounds) are what NJDEP refers to as "conventional" systems. These are designs which have been proven to work in a variety of different areas of the state with varying soil types, water table levels, etc... As such, NJDEP writes the regulations, N.J.A.C. 7:9A, and leaves the interpretation, implementation, inspection, and enforcement to County Boards of Health. When most people repair or replace a septic system they only deal with their County Health Department. The OP is having what NJDEP refers to as an "alternative" system. These systems are utilized in situations where site conditions are not conducive to a conventional system. In this case, the OP is dealing with ledge (bedrock that is at the surface), high water table where there is soil, and proximity to a lake, all of which make a conventional system an impossibility. Therefore, NJDEP, under their direct supervision will allow for an alternative system to be utilized. An alternative system requires a Treatment Works Approval which is a completely different process than what a County Board of Health would go through for approval of a conventional system. As far as the cost of mound systems causing people to abandon their homes, it may be a small contributing factor, but the phenomenon of people "walking away" has much more to do with the crash of the housing market in 2008 and it's lasting effects for economically depressed areas such as the Delaware Bayshore.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:22 AM
 
Location: NW NJ & SE Oahu
4,636 posts, read 5,506,919 times
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I had a similar situation here, the previous owner had neglected their very old system, so it failed inspection . The extensive soil testing found high water table and clay content, so they had to install a mound in that location.

Diagram of our mound system:







Here a photo of the excavation job here:.



NJ Septic approval help.-septic-3-.jpg



It cost the seller ~$25,000 in 2008. It's a huge mound, but the fawns like to nap on it at night so it's become rather endearing.


My chamber-pot sounded a high-water alarm the other day and I've ordered a new pump and will do the replacement job myself with the appropriate clothespins. A shout-out to an extremely helpful NJ septic company: Coppola Services.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:44 AM
 
296 posts, read 151,115 times
Reputation: 475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantalust View Post
I had a similar situation here, the previous owner had neglected their very old system, so it failed inspection . The extensive soil testing found high water table and clay content, so they had to install a mound in that location.
Good diagram-this probably describes 90% of the systems installed in NJ today. Essentially, rather than hoping that your soil conditions are good for septic (some are, some are not), a mound system uses a man made bed of soil called "select fill" which is simply a specific grade of sand that allows the correct amount/rate of percolation into the ground below it. Our system is almost exactly the same except that we had enough slope between the tank and the field for gravity flow. We are very fortunate not to need a pump.
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