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Thread: Septic Lines revisted.

  1. #1
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    Default Septic Lines revisted.

    Hi Folks,

    I figured since this was public information I would put an FYI out there when looking for insight on the internet. Feel free to check out this link on the folks giving you the information. Be sure you are getting the most accurate and up to date information when looking for contractor insight.

    http://www.commerce.state.ak.us

    Vince, you stated in the Septic thread that you were an engineer? Why does the state of Alaska have you listed as nothing more than Specialty contractor in carpentry/roofing?

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    Smile DEC info

    I actually work for DEC, my name is Jade Gamble and I am the contact for the approved homeowner program. There has been a lot of incorrect info put forth on this website and what the requirements are and who can install a septic syste. The state law does say that only a certified installer, engineer or approved homeowner can install a system. The approved homeowner program is very easy process and only cost $65 to get certified to do your own system. Here's the ADEC onsite website with additional information on this topic. http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/wwdp/onsite/index.htm Please review this site. I deal with many calls everyday from folks that get incorrect information and have done things incorrectly and are now having to pay to get them fixed because they are selling their home or they are having issues with their system not working correctly.

    Most of the post on this website regarding size of tank, slope of sewer line, separation distances and size and design of absorption area are incorrect. Please review the above website for correct information. If you have questions please contact someone from your local ADEC office, we are very happy to help!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    So, Jade, is it ILLEGAL for a person to install their own septic system on their property without approval from your agency?

    Having sold, and been involved in the sale, of several homes in Alaska I can say that the banks still make you do a flow test regardless if the system is D.E.C. approved. They have accepted non-D.E.C. approved septics as long as they pass the flow test AND the seller discloses the specifics of the system.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    It IS illegal to install your own septic system with out first being certified as an approved homeowner, a Certified Installer or Professional Engineer registered in Alaska.

    It is true that banks require systems older than a couple years to be tested to ensure they are working correctly at the time of the sale. The things that usually come up during an adequacy test include failure of the leachfield, holes in the septic tank and inadequate separation distances. The bank will not typically loan if the system does not meet current DEC regulations.

    There have been times in the past when regulations did not require submittal of septic documentation so it would be difficult for banks to require DEC approval.

    I deal with MANY complaints from people that didn't go thru the correct process at the time of installation (many times thinking they would never sell it) and now it's time to close of the sale of the property and their system is not in compliance and they have to pay to have it replaced or loose a sale.

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    Thank You Alyeska, I was hoping someone with first hand knowledge would pipe up. There is a bunch of information out there that needs to be corrected.

    Doug, If you are the same person I'm thinking of, don't you only sell lumber?


    Quote Originally Posted by Alyeska95 View Post
    It IS illegal to install your own septic system with out first being certified as an approved homeowner, a Certified Installer or Professional Engineer registered in Alaska.

    It is true that banks require systems older than a couple years to be tested to ensure they are working correctly at the time of the sale. The things that usually come up during an adequacy test include failure of the leachfield, holes in the septic tank and inadequate separation distances. The bank will not typically loan if the system does not meet current DEC regulations.

    There have been times in the past when regulations did not require submittal of septic documentation so it would be difficult for banks to require DEC approval.

    I deal with MANY complaints from people that didn't go thru the correct process at the time of installation (many times thinking they would never sell it) and now it's time to close of the sale of the property and their system is not in compliance and they have to pay to have it replaced or loose a sale.

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    Nope. I have a full service hardware store and tool/small heavy equipment rental business. 13,000 SKU's in lumber, hardware, electrical, housewares, paint, animal feed, tools, fasteners and plumbing. I sell a tremendous amount of ABS pipe and plumbing supplies...both indoor and outdoor. Next to lumber it's my biggest department. I supply most of the local septic installers with pipe, foam insulation, and filter fabric. I also supply a bunch of non-certified do it-yourselfers. That's why I asked if it was illegal



    Good luck catching all the folks that are doing it themselves. Like Vince's area, and a bunch of other rural road system areas, there are a bunch of people with good operating systems that never took the class. There are also a bunch of people out there with failed systems...both with certified installers and non-certified.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyeska95 View Post
    It IS illegal to install your own septic system with out first being certified as an approved homeowner, a Certified Installer or Professional Engineer registered in Alaska.

    It is true that banks require systems older than a couple years to be tested to ensure they are working correctly at the time of the sale. The things that usually come up during an adequacy test include failure of the leachfield, holes in the septic tank and inadequate separation distances. The bank will not typically loan if the system does not meet current DEC regulations.

    There have been times in the past when regulations did not require submittal of septic documentation so it would be difficult for banks to require DEC approval.

    I deal with MANY complaints from people that didn't go thru the correct process at the time of installation (many times thinking they would never sell it) and now it's time to close of the sale of the property and their system is not in compliance and they have to pay to have it replaced or loose a sale.
    So what is the Alaska Statute title number of the law you speak of?
    Andy
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    Good luck catching all the folks that are doing it themselves. Like Vince's area, and a bunch of other rural road system areas, there are a bunch of people with good operating systems that never took the class. There are also a bunch of people out there with failed systems...both with certified installers and non-certified.
    It appears to me that the focus and intent of ADEC isn't on "catching" people but rather educating people which is hard to do. Most DIY owners are trying to save a buck by skipping the legalities which many times comes back to cost them later.
    I think ADEC is fairly lenient on DIY owners because mainly it's such a huge task to force people to follow the regulations so they end up doing what they can which usually means trying to protect property owners by managing the commerce of installations. We've seen the installation responsibility go back and forth a couple of times between installers and engineering companies. I think the reason is that oversite by engineers usually added about 700 bucks to the cost of an average system.
    I don't know exactly how Jade Gamble found the site and thread about the septic system questions but I for one am glad she did. I notice she hasn't threatend anyone with prosecution or actions. I notice nobody has accused her of being unreasonably intrusive into their rights as property owners in Alaska as they did to me for merely pointing them to the ADEC website. It appears to me that she is making a concious effort to avoid the topic of penalties other than the penalty of having a failed wastewater system.
    The wastewater program probably has flaws and lacks teeth in some areas and doesnt seem fair to people in other areas...but I honestly can't say that given the rate of growth and the influx of people and pressure on a sensitive water based environment that I could possibly invent a better one.

    Thanks Ms. Gamble

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    ADfields I think this is the statute info.

    18 AAC 72.400. General provisions


    Except as otherwise provided in 18 AAC 72.015(b) , a person may not install or modify a conventional onsite system unless that person is certified under 18 AAC 72.405 or approved under 18 AAC 72.410.


    History: Eff. 4/1/99, Register 149


    Authority: AS 44.46.020
    AS 46.03.050
    AS 46.03.070
    AS 46.03.080
    AS 46.03.100
    AS 46.03.720
    18 AAC 72.405. Certification of installers

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    I understand Doug, I guess you are another Do it yourselfer?

    Good luck selling or shall I say financing, that home that is not DEC approved.


    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Having sold, and been involved in the sale, of several homes in Alaska I can say that the banks still make you do a flow test regardless if the system is D.E.C. approved. They have accepted non-D.E.C. approved septics as long as they pass the flow test AND the seller discloses the specifics of the system.

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    Smile

    18 AAC 72 is the regulations for wastewater. You can view those regulations at http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/wwdp/onsite/index.htm. There's actually lots of good info on that site under the link for Information for the Onsite Septic System Owner/Buyer. It has info on signs of a system failing, how to maintain your system and how to legally install your septic system. Misc 54...you are exactly right...the focus is to protect public health by educating and helping folks install and maintain their system correctly.

    I found this site because someone had been researching rules for septic systems online and found this forum. He called me to find out the correct answers. I decided to visit this forum so those that are looking for information will not be misinformed. I get many calls from people that took the advice of "the guy down the road" and end up replacing their system because it failed within a few years or they are now trying to sell their home and the system wasn't installed correctly. They are not cheap to install and I hate to see people waste their money on something that's not going to work well for them.

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    So, RoughWinter.. who are you? I've got nothing to hide and spelled out exactly who I am. Looks like you joined just recently to poke at Vince..now at me.

    Good luck selling or shall I say financing, that home that is not DEC approved.
    Happens all the time. Maybe not using AHFC money, but it happens on rural property all the time.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    I think you forgot one item on your list Doug...whatever you do, don't go looking for CHALK LINE at Doug's store!


    (Just poking fun for those without a sense of humor).......




    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Nope. I have a full service hardware store and tool/small heavy equipment rental business. 13,000 SKU's in lumber, hardware, electrical, housewares, paint, animal feed, tools, fasteners and plumbing. I sell a tremendous amount of ABS pipe and plumbing supplies...both indoor and outdoor. Next to lumber it's my biggest department. I supply most of the local septic installers with pipe, foam insulation, and filter fabric. I also supply a bunch of non-certified do it-yourselfers. That's why I asked if it was illegal
    .
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

  14. #14

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    i want to thank you people for all my supid questions at times about diff styles of spetic tanks for i learn thing a thing or two about building in alaska ..

    my only thing is how do i get the so called flow test done and if done right do i get a the paperwork stamp for use ..

    that the thing i do not want to do is get into the whole i screwed up now what do i do ..
    i want to do it right the first time around and not have any problems down the line ..

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    I think you forgot one item on your list Doug...whatever you do, don't go looking for CHALK LINE at Doug's store!
    Being the conscientious store owner I am..I got off my butt and investigated. You are absolutely correct, I am out. Not only that, the order guy (not me), had the computer set to order only one at a time? The issue has been resolved I do have chalk line reels on the shelf though (with line in them) and will have chalk line in a week or so.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    my only thing is how do i get the so called flow test done and if done right do i get a the paperwork stamp for use ..

    that the thing i do not want to do is get into the whole i screwed up now what do i do ..
    i want to do it right the first time around and not have any problems down the line ..
    An engineer or home inspector can do the flow test. Frankly, with a new system, properly installed, there is no reason why it won't pass. 20 years down the road lots of things happen with septic systems. Tree roots growing into the system, failure to pump it out on a regular basis, frost heaving, and a pile of other possible problems can render even a D.E.C. approved system useless.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    I just HAD to poke at you. A lot of good that does us now though!




    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Being the conscientious store owner I am..I got off my butt and investigated. You are absolutely correct, I am out. Not only that, the order guy (not me), had the computer set to order only one at a time? The issue has been resolved I do have chalk line reels on the shelf though (with line in them) and will have chalk line in a week or so.
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

  18. #18

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    Bout 5 or 6 yrs ago I worked in the local util clearing dept,we were up in talkeetna clearing a right of way for new construction power hookups.We were walking down the soon to be cleared area sizing up the job as usual.
    Popped out on somebodies property,it was early winter,probably in the '20's at night,and this guy was putting the finishing touches on his drain field.
    It was at best 2' deep,straight pipe out to the backyard right out of his rear wall/foundation!Few years later I worked as an excavation laboror,and did at least 30 or 40 DEC approved septics in the next year,both standard drain field and deep trench.
    Theres more to it than you think,but not impossible for the uninitiated,do your math,make sure your tank is VERY close to perfectly level,err to the outflow side.MAKE SURE YOU HAVE FALL,BEFORE YOU STARTwhere called for,and make sure your drain field pipe is level,bedding your pipe is key to these last two.Work from your outflow to your end caps,dont skimp on your drain field rock or typar.
    I couldnt see doing any of this without a grade rod and lazer level,and a good spade shovel (and a CAT Excavator!)
    Ive often wondered how quick that guy in talkeetna had a stinky bathroom, in the middle of winter no less.

    ak

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    Theres more to it than you think,but not impossible for the uninitiated
    tell me how the "uninitiated" can grade the soils and certify their perculation criteria.

    the correct answer is...they can't. They aren't authorized to certify anything.

  20. #20

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    here the lesson i learned so far on septic tanks along with drain fields..

    1-- do it right the first time for it be be cheaper in the long run

    2-- do it right the first time for it be cheaper in the long run..

    3-- if think you messed up you have ..call the expert in to make sure have not screwed it up so bad that it can be fixed with out spending a lot of money .. for that quick fix is going to cost a lot more down the line when the quick fix fails at the wrong time..my dad used to say

    4-- you get what you paid for ..so try and buy the better made goods when installing septic tanks set up ..do not be a cheap skate on that one area as uncle bobby used to say..pay for good items up front and you not have to replace them as much

    5---no matter what you think that you got the problem fixed at the time ..the one problem that you over looked and with a cheap part is going to fail at the wrong time when you need to work right at that time..uncle bobby used to say..

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