Replace a Septic System
LESLIE: Leslie in Texas is unfortunately having a septic issue. (chuckles) Tell us about the problem.
LESLIE IN TEXAS: I am. I have an old jet spa aerobic system and the pump went out in one of the tanks and we didn’t know it. So it’s leaked over into the neighbor’s yard and then we were reported. And now I’m told that the only resolution that we have is to have a whole new system put in. Do I have any other options?
TOM: Well, you know, if you do put in the new system, the neighbors are going to have to invest in fertilizer this year and that’s going to cost them a whole lot of money. (both Leslie’s chuckle) So you know, there is a downside to this.
LESLIE IN TEXAS: I see.
TOM: So the system is leaking; is that correct?
LESLIE IN TEXAS: Right.
TOM: Yeah. Well, I mean it’s certainly got to be repaired, if not replaced. Why did they say that it’s unreparable and that the only solution here is replacement?
LESLIE IN TEXAS: Well, I’m told that whenever the system was put in, back in the early 90s, there was no permit required and now it’s required that you have a permit. So …
TOM: Yeah, and that’s probably smart. The systems are probably going in a lot better these days because there is some oversight.
LESLIE IN TEXAS: OK.
TOM: You know, I don’t know that they can require you to replace it. I think that they certainly can require you to fix it because it’s a public health threat but I don’t know …
LESLIE IN TEXAS: Right. I have no question about that. It’s just I wondered if maybe this system could be upgraded or if I can just replace that part that is not working or …
TOM: Yeah, but it’s a leak, so it’s a leak in one of the lines. Correct?
LESLIE IN TEXAS: Well, actually, it’s not a line; it’s just one of the pumps in one of the tanks has gone out, so it’s not pumping it into the next tank.
TOM: Right, so the system is not working properly because it’s not lifting the waste from one to the next.
LESLIE IN TEXAS: Right.
TOM: Well, I would think that you simply could replace that pump. Have you talked to a septic repair contractor about this?
LESLIE IN TEXAS: I have and what he’s telling me is that this system is obsolete.
TOM: Oh, OK.
LESLIE IN TEXAS: And so I don’t know – I didn’t know if that was just my only option.
TOM: Well, if that’s the case, then now you’re getting it from a couple of different sources. If the system is so obsolete that you can’t even get contractors to work on it, you may be better off replacing it.