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Thread: above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

    Anybody have any experience with this issue? I live in a county where they require ABGs to have a permit. I have a 0.6 acre lot (sloped up from the house) with a 10,000sf septic reserve area. This is pretty much my entire backyard, and the general rule is no construction on the reserve area. I was turned down 2 years ago for an inground gunnite pool because of this issue. At the time, the county environmental inspector said I could potentially dig 2' down in the septic reserve area without affecting future septic fields. Unfortunately, I think this was his opinion, and not a rule. His 2' statement did get me thinking about the possibility of an ABG. I would need to dig down 2' to level the area for the pool. Any tips from people who have successfully argued such cases would be a big help.

    Thanks!
    24ft AG pool, about 13,600 gal I think
    200lb Sand Filter
    2.5 hp 2 speed pump
    recent Baquacil CONVERT and loving it.......

  2. #2
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    Re: above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

    I don't know what a reserve area is unless your talking about a leach field (that's what its called here). Now if you are, I would think that would be a very expensive boo boo if that area caves in from all that weight.. Im no expert but thats what i been told by many..

  3. #3
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    Re: above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

    My reserve area consists of my current active septic (leach) field, plus additional area set aside for a future field(s) if my current field ever fails.

    It's a little frustrating because there are older homes with septic in my area on lots that are a quarter of the size of mine. I'm all for being prepared, but jeez...
    24ft AG pool, about 13,600 gal I think
    200lb Sand Filter
    2.5 hp 2 speed pump
    recent Baquacil CONVERT and loving it.......

  4. #4
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    Re: above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

    Than I would go ask for a permit for a Above ground.. heck they turn you down you could always fight it or ask to submit a contract with them that you will tear the Pool down if the leach field ever fails and you need to extend it..

  5. #5
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    Re: above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

    hers is what I did. I put an intex 18' metel frame pool over my lines.(only place to put it) If i ever have to do work on my septic lines i can easily remove the pool. If you maintain your septic by getting it pumped every 2-3 years, for a family of five, put Rid ex in once a month and avoid putting greasy oils in your system you really shouldn't have any septic problems for years! now that does not exclude the possibilty of tree roots busting through your lines or if you have cheaply constructed tail lines.
    my personal feeling is why should the county, city or state give a rats ***** what you do on your property. if something goes wrong do they pay for the repairs? NO.....you do. now with that being said.....if an inspector says you can do something, than do it! the inspector is given the authority to make decisions based on individual applications. as long as the inspector signs off on the project you will not be in jeapordy of future fines. that is what I went through with another situation concerning my yard and septic field.
    i hope you get it worked out and hve fun with your pool, no matter what size. my pool is an intex 18' x 48" metal frame and my children thinks it's the greatest addition I have put on my home!

  6. #6
    Senior Member pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

    We also had reserve septic locations here in my area of PA. Although I have a sand mound and I'm on 5 acres, I had enough space in the rear yard to construct the pool..

    When the home was built (About 20 years ago) the board of health required an alternative septic location should a failure occur. Generally it's not advised to rebuild a sand mound in the same location that one has failed.

    However, a few things have happened in the last 20 years. For one, a Sand Mound like I have can be rebuilt 1 time in the same location now. The thinking is: If it lasts (lasted) 20-40 years in the same spot, it will most likely perc again in that spot.

    One other option (for me) is a drip irrigation system which (1) is allowed to be in the same spot, (2) is a bit cheaper to construct and (3) is a more current design than a sand mound.

    I'm not sure about your area, but here in my area it wasn't until 2007 that my local municipality adopted their own zoning regarding sand mounds and septic systems. The general rule is: If locally there are no regulations, usually the Local Board of Health will oversee the construction of the septic systems and their requirements. The EPA has some guidelines that the local board of health usually follows.

    One thing you could do is this:

    Contact your local board of health. They will be happy to send or email the guidelines for your area. In my area, they no longer require a reserve location (I'm a commercial real estate broker but I run into this all the time with my residential agents. I spent about 100 hours this year alone at zoning hearings that usually consist of some sort of outdated septic "rule".). The idea of a reserve location (again... here) is an outdated and unneeded concept in most areas. Technology is much better now and frankly, they cram so many homes in a small area now, it's become a real pain to the developers.

    I'm not a big fan of development myself but checking with the board of health may indeed help you get a clear picture of what your options in your particular area.

    A "movement of earth" of 2 feet or so would (in most cases) not even effect your reserve location should you need it at a future date.

    Hope that may help a little.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

  7. #7
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    Re: above ground pools and septic reserve areas?

    What county are you in MD? I am in MD and somewhat familiar with my local codes. There are ways around this, but the easiest is to stay out of the reserve area. Are you on a well or public water?

    Depending on the county, the rules change a little, but mostly you are dealing with state requirements that the reserve area be kept clear.

    Do you currently have a sand mound or traditional trench system?
    24' Round Doughboy AG.
    Usually filled with 3 kids, the wife, and occasionally the dog.

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