What Do I Need to Do If I Have an Alternative Septic System Installed to Serve my Northern Virginia Home?

By
Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA VA License # 0225089470

Alternative Septic Systems have been a hot topic in the Virginia Legislature since 2009.  That's not to imply that Alternative Septic Systems are bad.  Being relatively new technology the purpose of all legislation surrounding these Alternative Septic Systems is to monitor them as we learn how they work in our climate.

To begin, if you were to install an Alternative Septic System on July 1, 2009 or after, you would need to comply with Interim Legislation and file a notice in the land record of your local jurisdiction.  This puts potential purchasers of your Property on notice to the additional maintenance that may be required with the Alternative Septic System. 

You see, the other part of the interim legislation that went into effect on July 1, 2009 regarding these Alternative Septic Systems is that owner's of these systems, servicing residential properties, will be required to follow the most stringent of the manufacturer's operation and maintenance instructions or local/state government requirements.

There is also Emergency Legislation that went into effect on April 7, 2010 that effects all Alternative Septic System users in Virginia. In Northern Virginia that's an estimated 2,600 households:  1,000 in Prince William County, 600 in Fairfax County and about another 1,000 in Loudoun County.

I will discuss the Emergency Legislation in another post, so stay tuned.  For now, you can find the legislation discussed above on the Virginia Department of Health's website by clicking here.

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Anne Clark 01/07/2011 10:03 PM
  2. Pat Fenn 01/08/2011 01:13 PM
  3. Pamela Stangler 01/08/2011 11:57 PM
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alternative septic systems in prince william county va
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Rainmaker
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Wanda Thomas
Montana Homestead Brokers, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR, RN - Billings, MT
Billings Montana Real Estate

What is an alternative septic system?  chambers, pumps, alarms, sprayers?  Just wondering because we have about 6 different kinds of systems up here.

Jan 06, 2011 10:44 PM #1
Rainmaker
409,506
Peggy James
EXIT Realty Associates - Woodbridge, VA
Lake Ridge Virginia Real Estate Specialist

Chris Ann, very good information for folks who live on acreage homes here in Virginia. I have seen a few of the alternative septic systems here on acreage here in what we refer to as middle county ( between Hoadly Road and Liberia.) They are easy to spot, they are flat green boxes lined up in a row in the yard or sometimes they are lined up in a row on a mound.

Jan 07, 2011 06:43 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,106,553
Ginny Gorman
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

I'm curious Chris Ann how these compare to ours in RI...normally you'll find them here in coastal & low lying areas...

Jan 07, 2011 07:14 AM #3
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Wanda:  It's a system that aerates the waste with organisms that ultimately eat it....or it is flushed into a shallow drainfield for hydrophlylic (water loving trees) on each corner of the field, to soak up.

Peggy:  I spent an hour with a gentleman at Prince William County's septic office the other day.  I have more information than I ever thought I would on these systems.

Ginny:  As I understand it, these alternative systems have different levels of effectiveness in different regions and climates.  You'd have to talk to your local governments to find out the effectiveness in your region.

Jan 07, 2011 10:08 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

Septic systems can be a real pain but understanding what is required in Prince William County is key.  Thanks for sharing.

Jan 07, 2011 03:21 PM #5
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Pat:  It's not just a Prince William County regulation, but a statewide one.

Jan 07, 2011 06:09 PM #6
Rainmaker
117,447
Anne Clark
Metro Referrals - Gainesville, VA

This is a very informative post for folks who have an alternative septic system on their property.  I think I may reblog this one.

Jan 07, 2011 09:50 PM #7
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Anne:  Thanks for the reblog.  I've got another blog coming on the Emergency Legislation for Alternative Septic System owners.

Jan 08, 2011 12:16 PM #8
Anonymous
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Hunter

Hi Anne, I inherited a 1/2 acre lot on Old Colchester Rd near lorton. It's in a lovely area with a lot of trees and is extremely convenient to I95/HOV and Rt. 1. It's never had a perc, but there are two identical lots to either side that have active percs. Do you know if I can get approval for an alternate septic system inFairfax County and in turn have the lot declared buildable? Thanks!

May 10, 2011 01:21 AM #9
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Hunter:  I don't know the answer to that, but the Fairfax County Environmental Health Department can get you headed in the right direction.  Their number is 703-246-2201, TTY 711

May 10, 2011 01:54 PM #10
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Chris Ann Cleland

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