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When working with both my Buyer and my Seller clients, I do my very best to keep surprises from occurring after we’ve entered into a Contract for Sale.  One item I discuss is the Door County Private Waste Disposal System Ordinance.  This ordinance affects all of our rural properties.

Door County’s Private Waste Disposal System Ordinance requires existing private septic systems to be evaluated prior to the transfer of ownership.  It is the seller’s responsibility to have the system inspected and pays the costs associated with the inspection.  A licensed soil testing does the inspection and submits a written report to the Door County Sanitarian’s office.  The sanitarian will personally inspect the system and make a final determination of passing or failing.

According to Chris Olson of the Door County Sanitarian’s office, over the past 5 to 10 years, the ratio of passing to failing systems has been approximately 80:20.  Of the 20% of systems that failed, approximately 80% of them failed because they were installed prior to 1975 and were in unsuitable soil conditions.  Chris also pointed out that steel holding tanks over 20 years old are also likely to fail.

If after an inspection, a system is deemed failing, the property owner will be required to replace the system within one year of the inspection date.  When buying or selling Door County real estate, I can help you through this process and make sure that we properly deal with the inspection as well as the situation of a failing system in an Offer to Purchase.