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Country Discussion Topics
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LOST SEPTIC SYSTEM
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Red    Posted 06-07-2001 at 07:22:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Help! I am putting an offer on a 100 yr. old farm house and the seller doesn't know where the septic is located---no visual signs. Can anyone tell me "a next step"? Please email me directly---I WILL GREATLY APPRECIATE THE HELP.
This property is located in Wisconsin


Alvin NE WI    Posted 06-08-2001 at 05:26:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you live in Wi or I mean buy a place in Wi the SELLER has to warranity the septic system for one year.They better know where it is and the realitor darm well knows that also.Tell him it is his job to check it out. I know of several where the seller had to re do the septic system because the old system failed or was not a legal system. Alvin.


Lew    Posted 06-07-2001 at 20:25:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
On most older systems, the pipe that leaves the house and goes to the tank is cast iron. It can be traced. Have a contractor call "diggers hot line" and tell them he is preparing to dig. They will come and mark the pipe. Are you buying through a realtor? If so it is his job to guarntee the well and the septic. If you are buying direct, Good Luck. Courts in WI have held the seller responsible and most lending institutions or realtors hold back some money in case the system is bad. Check with the county zoning office for all the current laws and conditions.


coaltrain    Posted 06-07-2001 at 16:47:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Red if your ground is not rocky get a peice of steel rod or fiberglass is much safer doin't use steel if buried elect lines. More than likley back of house near crawl space entry take the pointed rod and puch down in ground shouldn't be to deep when you think you found it dig down and see. Then just start pooking and you will find the direction it is going. Then you will find tank top by pooking around Hopes this helps. Coaltrain


Larry 8N75381    Posted 06-07-2001 at 11:09:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Red,

If you "absolutely HAVE to know" you could get one of the firms that locates undergruond lines to come out - it will be expensive! Where I work there is ALL sorts of stuff burried underground that has been "lost" but is still connected. Stuff you do not want to hit with a backhoe!! I have seen these guys come in and sweep an area marking all the stuff they detect. The "Miss Utility" that you should call in your area to find phone/electric/gas lines should be able to give you the name of a firm that does that work.

Good luck! I had the same problem at my farm. But I did have a clean out in the yard that gave me a good idea which direction the tank was. When I had a stoppage, the plumber that came ran his snake in until he hit the "T" at the tank. His helper walked out along the direction the cleanout headed while the plumber pulled and pushed the snake. The helper then found the area where the loudest "thumps" was, so now I have a good idea where to start digging when the tank needs cleaning.

HTH
Larry


Polly    Posted 06-07-2001 at 10:58:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You might see if there's a water witch around, someone who can dowse. I find water lines, septic tanks and electrical lines for folks. When we tore down the old house to build the new one, we had to cut the old water lines off - Pop argued and argued with me about the location of the water lines - swore up and down they didn't curve like that. They did. I also found a septic after the folks had dug up half their yard trying to find it. It came out and made a sharp left, then went another 50 feet or so to the tank. It does work. Good luck!


hay    Posted 06-07-2001 at 10:38:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
i can find a septic tank in a heartbeat. all i have to do is drive my tractor on the property and break through the lid. seems like the lid is a magnet to my tractor. i know this will not help you any, but do be careful where you drive a tractor near old (or new) farmhouses. some of the tanks are in the darndest places and a heavy tractor will break through.


Murphy    Posted 06-07-2001 at 10:13:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
On a system that old, it'd be pretty hard to find. On some of the ones with concrete tanks the grass doesn't grow well over the tank but does grow very well over the leech fields. Is there anyplace where the grass is truly greener? It may give you a hint as to the location of the leech lines and you can work back from there to the tank... if it has one.


JoeK    Posted 06-07-2001 at 08:02:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well,to narrow it down,look which direction the waste pipe leaves the house.Is there a downslope in the land in that direction?After 100 yrs there may be some surface leaching in the field area.If the is a stream close at hand look between the house and stream.I know what your goin through,a lot of early systems in northern WI were concrete/stone or even wood plank tank construction with clay tile fields.No vent or access pipe.On our old farm,tank was concrete/stone with 3" plank lid,buried about 4' in a pine grove about 100' from the house.Put in just after WWII,worked without problems till 1995.


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