Keeping it Clean
So you have a house that was built long ago, the septic system has failed or is in need of replacement and there is no possible way of meeting today’s separation requirements for your on-site well and septic. Fear not! There may be a solution. New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and local health departments allow enhanced treatment unit (ETU) septic tanks and alternate leach field designs to be constructed on sites with inadequate separation distances. Simplified, an ETU involves the introduction of air into a septic tank (along with several other treatment methods) to allow for highly effective aerobic bacteria to activate and digest the waste in the tank. An ETU or aerobic septic tank discharges a cleaner, more digested waste with lower contaminants into the leach field, reducing the potential for contamination of water sources (wells, lakes, streams, etc.).
If you have a house on an undersized piece of property, or if there was ever a house on the parcel (and you can document it), NYSDOH allows the introduction of aerobic septic systems as a mitigating practice for septic systems that do not meet current regulations. Albeit, the number of bedrooms in the house will not be able to be increased. If you are looking to increase the number of bedrooms on an inadequate lot, NYSDOH has a provision to apply for a waiver through hardship. Although difficult to obtain, MNTM has assisted qualified applicants through the waiver process and has received waivers from the NYSDOH for wells and septic systems meeting this criteria..