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Old 01-15-2018, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
2,573 posts, read 4,198,731 times
Reputation: 4691

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My husband (Maine native) and I (Michigan native) are anticipating a job offer in Westbrook and are researching housing in the area. We had septic down here in our current house and would love to avoid the headache in our next house if we can avoid it. We know septic is really common in Maine but would like to understand what towns near Portland/Westbrook have city sewer (understanding that city sewer doesn't extend to all parts of the town). I know there is city sewer in Portland and in the town areas of Westbrook and Gorham. Are there other towns that also have city sewer in at least a part of their limits?

Also, more broadly, are we making too much of an issue of this? In Tampa when our septic failed we had to replace it with a private wastewater system. That was very expensive and, more importantly, needs electricity (which is problem when you lose it for any period of time for example a hurrican or winter storm). I think this requirement may have been be due to how close to sea level we are in Tampa and I'm wondering if/hoping it's not such a PITA in Maine as here in low lying Florida.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
133 posts, read 95,076 times
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Maine Listings (mainelistings.com) will show that info for specific properties, but for the whole town, you’d probably need to call the town office for other towns you’re interested in.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
3,844 posts, read 1,562,305 times
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Scarborough has town sewer too. There are definitely lower upfront costs and more reliability in operation in town water and sewer. Having said that, I think a new septic system, that's been properly designed for the wastewater load and the soil conditions, shouldn't give you much trouble if it's maintained well, for decades.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,910 posts, read 4,623,368 times
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I often do a search for buyers that eliminate all properties with septic systems and/or wells, it's a comfort issue for many. You are correct, most of Maine does not have public water and/or sewers. I just returned from my listing west of Portland which already has a filtration system in place, but needs one for Radon in Water (approximately $5000). A well-designed septic system that's maintained properly can last for 30-50 years, but it's hard to know what's been flushed or evacuated from the house over the years. A good building or septic inspection can identify current or future problems. Keep in mind that public water and sewer can run up to $75 or more monthly, far more than the cost to maintain water filtration and septic systems.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
2,573 posts, read 4,198,731 times
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Thanks everyone! Scarborough is on our list of town to consider so it's nice to know some of those properties might have city sewer. We think in the end we will consider it a big plus but we will likely not make it a must have as it would eliminate so many properties. I definitely would miss the $1.66 monthly utilities bill.

Here's another kind of random spetic question after looking at a number of porperties online tonight. I see some properties boast of having a "private septic system". Is this just trying to sell a septic as a feature or do some properties actually share septic systems with other properties? That seems like to worst of both worlds.
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:16 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,270 posts, read 5,806,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowGirl View Post

I see some properties boast of having a "private septic system". Is this just trying to sell a septic as a feature or do some properties actually share septic systems with other properties?

Yes
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,910 posts, read 4,623,368 times
Reputation: 1370
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowGirl View Post
Thanks everyone! Scarborough is on our list of town to consider so it's nice to know some of those properties might have city sewer. We think in the end we will consider it a big plus but we will likely not make it a must have as it would eliminate so many properties. I definitely would miss the $1.66 monthly utilities bill.

Here's another kind of random spetic question after looking at a number of porperties online tonight. I see some properties boast of having a "private septic system". Is this just trying to sell a septic as a feature or do some properties actually share septic systems with other properties? That seems like to worst of both worlds.
The MLS Defaults for Wastewater are: None, Other, Private, Public, Quasi-Public, Septic Design Available, Septic Existing on Site, Septic Needed on Site, Soil Test Available, Unknown. Some condo associations in the area not served by public sewer will share a septic system between two or more units. Scarborough is known to have Quasi-Public systems in certain neighborhoods.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
2,573 posts, read 4,198,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoFanMe View Post
The MLS Defaults for Wastewater are: None, Other, Private, Public, Quasi-Public, Septic Design Available, Septic Existing on Site, Septic Needed on Site, Soil Test Available, Unknown. Some condo associations in the area not served by public sewer will share a septic system between two or more units. Scarborough is known to have Quasi-Public systems in certain neighborhoods.
Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
10,188 posts, read 15,911,112 times
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If a municipality has town water, they may not let you drill a well. They want you to drink the additives they feel are good for you. Many families buy large returnable containers from water companies if they don't want to drink chlorine or flourides etc. Buying water from a town to irrigate your garden can get expensive in a hurry. Just one more thing that may not be in the details on a real estate property disclosure form.
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