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Question DetailsAsked on 4/29/2014

What should I expect to pay to move lateral lines for a septic tank

We have an existing septic tank with laterals on our farm. Nothing is obstructing the path for new laterals to be laid. We just need to empty existing tank and move laterals from the east side of the house to the south. Both flow downhill.

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Bear in mnind these are rough numbers - vary a LOT depending on site conditions and local regs - ask your neighbors what they paid if they had it done in past few years.

Assuming you have the required clearance from waterways and wells (typically 100 feet) and ground is suitable for leach lines where you want to move it, typically about $500-1000 for the engineer to do the plans and the required percolation test and certification, from $50-500 typically for government permit and inspection (though some area use it as revenue and run fees up to the thousand plus range), and assuming decent ground digging conditions typically around $3000-6000 for new leach line trenching, pipe and bedding, assuming reusing your existing septic tank is possible (maintains downhill flow direction), easy access and installation, and basically level ground. Hillside, difficult access, longer runs due to proximity of waterway or well, etc can easily double that number, and shallow bedrock or high water table ground can triple or quadruple it by requiring building a mound percolation system above ground.

Generally, but not always, the engineer certification process involves having to pump out and flush your septic tank for inspection as well, so add your usual pumping cost plus about $200 for washing - typically about $350-500 range in rural areas to pump and flush. This has to be coordinated with engineer so he is there to inspect right after it is pumped and cleaned, before it is used again.

Note your leach lines generally have to be relatively level - cannot run down more than a very gentle slope, so if they will be located on a slope generally you have to manifold them off individually near the tank, then run solid pipe downhill varying distances, then run the actual perforated leach field lines horizontally on the hillside - like the first sketch in this article -

this about doubles the trenching and piping length, so about doubles the cost too. Allowable leach field drain pipe slope depends on code and soil type, but can vary from 1-2% in most areas in clayey soil or shallow water table, to about maximum 4-5% in deep open sands and gravels. Steeper than that you either have to sidehill ladder the leach field per the sketch, or go with a pressurized pumped system,, which is more expensive and a maintenance headache.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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