Septic pitfalls and resolutions – The County

In the words of humorist Erma Bombeck: “The grass over the septic tank is always greener.” Having problems with your sewage system is no laughing matter.

In the words of humorist Erma Bombeck: “The grass over the septic tank is always greener.” Having problems with your sewage system is no laughing matter. It is important that your system is maintained to function as intended, as repairs or replacements can be costly. If a faulty system is discovered, the system must be corrected or its use ceased.

The Maine Plumbing Code mandates that the community must verify that the structure has a proper sanitation method in place before granting a building permit. The Caribou Ordinance stipulates that properties within the service area of ​​the public sewer system must be connected to the Caribou Utilities District (CUD). Many homes in Caribou are located in rural areas and have a private underground sewage system.

According to Dana Chapman, a local site appraiser, the system design is $ 400 unless a backhoe is used to dig test pits 48 inches deep, adding an additional $ 100 to $ 200. Mr. Chapman said, “Only after the HHE-200 septic tank plan is completed can a contractor submit a quote. Many things can vary such as when a pump is needed, the amount and type of fill, the soil conditions present, and if the system is in or above the ground. ”

The HHE-200 is then inspected and approved by the local plumbing inspector, an approval number is issued, and fees are charged. If work is started before the permit is issued, state law mandates that fees be doubled. It is important that the owner or contractor request the necessary inspections during construction.

The most commonly installed system is a stone and pipe septic tank field with a 1000 gallon concrete septic tank. The installation ranges from $ 8,500 to $ 10,000. If you have a small amount or unsuitable floors, the site assessor may suggest that a septic tank field create a proprietary product, adding an additional $ 3,000-4,000 to the cost of installing the system.

Note: Site Evaluators and System Installers are private contractors and prices vary. After designing a system, the installer has 24 months after he is allowed to start working on the system to the satisfaction of the inspector. If not, the approval will expire and the site evaluator will have to visit the property again. If a building permit application is made that requires an expansion of the existing system – such as adding additional bedrooms – information about the septic tank is required. The installation code allows the owner to use the existing system if there is enough space on the property to build a system of the correct size.

Before granting the building permit, the owner must have a replacement system that has been checked and approved by the inspector. No approval is given and no fees are charged. Instead, this new design will be entered on the Register of Deeds and neighboring landowners will be notified by registered mail to avoid installing a new well that would interfere with the installation at a later date. State site evaluator Brent Lawson recently wrote in an email: “If a sewer system is recorded on the Register of Deeds, all time for that design will stop and as long as it is recorded it is still acceptable if it is taken out, to provide everything. If any, deviations are approved by the relevant departments before they are recorded and installed, even if they are 10 years after the design date. No revision needs to be made. ”

The minimum fees for sanitary permits are set by the state. External plumbing fees depend on the components installed. A complete undeveloped disposal system (most common) costs $ 250. If a deviation is required, an additional $ 20 fee will be charged. Each municipality must consider the permits issued and the fees levied by the state, along with 25 percent of the plumbing fees and 100 percent of the DEP surcharge fees ($ 15 for the entire sewer system).

If a property is offered for sale, the state required disclosure requires information about the septic tank. If the home is purchased on a government guaranteed loan (FHA or USDA / RH), the appraiser may be required to provide a statement that the septic tank and disposal field are within the required setback distances from the well and property lines. With a copy of the approved design, the appraiser can report information to the lender. If no information is known, a licensed site evaluator can be employed to prepare a report on the inspection of the septic tank system (HHE-240). The cost is typically $ 150 to $ 250 if non-invasive. If a backhoe loader is required to dig the leach field, that cost increases to $ 300 to $ 800.

To search for Maine permits visit https://www1.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/mecdc/septicplans/index.pl.

If you have any questions about tax returns, plumbing, or other permits please call me at 493-5961 or email me: [email protected] I am grateful to be in your service every day.

Penny Thompson is a Caribous Tax Advisor and Construction Officer. She can be reached at 493-5961 or [email protected].

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