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Old 12-01-2007, 07:30 PM
 
1,775 posts, read 5,533,060 times
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We just had ours done last week and the health dept said the results are good for any length of time so long as there's no major change to your land (like a flood, mud slide or something) but if you file your results with them for the permit, the permit is only good for 3 years. Since we are not building for about 4 - 5 years, she told us to hold onto our results and when we are closer to begin building then file it with the health dept for the permit.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,733 posts, read 6,608,741 times
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Default Wet soil percs differently than dry soil, dave1961!

We wanted our lot redone because considering how very dry it has been I wanted to see a second test. Your soil will perc differently in wet soil after a steady stream of rainfall than it will during a drought.

It is always of value to spring for the 2 - 300 bucks and be sure of what you are getting into before you end up with an unbuildable or nearly unbuildable lot.

We just rescinded our agreement of sale this week after seeing how the lot fared during and immediately after the heavy rainstorm this week. We could see immediately that the lot was going to be the run off spot for the upper level of the development. That would translate into a very damp and occassionally wet basement. No go.

It hurt to say goodbye to such a pretty spot, but there will be another. Get your lot reports, dave1961, just for peace of mind.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:30 PM
Status: "You've grown up really crazy! - Eisley" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,686 posts, read 32,002,926 times
Reputation: 11808
gemthornton is going to get the most incredible lot, ever.

I betcha!
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:50 PM
 
2 posts, read 14,091 times
Reputation: 10
ALL:
I just joined here. The issue isn't how many bedrooms you have, but
how many bathrooms. My wife and I bought a 4 bedroom manufactured home. The seller took bedroom 1 and 2 and 3 and renamed them as
Library, Study, Sewing Room.

We went through all the processes, and paid the taxes, and got all the permits. When we went to pay one of the taxes and get a building permit the clerk said "It looks like 4 bedrooms that have been relabeled as Library Study Sewing Room." I agreed with her. I told her that the manufacturer had redrawn the layout and given it to me. She said it didn't really matter. I could have crossed through bedroom 2 bedroom 3 and bedroom 4 and
SIMPLY WRITTEN anything I wanted to on the drawing.

SO . . . it depends on the county, on the clerk, and whether or not it is really enforced. Our septic permit was for 2 bedrooms. We could have had 6 bathrooms and 6 bedrooms (pick a number here). It is a stupid law based on BEDROOMS . . . when really the law should be based on BATHROOMS!

matt
[EMAIL="matt37076@gmail.com"]matt37076@gmail.com[/EMAIL]

P.S. From what I read here -- there is an overconcern about closets and closet doors. The government isn't going to tell me I can't have a closet and whatever kind of door I want on my LIBRARY or STUDY! dr.m.





Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFarm View Post
Hobby room storage should be in the hobby room; media room storage should be in the media room; sewing room storage should be in the sewing room; etc. I don't like the idea of being forced into odd design choices because the government can't figure out how to solve a problem without screwing over people who aren't part of the problem.

I didn't discuss egress windows with the Building Inspector, but I am pretty sure they will end up requiring them in any room they define as a a bedroom. How could they not? If it is a bedroom, the code requires it.

I don't know how they are going to deal with a spare room in a finished basement that has a closet. That ought to be interesting.

This whole thing is idiotic anyway. Any room can be turned into a bedroom, closet or not, all the owner has to do is put a wardrobe in there, for Pete's sake. This will do nothing to stop people from overloading a septic system.
Isn't it my SEPTIC system? If my Grand Kids come from the summer -- will that overload the system? It's my system. The only concerns about the system are mine -- and are not the governments business. The government needs to protect ground water, and make sure that our wells don't get polluted -- but septic systems are one area where the government is OVERDOING IT! dr.m.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 14,091 times
Reputation: 10
Default I can help you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elint View Post
Jeepers...glad I looked at this thread. Anyone know the approximate cost of putting in a septic tank? Or the cost of digging a well? Or running electric from the highway? We're looking to buy some land and build the dream, and some idea of the basic costs would be great.
HI:
I can help you. For more details email me [EMAIL="matt37076@gmail.com"]matt37076@gmail.com[/EMAIL] and I can tell you more.

My wife and I bought 34 acres of woods in WILSON COUNTY just east of Nashville. There was a PERKED site that came with the 34 acres. That site was for 2 bedrooms (which means very little except when reselling to someone who doesn't understand the system).

We wanted to give our son and daughter-in-law 10 acres so they could build a home also. The 10 acres are within a stone's throw of the original PERKED site. It has been six months of aggravation, work with the soil scientist, delays, clearing, more delays, more clearing, and lots of back and forth, wait and see, . . . and then magically in month 5 the soil scientist tells us that he is ready to do a PERK TEST. The perk test then says we must put in a MOUND SYSTEM (double the cost). We fill out the forms, and applications and the $$$ fees. Just last week we were told that the site the soil scientist approved isn't large enough for the SECONDARY SITE. Turns out that for every mound system you have to have a duplicate/secondary site that can be used if the mound fails. We are now caught in the middle. We are still hoping that we'll get permission to have 2 homes on a 34 acre site! I believe we are up against environmentalists and bureaucrats and other obstructionists (not sure why we are being given such a tough time).

TO YOUR OTHER QUESTION. We are on a flag. We didn't want to clear out 40 to 60 foot of trees for 1/4 mile for the electrical power -- so we buried the power lines. Good move. Generally speaking a well costs about $ 1500 for the first 100 feet, and $ 10 for each additional foot. Our first well was 230 feet. In August we drilled a second well (for the second home) and it came in at about 73 feet. The 73 foot well is much better than the 230 foot one and they are probably about 300 yards apart. After you get the well in -- you need pumps, and possibly aeration, purification equipment to give you the quality of water you need. Email me and I can tell you more.

dr.m.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,733 posts, read 6,608,741 times
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Exclamation I think you have some misconceptions about septic/well systems, doc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt37076 View Post
ALL:
It is a stupid law based on BEDROOMS . . . when really the law should be based on BATHROOMS!

matt
matt37076@gmail.com

Isn't it my SEPTIC system? If my Grand Kids come from the summer -- will that overload the system? It's my system. The only concerns about the system are mine -- and are not the governments business. The government needs to protect ground water, and make sure that our wells don't get polluted -- but septic systems are one area where the government is OVERDOING IT! dr.m.


Matt, I have professional experience both in town engineering (handling septic system installs) and health department (perks, siting, etc.), so maybe I can add something here.

The number of bathrooms in a family home has NO bearing at all one the septic system. Bedrooms are the only indicator of load and size requirement.

With a two bedroom home, it is assumed that no more than 4, maybe 5, people would be living there. Even with 10 bathrooms, those 4 people can only pee so many times a day in any bathroom they want. So, the toilet(s) will flush the same number of times with 1 bathroom and it would with 10. It is doubtful that even with 10 bathrooms that those 4 or 5 family members will take more than one bath or shower a day. It doesn't matter which bathroom they use, it is still 5 baths a day. Same with laundry, dishwashing, etc. Bedrooms are an indicator of how many people occupy the home and thus the load on the system.

The next point concerns the governments business of protecting your well water with regulations, but having no business determining how, what or where your septic is. This is also a misdetermination.

Would you want your septic system on high ground above you well area? Big problem. Your septic system needs a large area of appropriately perkable land to thoroughly clean the bacteria out of the waste affluent that is meant to drain from your septic tank. That is why it is so important that the soil scientist finds an area where the water will perk (or drain) through at a given acceptable rate - not too fast or too slow - to completely return clean natural water to the ecosystem around your home.

Unfortunately, so many areas in TN are on rock base so it is often difficult to get a positive perk site to insure the safety of your and others drinking water (think watershed here). Then, a mound system must be installed. A back-up system is vital to avoid future failure of the first system and your house condemned because it has no safe water supply any longer.

Believe me, scientists and engineers have worked on these systems for over 3000 years (Yes, they have been used by many civilizations for thousands of years!). They are the experts, they have come up with the best set of rules to suit any situation, and we must follow them whether or not we understand them.

Trust your soil scientist. If you think he is three sheets to the wind on your system, hire a second one to verify the first report. Better to spend the extra couple hundred bucks to be sure.

I do hope that your new home will be all that you hope for and that your two home lot works out okay. (You can always send the little nippers behind a tree once in awhile to avoid overload.)
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Volusia County, FL
45 posts, read 110,485 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt37076 View Post
ALL:

Isn't it my SEPTIC system? If my Grand Kids come from the summer -- will that overload the system? It's my system. The only concerns about the system are mine -- and are not the governments business. The government needs to protect ground water, and make sure that our wells don't get polluted -- but septic systems are one area where the government is OVERDOING IT! dr.m.
Since I live in FL--where most of the land is barely above sea level, they are very strict about septic systems. When I was building my house, they did indeed call the room I was going to use as the library/office a bedroom because I put doors on each side of the walk-in closet between my bedroom and the library. (Easy access to my bathroom.) Instead of a 3-bedroom house, I ended up with a septic tank large enough for a 4-bedroom house.

Also since I live on a canal that leads to the Indian River and then to the Atlantic, they required the sump pump system which costs more and which means I have this ugly mound in my front yard. However, since there are fish in the canal and egrets, herons, pelicans, ducks eat them, I want to protect the water. I even had to build a berm (a sort of shallow ditch) in my back yard to keep chemicals from flooding into the canal. FL tries to protect its wetland fauna and flora.

I watched my neighbor have a new drainfield dug up and replaced twice since 1998. I'm glad the government is so strict. I don't want crap in my yard or canal. They're doing it for health reasons, and you shouldn't be so beligerent about following requirements that protect us all.

However, I will agree that 38 acres ought to keep you from polluting anyone else's water and should be enough land to build 2 houses with 2 septic systems.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Signal Mountain, Tennessee
849 posts, read 2,031,227 times
Reputation: 351
Gem - While we're on the subject, how often do you recommend a septic system have the tank drained?

Also, major advice for anyone reading this thread. Don't dump everything into your garbage disposal like you have done on a city sewer. For several years, we dumped coffee grounds into our system, and then began having a problem with our system. The guy that pumped our sytem out said that is one of the worst things you can do and plugs your field. We caught it in time to avoid a major redig of our system. Read up on what you can and coan not put down your drain. Just about everything we do now just get's scraped off a plate into the trash. Better to deal with possums and raccoons then not being able to flush!

About being built on hard land, our next door neighbor lives on an 1.25 acre lot similiar to ours. We share a small pond in our back yards with about 10 other neighbors. The development we live in was built back in 1984. As we're also close to the interstate, I believe our pond was dug to assist with some "berming" (is that a word?) so that I-75 could pass over SR 70. Anyhow, in the 12 years we have lived here our neighbor living just to our west has had to replace their septic system twice and they are having problems with it again. They spent close to $10,000 to have the very best one put in and it is still failing. Why? I believe that it is because their lot was used as the access for the dump trucks and heavy equipment to remove all of that soil many years ago and packed it down as hard as rock. I feel for them. So I can better understand the issue now, than before.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: In an alternate universe according to some, AKA Aspergers
10,721 posts, read 11,903,496 times
Reputation: 5289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzlybear34 View Post
Gem - While we're on the subject, how often do you recommend a septic system have the tank drained?

Also, major advice for anyone reading this thread. Don't dump everything into your garbage disposal like you have done on a city sewer. For several years, we dumped coffee grounds into our system, and then began having a problem with our system.
A septic should be pumped every 3-5 years or there abouts depending on inspection, at least that's what we've always been told, we ran ours 5 years without any issues and it really didn't need to be pumped but we did anyway.
Not only do coffee grounds ruin a system so do egg shells and grease since they don't degrade and end up building a sludge layer that has to be pumped. We also scrape most dishes into the trash and only let minor stuff down the disposal except for bread, starches and such that actually ferment and feeds the bacteria.
Our current septic guy suggested 1/3 to 1/2 cup ridex be dumped down a toilet once a month (not the whole box like the instructions say) after using any bleach products since that kills the bacteria in the tank and ridex helps put it back.
Egineered septics (mound system) are common here since we have areas of high ground water and unfortunately are alot more expensive to put in than regular types but it does make the land useable.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,733 posts, read 6,608,741 times
Reputation: 3407
Wink Let's not let our yard or ground water get yucky, folks!

Grizzly, it is recommended that you have your tank pumped about every 3 years as jimj said. However, a lot depends on how you treat your system.

It sounds like you have the right idea about what not to put into your system. There should never be any animal scraps (chicken, eggshells, grease of any source, harsh detergents, coffee grounds, nut shells, etc.)

You must think of your septic tank as a digestive system. You would not be able to digest egg shells, coffee grounds, fibers (think celery and corn husks here). Neither can your septic tank bacteria.

The meat products not going into your system is very important. They CANNOT be broken down by the bacteria in a septic tank. Human waste can after eating meat products only because they have been predigested.

Septic scientists put very little stock into introducing Ridex or similar products into your system. However, yeasty and starchy (as in sugared starch, not ironing starch) do assist in keeping the bacteria healthy, but even then they are getting a pretty steady diet of beneficial organisms just by flushing the toilet now and then.

Your neighbor's property may have heavily compacted soil causing him problems, but if it was correctly perk tested originally, he should really be ok. I wonder if there might be a rock ledge under part of his property (particularly the drain field) that is not giving him enough perk area. That is a real tough situation to correct. He may want to have another area on his land perk-tested and try moving his drain field. Also, the water table can effect his system. The drain field may be partially on a high water table area allowing him only a partial leech system. I would really investigate that quite a bit if I was him.

(BTW, I know of folks who have not had their septic systems pumped for 20 or 30 years with no problems! This is unusual, but a lot of people think that there is no need until they have an issue with their system. It is safer, as jimj noted, to just have the doggone thing pumped routinely every 4-5 years is you've never had any issues and definitely every 2-3 if you have.)
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