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Old 05-15-2010, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by skinem View Post
Doesn't usually mean the same thing in the PNW. It is usually a reference to an agency that regulates the use and allocation of what is a rare resource-water-in a region where many people are surprised there is a lot of desert. Most of those water districts control water for irrigation purposes, and in the larger, regional scheme of things, often determine how much water cities and towns are going to get. Shoot, the whole Columbia River Basin now is just one big system balancing the competing needs of irrigators, electric producers, fishery advocates and river transportation interests.

My life has been pretty split between the SE US and WA and OR...so I know what you're talking about as well. That's the way it is in much of current area (TN)--public water (or city water as they say here) and septic. In my case, I'm fortunate...septic, city water and 2 of my own wells.
Thanks for the explanation.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:41 PM
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Thanks to all of you... I feel much more comfortable with this now!

Sounds like the house I'm thinking of buying would be ok... it is on a small rise, so slopes two ways. Not sure which way they put the drain field, but either way it would be on a slope. Good tips about the animal fat; I'd read that too... so basically stay off the garbage disposal, don't dump anything down the drain that wasn't intended to be go down it and you should be ok!

As for the water district... the house doesn't actually have a well. Instead, as I understand it, the water district has a number of wells from which it pumps water into holding tanks. There are a limited number of shares in the district and each house in the area has to buy a share. When there are no more shares available, don't build because you probably won't have water. This property already owns a share so I should be ok. I was more concerned about the reliability of this sort of system vs a huge metropolitan water company that serves millions and is almost too big to completely fail. One thing I didn't mention and should have is that the properties I've been interested in are all in western Washington, so not as much of an issue as the dry side.

Thanks again!

Last edited by PA00G; 05-15-2010 at 09:43 PM.. Reason: typo...
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:56 PM
Location: CasaMo
15,593 posts, read 7,665,383 times
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Originally Posted by nuala View Post
Septic cost for us: bought a fiberglass 400 gallon septic tank for $300, underground pipes, rented a small backhoe for 1.5 days (rents are about $300 a day, depending if you need delivery and if it's a weekend), dug a hole for the tank and a trench for the pipes. If you hire someone to install septic, it will probably be in thousands. After 7 years, this is the first year we need to pump the tank. We have 4 people in the family.
Originally Posted by LynnKK View Post
Septics sometimes fail...but then sewers can back up gray water into your basement. Both of which I have personally experienced. My preference...septic any day.
Originally Posted by ShadowCaver View Post
I've had septic or lagoon every one of past 5 houses - all worked great, w/ the proper maintenance,,, like everything, it all takes a bit of knowledge and preventative maintenance. As to water wells, I much prefer the fresh taste of well water over the chlorinated fluorinated treated tasteless stuff out of city water... unless its St Louis' version [which is actually Mississippi River water - which is also what Aquafina uses ]

A few sites of interest on septics:
Home Buyer's Complete Guide to Septic Systems - Buying a Home With a Septic Tank & Drainfield
"Septic Systems"
Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3A-G703_V1rLsJ%3Awww.epa.gov%2Fowm%2Fseptic%2Fpubs%2F homeowner_guide_long.pdf+septic+system+design&hl=e n&gl=us - broken link)

And on wells:
EPA Ground Water & Drinking Water Frequently Asked Questions

I installed mine myself for about the same cost as nuala and have not had a single problem. I do have to avoid putting bleach and other chemicals down the drain, though. Like ShadowCaver said, preventative maintenence.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:17 AM
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As a sidenote------be well aware of all laws,rules,regulations if installing a septic.

Comparing how inexpensive it is in one part of the country with cost in another part of the country is apples to oranges.

Rules,regulations,and laws can raise the cost considerably.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:52 AM
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Follow codes on water well too. Even if you say you won't drink it there is ofher issues.

Skin absorbs water. Here is so good information.

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Old 05-22-2010, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PA00G View Post
My wife and I have lived in the big city for most of our lives, but are now looking to move to the pacific northwest. For the money we have to spend on a home, in the areas we are considering, we could either buy a tract home in town or a place that is 5-10 miles out of town. We love the feel of the more rural setting and having lived for years in tract housing so are ready to be done with that, but... we've never lived in a 'water district' that to my understanding consists of wells and holding tanks, nor have we lived in a home that uses a septic tank. To be honest, it scares the c*** out of me! So... one house we're looking at closely is about 15 yrs old and appears to be both built and maintained well, and the septic system was inspected and passed (although I haven't seen the report yet). For those of you with experience in these areas, how much of a concern is this? From what I've read, septics should be checked yearly and of course pumped when necessary. If that is done, how long will they last? If it needs to be replaced, what would the likely cost be? Am I making too much out of this? I appreciate your thoughts!
You need to clarify the "water district" item. When we bought this place, it was on well water ( electric basement pump into the house). There was no "water district". A few years after, the county came through with water and you had to decide if you wanted to get "on" the county water. We did -- the well is only used for the garden now, by hand pump. We are part of a county "water district" now. We have county water in the house, well water ( if we want) outside ( which we have to hand pump.,.... the well does not connect to the house anymore.

We are still on septic. I will take it any day and dread the thought of a sewer. As long as your land passes the "perk" test, you are fine. If you are worried, most places will do sand systems which work when the area doesn't pass a "perk" test. Septics only problem? If it pours for days, you may smell something kind of like manure....
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:33 PM
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,568 posts, read 2,434,823 times
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We have been on septic tanks for years and many different houses. Replaced three of them that got old or washed away in a flood for one. Not all that big of a deal. Water pressure tanks some times need burping or bladders give out. They are not all that expensive or hard to replace. We do not have a garbage disposal or dishwasher, two things that can make a septic tank unhappy. For the most part you will not really notice much difference from city water sewer verses well and septic. We are 20 miles from Oregon border. Even close to the area you are looking in can have a different soil structure which makes a difference in perk-ability for the septic. That a word?? LOL

The city does have a water system.

This city we live in is areas of fairly close houses with larger lots on some. We have a small half acre with ranch next door with cows and all and small horse spread across the street. No two houses are the same here and even though some of the houses are close together it is all fairly private feeling because if you want to be left alone people will leave you alone. You need help some one will be happy to help you and hope you will help then when needed.

You change your mind on PNW there is a darling little house right next to us needing some one to love it again. Not advertising on this I just see it so sad sitting empty.

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Old 05-26-2010, 11:24 AM
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,970,194 times
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We fairly recently moved to a home dependent upon community wells for water and we have a septic tank. Before we purchased the house we had the tank inspected (cost $225) and then, while they were there and we were in what we felt was a safe escrow, had it pumped (1,000 gallon capacity, cost $125). Through our property owners association (212 homes) that owns the wells and pumping/purification systems (no chlorine or other additives) we pay $30 every quarter for all our water needsw and usage.

As far as we're concerned, cheap at twice the price.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:23 PM
Location: Southern Calif. close to the ocean
380 posts, read 1,045,180 times
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ok PAOOG what you should do with septic-what i learned researching anyway was be sure you wash clothes often--if you have a family and do loads once a week---that is hard on the septic versus doing loads daily!
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:58 AM
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My washer is running most of the time. Never had a septic tank problem. Never had one pumped.
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