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Question DetailsAsked on 2/10/2016

What does it cost to replace or add a septic line?

We have two lines that come off of our septic system. One seems to get most of the product and we've noticed that the ground above that one is mushy. We were told when we had it inspected that we might need to add a third line. The are involved is in the rear of our home and runs down hill away from our home.

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For JUST a third line, assuming the manifold that the other two come off can be tapped for this, typically a thousand to three for permitting and construction, though can be quite a lot more in areas where they arer trying to phase out leach fields or you are tight on space.

In most areas and states you need a design from a civil engineer certified in septic system inspection and design to work up the remediation plan (cleaning, reaming and repiping, or new leg or entire leach field construction), get permit (he can usually help with or do that), then get an Excavation or Septic contractor to build it, with engineer inspection (sometimes local health department, sometimes yours) during construction and final approval usually needed to get the final certificate for the leach field.

Unless you move out of the house during remediation, commonly another $500-1000 or thereabouts for pumping the septic tank as needed (every day or two) during construction so you can keep on using water in the house - though they will want it limited to as little use as possible.

They are likely to also require disinfection and covering of the soggy area - typically about another $500 though you might be able to use the dirt from the third leg (if needed) as fill material for the covering over the abandoned leg.

In some cases, depending on the engineer's testing, if they determine your soil conditions are not suitable for a leach field for your size house, they may require converting to a mounded system - basically leach field built on top of the ground (at least partly) or moving the leach field elsewhere on the property if distance from other houses, wells, leach fields, and properly lines is adequate and soils are more absorbent elsewhere on your property. Of course, in that case your costs get into the $5-10,000 or even more in many cases.

BTW - if one line is getting most of the product because the manifold is not perfectly level (as opposed to because of a blockage) that will have to be fixed at the same time for typically a couple to a few hundred $ more. Failure to fix that will just cause the same problem again in the future, with one leg getting the flow and building up blockage prematurely.

Here are links to a few prior similar questions with answers which might help too -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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