Septic system failed inspection


We have an offer pending inspection on the table for our house. Unfortunately it seems the inspector deemed our septic "poor". So, I called the people that have been pumping it the past 20 years and they came over and looked at it. They said it was "holding water" and that, in fact, it was near failure. They said they need to test the area to be sure a new leech field could be put in the same location, and if it could it would run 5-7k for the work. This is a 3 bedroom home in NH.
All of this seems reasonable. Other then getting a couple more quotes on this does anybody else have any insight? Questions I should ask?
Thanks, Jim
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jtpr wrote:

With all the rain you've have had up there, I would expect a lot of people are having the same problem. The first question I would ask is: "Is a new field really necessary or will all get better as the ground dries?"
KC
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Who's inspector--buyer's I presume? If so, unless you're willing to just "eat" $5k, I'd get another opinion--probably starting w/ the county or whatever municipality is the controlling health inspection/ certification/approval body.
KC has a useful question although a well operating septic field doesn't rely on the surface ground so much so that rainwater (unless it's standing) shouldn't cause failure.
Lastly, if it is finally determined need new field, I'd at least try to get the buyer to pick up a part of the tab -- after all, a brand new leach field isn't what one would expect to get in a 20+ yr-old house.
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Get buyer to fix it or walk away- No need to accept a major defect such as that in todays market. I would get county inspectors as well as a couple of independents to evaluate the septic and go from there. But I would NEVER buy that house without properly working septic.

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dpb wrote:

system, one being a noreaster that stayed for the better part of a week, I would think the ground must be saturated pretty deep. Don't people up north have similar problems when the snow pack melts? Seems like I saw a post recently where someone stated they quit using the septic and go to an outhouse until the ground dries. Hell of a time to try selling property when that happens. -KC
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I don't believe unless the ground were actually underwater for a period that a health system review would consider that a correctly operating leach field. Would depend some on the actual site and soil and so on I'm sure, but that would be my inclination that there wouldn't be much tolerance for a repetitive situation like every spring/winter as far as they official position.
Again not to say it's not worth at least asking about for OP, but I doubt he'll be able to get much if any relief on that basis.
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