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Old 01-29-2014, 12:31 PM   #41
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Why, was there some problem with the design of that particular brand?
I don't know all the details. There are ten brands approved in Ohio, but only four have authorized distributors in the county where I live. That limits the choices considerably. The basic problem is that the soil is terrible for this purpose.

The county inspects septic systems every 19 months on a regular schedule, and I've had two different inspectors tell me about the cost of replacement. The newer approved systems are also much more maintenance intensive. I've questioned them closely about exactly what they are looking for and how to check things myself.

I also have it pumped out more frequently than necessary, just to have an extra pair of eyes looking at my 35-year old system.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:48 PM   #42
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The basic problem is that the soil is terrible for this purpose.
That's surprising.

I know many types of soil, including the huge limestone rock that our property sits on, is not suitable for a traditional anaerobic system. I thought aerobic systems would would work in any type soil since all the breakdown takes place inside the aerobic tanks and no leach field is required.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:16 PM   #43
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I am so glad that my retirement is well funded, because for me (only) this means that I will never, ever have to deal with a septic tank at all during the rest of my entire life. I may not long for international travel, but I think that living in a location with city water/sewage is a great way to spend my discretionary money. YMMV

Different strokes for different folks, but this entire thread is horrifying to this city gal. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have city water ($2.77/month) and sewage ($2.06/month).
W2R, I am always amazed at some of the low costs you report for your area. Our water and sewer rates are high and keep going up. My water, sewer, and associated fees etc. run about $55 - $75 per month depending on water usage. It sure makes a difference in basic living expenses over time.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:38 PM   #44
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W2R, I am always amazed at some of the low costs you report for your area. Our water and sewer rates are high and keep going up. My water, sewer, and associated fees etc. run about $55 - $75 per month depending on water usage. It sure makes a difference in basic living expenses over time.
Well, with associated fees etc, my bill comes to about $21.80/month. Most of that is our garbage/trash pickup (with lesser amounts for mosquito control and park maintenance). We have terrific trash pickup, though, so I don't mind paying a lot for trash at all. We have pickup twice a week, and they will take anything we put out at the curb (doesn't have to be in those special trash cans for automated systems).

Also, I never use more than the minimum amount of water (3000 gallons) since there is just one of me here, and the sewage fees I believe are based on water usage too.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:07 PM   #45
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Just can't help but write something here. If you live in a municipality where they're charging less than $30-40 minimum for water and sewer, then the system is either receiving major subsidy from taxes or is going down the tubes. There are places where water source is cheap, there are none where sewage treatment is anymore. The most ignored cost is the deterioration of the w&s lines. If you're in an older municipality especially. Last utility I left spent about $3 per customer per month just on w&s line replacement/rehabilitation. At that rate we were touching 1/2% of the system annually. That means you'd have to believe the average life of pipe assets is 200 years! When I left they were on verge of a sewage plant upgrade of about $1000 per customer...finance that for 25 years. But of course it will have to be redone before those bonds are paid. Just another reason to be glad to out of working now!
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:22 PM   #46
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Just can't help but write something here. If you live in a municipality where they're charging less than $30-40 minimum for water and sewer, then the system is either receiving major subsidy from taxes or is going down the tubes. There are places where water source is cheap, there are none where sewage treatment is anymore. The most ignored cost is the deterioration of the w&s lines. If you're in an older municipality especially. Last utility I left spent about $3 per customer per month just on w&s line replacement/rehabilitation. At that rate we were touching 1/2% of the system annually. That means you'd have to believe the average life of pipe assets is 200 years! When I left they were on verge of a sewage plant upgrade of about $1000 per customer...finance that for 25 years. But of course it will have to be redone before those bonds are paid. Just another reason to be glad to out of working now!
Yeah, I wish they would spend more on this sort of thing and in fact just a month or two ago I voted for higher property tax millage to support water and sewage maintenance and improvements. That is where most of their funding comes from AFAIK. I don't remembered if it passed, though.

My property tax is also low, because of the homestead exemption and the modest size of my home. People living in homes with high tax assessments pay through the nose.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:18 PM   #47
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I am so glad that my retirement is well funded, because for me (only) this means that I will never, ever have to deal with a septic tank at all during the rest of my entire life. I may not long for international travel, but I think that living in a location with city water/sewage is a great way to spend my discretionary money. YMMV

Different strokes for different folks, but this entire thread is horrifying to this city gal. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have city water ($2.77/month) and sewage ($2.06/month).
Amen, Sister!
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:43 PM   #48
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I am so glad that my retirement is well funded, because for me (only) this means that I will never, ever have to deal with a septic tank at all during the rest of my entire life.
I hate to bust yer bubble, but that (probably) does not make you immune to expensive sewer repairs unless the city owns/maintains the line all the way to your house. Here, as in most places, the homeowner owns the pipe that connects the house to the city sewage line. When it breaks, as happened to one of my neighbors, or tree roots invade it the bill is in the $2k+ range and these are 1/4 acre lots.

And of course the longer the line, the more it's going to cost.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:53 PM   #49
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Well, I stretched it a bit, 26 years and 9 months we have lived in this house. I have never seen a septic service at any of my neighbors either.
Amazing...sure you don't have a leak? Or sure you're not on city sewer?
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:58 PM   #50
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I hate to bust yer bubble, but that (probably) does not make you immune to expensive sewer repairs unless the city owns/maintains the line all the way to your house. Here, as in most places, the homeowner owns the pipe that connects the house to the city sewage line. When it breaks, as happened to one of my neighbors, or tree roots invade it the bill is in the $2k+ range and these are 1/4 acre lots.

And of course the longer the line, the more it's going to cost.
Oh, I know. But for years at a time, my plumbing has required no attention or maintenance at all.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:09 PM   #51
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I hate to bust yer bubble, but that (probably) does not make you immune to expensive sewer repairs unless the city owns/maintains the line all the way to your house. Here, as in most places, the homeowner owns the pipe that connects the house to the city sewage line. When it breaks, as happened to one of my neighbors, or tree roots invade it the bill is in the $2k+ range and these are 1/4 acre lots.

And of course the longer the line, the more it's going to cost.
You speak the truth about city sewer, Brother Walt.

Three years ago this April, DH and I had plans to head down to Monterey for our 30-something wedding anniversary. Our sewer lateral had other plans, though, and on the day of our anniversary, I stood out front and watched the new lateral being installed from under our house to the street. What a shindig.

My friend said, in surprise, "So now we know that the anniversary gift for 32 years of marriage is sewer pipe. Who knew?"

$6100 later, we had new pipes. Aw, well, every year's an adventure!

Edit to add: Not that I am squeamish about sewer stuff, since I have had a few years in various wastewater treatment agencies; however, the whole septic tank combined with well water on the same property always has made me nervous, not being an engineer and not understanding how the two waters get kept separate.

Or not, in the case of unmaintained septic systems?
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:20 PM   #52
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Where I live if you have a two compartment septic tank then you're required to have a filter on the outlet port. The filter does stop solids from getting to the leach field but the filter also needs to be cleaned out regularly to make sure it's not clogged up and stopping liquids from getting out. I had my tank pumped last year for $280 after about 7 years and everything was still in good shape.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:45 AM   #53
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Where I live if you have a two compartment septic tank then you're required to have a filter on the outlet port. The filter does stop solids from getting to the leach field but the filter also needs to be cleaned out regularly to make sure it's not clogged up and stopping liquids from getting out. I had my tank pumped last year for $280 after about 7 years and everything was still in good shape.
That's what ours is like also. Both at home and at cabin.
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