I want to buy a house by a lake with a septic system. The house never
had a septic system that was approved. In other words, I can't use the
According to the county, I have to find 360 ft of field lines to add
additions to a 2 bedroom house. My field lines have to be 50 ft back
from the lake and 100 ft from a well on a neighbors' property.
My lot is only .4 acre and has a lot of cut/fill areas that are
unapproved. Plus the lot heavily slopes.
In other words . . . I will never have the field lines unless the
neighbor shuts down their well.
Are there alternatives to septic systems that a metro county will
approve near a well and with less field lines? I tried proposing an
aeration system but the county requires the same length of field lines
and distance from the well.
PA would allow that, but likely require the same, and chlorination.
They seem to have no problem with systems with no liquid output...
The PA-approved "Sundrive" evapotranspiration system uses the sun to
evaporate water from a reed bed in a large greenhouse with a waterproof
bottom. The greenhouse could be a lot smaller if it condensed the water
vapor before it left the greenhouse or condensed (distilled) a small
amount of potable water from black water and filtered the grey water
for non-potable reuse. This might be the only water supply for a house,
with some rainwater to make up for evaporation.
The standards are clear and easy to test for in PA: max limits for BOD,
suspended solids, and ammonia as nitrogen, which you can test in your
kitchen. I made a system that processed 12 gallons per day of wastewater
and exceeded public treatment plant standards treatment with a few plastic
trash cans, an air pump, a heater, a ferric chloride drip, and a sand
filter. Complications come with the required permits, licensing, public
hearings, periodic testing, and ownership and maintenance issues, if
it's a small shared system.
Holding tank is an option but not conviient or low cost (Long run
cost). Here is a description.
If you went that route you could look into splitting some wastewater.
Laundry discharge to the yard for example.
Also, everything would need to be made low flow. I have no experience
with these systems but it sure beats making you own waste processing
station! Any chance public sewers in the future? Maybe all you need is
"No" might have something here. You might want to look into a greywater
system and split the toilet/disposal waste between the two systems. That
would be greywater and blackwater or septic. These things vary so much from
county to county you might want to call and find out what the regulations
are. If they allow it, you might be able to reduce your leech field by about
You could offer to drill the neighbor a new well so that you can put
yours septic where you want. You could also share the well with the
neighbor. Put it on your property and pipe it over to him. Sometimes
they use to pumps one above the other. Wells near lakes are almost
never very deep or that expensive.
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