Septic Inspection Completed - Failed Drain Field

Performing due diligence on a small park with individual septics for each home. Just received back the results from the inspection, and most check out, but there are a few items that we are not sure how to interpret:

  • most tanks are 6-12’ from the house, a few of the tanks are under the home. would that ever be an issue later on?
  • one home has a “bad water leak” from home into the septic somehow.
  • one drain field is saturated and drain field is not working properly.

How would you all proceed? Not sure the implications of a failed drain field, as well as a separate unit leaking water into the septic.
The park is on county water, all paid by tenants, but want to make sure we don’t make a bad purchase. Still inside DD period. Thanks!

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If the tanks are under the home you might want to check if they are legal…that’s a pretty big no-no where I operate.

The other items should be straightforward for the Seller to fix.



Do you mind if I ask how much the septic inspection cost?

It was 2k for inspection on 12 units, with another 2k for pumping all 12. We had 2 “T”'s that were broken, so we paid for those to be replaced at 150/each. So 4,300 all in.

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Were you required to pump the tanks in order to conduct the inspection?

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@Dominic730 We weren’t required to, but the contractor recommended that we have it done so they can perform a more thorough inspection. Might have been BS, but we at least know that they can be evaluated in a reasonable state/condition. Additionally, the seller has been inconsistent in providing reliable information, so we figured that it might be a simple time to begin a pumping schedule, if we end up acquiring the property after all is said and done.

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Hello bnr0327.

Would you mind keeping us up to date on this? I’m looking at new parks now for purchase, and this kind of information is extremely helpful with the due diligence process.
Thanks for posting this!

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You can see the inside of the tanks without pumping them out.

@jhutson You are correct - I did confirm with our septic contractor that this county has grandfathered in MH’s that are over top of the tank/drain field. the tanks/fields appear to be at the rear edge of the homes, so not directly underneath, but if the homes do need to be moved then they will not be able to be relocated on top of the systems again.

@Rhonda Will do. I’m learning as we go as well :slight_smile:

@WhiteTrashGator Agreed with the assessment that a tank not need be pumped. The seller has provided nothing in the way of septic-related due diligence, so our reasoning was to do a complete job in our search and uncover as much as possible.

What I meant is that you “can’t” see inside the tanks without having them pumped. I have done the same myself in checking out septic systems.

I would confirm with the county in writing that these systems are grandfathered and can be maintained, repaired. Is there space for a new leach field when it fails or are you forced to lose a tenant and home?

I would ask the septic inspector is if there is adequate room to replace the other drain fields. You already know you have to replace one. Typically, you can’t replace a field where it sits now. You’re going to need enough room nearby. I would also get quotes to replace the tanks especially the under home tanks. Those suckers could be very expensive to replace because you have to dig under the home.

@jhutson @kkeindl Yes there is plenty of space between each home for a new drain field, both at the side and rear of each home. Fields are 6x50ft or 9x50ft. Planning has confirmed that we can replace homes, but cannot increase number of homes on the parcel. So plenty of space for new field, ability to replace, shouldn’t lose any homes/tenants from the rent roll.

Nice! If you can get that in writing and have a contractor price it out, you should be in good shape

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What I know:

  1. In one county that we have parks, you cannot have tank under house. Health, methane.
  2. If you get the County/government to write anything on paper, you are a genius.
  3. My cost for new fill lines and tank is generally $5,000. Fill lines alone, little less.
  4. Leak from home into tank should not be a big deal.
  5. Hopefully you have some extra room in park should you need new fill lines.

@Zepp Awesome, thanks!!