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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm asking for advice. I'm trying to figure out if I should build a second (small) septic system or try to run a septic line uphill to my primary.

I recently bought my house with a unfinished room over the detached garage. I'm currently finishing it. Now, the there is a septic (sewage) line through the concrete of the garage that leads out to the ground. That line is about 90-100 feet away from my main septic tank and about 12" below the inlet. Also due to layout I would have to make a 90-degree turn in my lawn somewhere.

The room over garage will be mainly a 'mother-in-law' suite. So for when people come over and my house is full. Right now I'm thinking a second small system like what is describe here:
http://www.wikihow.com/Construct-a-Small-Septic-System

Another option (a pump) seems like a disaster waiting to happen, but that may just be me.

Last note: the previous builder will not talk to me, so I have no idea what his plans were...

Any advice?
 

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Doing it myself
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So does your line go all the way to the septic tank, or are you saying it's just stubbed out of the house, and at that point it's 12" below the septic inlet ?

Why won't the builder talk to you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So does your line go all the way to the septic tank, or are you saying it's just stubbed out of the house, and at that point it's 12" below the septic inlet ?

Why won't the builder talk to you?
1) The line is stubbed out of the garage. As in the septic line is 12" away from the foundation of the garage and then stops. At that point it is about 12" below the inlet of the primary septic tank next to my house (and 90-100 feet away).

2) The builder (previous owner) and I ended up having some disagreements about the contract on the house and won't return any of phone calls. I asked for any house plans and diagrams, but he never got them to me. I've had to call county to get some of the drawings (like the septic system layout). O-well...

Let me clarify: The house is finished and the septic system has been working for my house for at least 5 years now. I'm working on the garage which is not connected to any septic system.

Thanks!
 

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In my town, and probably yours, septic system design is within the responsibility of the Board of Health. They probably have the plans for your system, assuming it was built legally, which it probably was or you would never have gotten an occupancy permit. So you need to go to the Board of Health and discuss what modifications are required to handle the MIL suite. I am a bit surprised you were able to get a permit for an addition like that without addressing in advance the septic issue, in my town that would be totally impossible, as the building inspector would never issue a permit to add a bedroom without approval from the BOH for the septic design, but maybe your town is different. In any case, this sounds like a BOH issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I talked to DHEC ('board of health' here in SC), they said the primary septic tank was for the 4-bedroom house that I have. No mention of a second septic tank. Note they said it was for only the 4 bedroom house. I'll ask what is legally needed for running a line to that tank. BUT, right now I wanted to know how bad of idea it is to 'upflush' the septic line vs build a second small septic system vs some other magical idea you might have.

To clarify, the primary tank was done legally. I don't have a permit for the second one (yet). I was told I need to confirm with my city 'board of planning' first. I do know that the garage was built after the house was complete.
 

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Doing it myself
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Your option of pumping may not be legal in your area. It isn't here.

Having 2 septic tanks may not be allowed either, but I'm not sure about that one.

Was the garage built at the same time as the house with the intention of having a bathroom in it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your option of pumping may not be legal in your area. It isn't here.

Having 2 septic tanks may not be allowed either, but I'm not sure about that one.

Was the garage built at the same time as the house with the intention of having a bathroom in it?
I'll ask DHEC about the pumping/allowing second system. They don't open until Monday, so it will have to wait. The garage was built after the house. I remember the builder mentioning he was planning on installing a bathroom over the garage.

Also, I'm in the country on 3.1 acres if that helps any.

If given the choice between pumping and building a small second which would you choose?
 

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I'll ask DHEC about the pumping/allowing second system. They don't open until Monday, so it will have to wait. The garage was built after the house. I remember the builder mentioning he was planning on installing a bathroom over the garage.

Also, I'm in the country on 3.1 acres if that helps any.

If given the choice between pumping and building a small second which would you choose?
A pump will be a lot cheaper than another septic system. Probably by thousands. Just have to be careful not to put baby wipes or anything that is semi-cloth (whether it says flushable or not) into it, and when it's not in use for a while, pump it down manually so that you don't get soap buildup solidifying on the floats and clogging up the pump.
 
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