google map to real pro systemsJohn Teichtler from the Door County Sanitarian's Office recently spoke to the Door County Board of REALTORS.  I found his information extremely valuable and think you may as well...

There are approximately 15,000 on site waste disposal systems in Door County.  Every three years a maintenance report form must be completed by a WI Licensed Plumber on all systems and submitted to the Door County Sanitarian’s office.

The Door County Sanitarian’s office is in the process of performing a complete inventory on all waste disposal systems in Door County and they are currently, approximately 86% finished with their review.  They anticipate being totally finished by October of 2015.  The Door County Sanitarian’s office has discovered, through the testing, that 30% in the entire comprehensive survey are failing.

In the mid 1900’s the installers stopped putting in steel treatment and holding tanks.  The TMC tanks (steal) are all failing.  Any holding tank which is 17 to 20 years old will most definitely fail the testing criteria.  Prior to 1974, a soil test may be necessary.  If a soil test is necessary on a property owner’s property, the Sanitarian’s department does alert the owner ahead of time.  Prior to 1967, ANY type of system was installed with no requirements for soil depth, soil suitability, or soil absorption.  With ANY type of system installed before 1967, the soil absorption system may not be suited for the soils on the property, and may be a failing on site system.

I found it interesting that replacing “part of” the system is an option in some cases.  With some of the concrete tanks, primarily located in Southern Door, the center wall deteriorates and may collapse within 10 to 12 years.  For a cost of around $800, if discovered early on, these tanks can be repaired and the life span increased substantially.

John Teichtler also spoke about the plastic tanks which are currently being installed in greater than 48” depth of soil and Teichtler said that these tanks could last forever!!!

There are funds for septic replacement systems available for families with an income of $45,000 and less.  It is called the WI Fund Program and it is for those systems installed prior to July, 1978.  In seeking funds, you must be an owner who occupies the property for more than 51% of the year.  The reimbursement is really slow to arrive, so if you are thinking about this, you should call the Sanitarian’s office to begin the process soon.  Some funds are also available for small commercial properties.  

The basic red flags to watch for which may indicate of failing system are effluent ponding or effluent standing in the observation pipes.  Current cost to replace waste disposal systems are as follows:

 Holding Tank:            $5,000 to $8,000 (blasting will be the determining factor here and can +/- $2,000 to                                          $3,000).
Conventional:            $6,000 to $8,000.

Mound:                      $15,000 (also depends on soil conditions).

Pressurized System:    $8,000 to $10,000.

At-Grade System:       $10,000.