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Advice on 1970's Septic tank

  • 21-08-2022 8:47am
    Registered Users Posts: 19

    Hi, currently in process of purchasing a house with an old circa 1970's septic tank system.

    It has come to my attention that the soil in the area is clay and drainage is extremely poor. It wouldn't be possible to build on the land by today's standards. There's also a chance that the existing drainage field doesn't always work and has an overflow pipe that goes straight into a ditch and possibly a small stream...

    Obviously this would need to be immediately replaced and a modern waste water treatment system put in place. My questions, if anyone has any advice, are:

    1. In areas with clay and poor drainage, no access to drains, where does the waste water treatment plant final (clean) run off go?

    2. How much would a job like this normally cost to do?


    Post edited by ticktickboom on


  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 45,345 Mod ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Best to get a site/ground assessment carried out first. If you state your county someone might have a recommendation. You could also Google "site assessor" or look up online planning applications and see who the assessors were. I'm in Donegal and the cost here for a site assessment would be in the region of 600 - 900 Euro depending on availability of water and digger.

    Treatment systems would generally be 6000 - 12000 Euro but you need the assessment done first as the follow up written report will recommend the type that needs to be installed.

  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 45,345 Mod ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Forgot to say that unless the site is located in an area that's basically water-logged then you should be able to install some type of system.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,729 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35

    It cost my neighbour €14000 to put in a new septic and percolation tank.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ticktickboom

    Post edited by ticktickboom on

  • Registered Users Posts: 404 ✭✭billy_beckham

    Sounds like you are hoping this issue will thin out the competition...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ticktickboom

    Actually, I'm worried about already paying over the odds for something that will at best cost tens of thousands more (that I don't have) to make habitable and at worst I will eventually find out I can't get a mortgage for. I'm not a cash buyer so would be in the same boat as everyone else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,184 ✭✭✭Furze99

    1970s? Sounds like a bathroom & septic tank installed to a dwelling using a popular local authority grant scheme of the time. Common enough then for a well and running water, along with drain and septic tank to be added onto cottages. You can spot the bathroom extensions added.

    If so, isn't it strange the LAs approved them then. We had/ have similar setup to above, the tank was just dug back into the hill and drainage was poor from it, resulting in backing up. Got a new percolation area installed and use a pump in the septic tank to pump this to a distributor box that feeds the new percolation area, which is higher. Been working away for many years without problem. But for this you do need somewhere where this is adequate ground for percolation area.

  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 45,345 Mod ✭✭✭✭muffler

    What are you talking about? Who said anything about a bathroom and septic tank being added? Who mentioned a well or grants? I dont even see the relevance here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,184 ✭✭✭Furze99

    Nobody................. but OP is purchasing/ bidding on a property with a c1970's septic tank system. Do you not think that a little bit of background information might be of help to them?? This was a very popular grant in rural areas at the time and allowed for the modernisation of dwellings that previously often had no running water and only an outside jacks or the ditch.

    As mentioned we have such a 1970s system and it would be turned down flat by the county council now, despite the fact that they approved & funded it's installation in the 1970s......

    The answers to OPs question lie with the local authority concerned. Phone and ask them what the relevant local standards area in the area.