09:41AM | 07/25/04
Member Since: 07/24/04
2 lifetime posts
We're evaluating purchase of a house that has a 1990's installed septic tank feeding into three 500 gal. dry wells instead of a septic drainfield.

Are there reasons why the dry wells would be used instead of a drainfield?

Are they equivalent systems

Thanks for any information


10:06AM | 07/25/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
558 lifetime posts
The systems are roughly equivalent. Drywells are sometimes used to overcome difficult site features like slope, hardpan or depth to bedrock. Basically your systems consist of a conventional septic tank, distributor box and permeable tanks sunk into an excavated pit and surrounded with gravel. This is in lieu of perforated pipe in trences backfilled with gravel. Functionally, not much difference.

Your county sanitarian or permitting department will have information used to approve this system. Dry wells not permitted in some jurisdictions, but it is unlikely this was built without permits. Check the building record to confirm design was approved. That office can also assist you with pamphlets and maintenance recommendations.


10:30AM | 07/25/04
Member Since: 07/24/04
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for fast reply...and on a weekend!


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