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Thread: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

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    Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    We are wanting to build a in ground gunite pool but are not sure how to address the local/state septic regulations. We have an aerobic septic system that returns the treated waste water back into our yard through a sprinkler system.

    Regulations state that the septic field cannot be within 25 feet of the pool and the sprinklers have a 25 ft radius. That means that any sprinkler head would need to be 50 ft from the pool. My back yard is roughly 80 ft wide by 50 ft deep when you account for 10 ft easements. The code also requires 6,666 sq ft of septic field so our front yard is not big enough to cover the required septic field.

    If we moved the sprinklers to be right on the easement line on one side of our yard the pool could still only be 30 ft at most from the easement on the other side of our yard.

    A simple google map view of our neighborhood shows dozens of pools so either everyone in my neighborhood is running outside of code or I am missing something.

    Has anyone else in Texas had issue with working their pool around their septic system? Any advice would be much appreciated.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    Interesting question, and I am sorry not to have the answer you want. Do you have to have the sprinklers on it? If not, could you just make it into a standard drain field? I am guessing you live where it is wet a lot? Welcome to the forum, and maybe someone has dealt with this here. I've never seen the question come up, but maybe it has.
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    Re: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    We are in Mansfield, Texas and had similar issues with ours last year during build, but being on an acre helped, although we are pretty close. Have 2 large rotors doing the spraying. I do remember our septic installer coming out to do something else and he mentioned he was working with someone else's system and converting it to a drip system vs having rotors. Maybe this would be an option, maybe just converting to a series of popups vs rotors. It would also mean installing a different size sprinkler pump to reduce the pressure to the drip or popup system...I would think. Also, filtration (particulate matter) through a drip/popup system may be a challenge, not sure how well it would work.

    I think the issue, of course, is the rotor throw and it possible ending up in the pool.

    Hope it works out!
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    Re: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    It appears likely that the majority of pool owners in my neighborhood are likely running an out of code septic system. In our discussions with different pool builders several of them mentioned that they had installed pools where the homeowners in our neighborhood just capped the sprinklers that would have been within 25 feet of the pool and not relocating them.

    We certainly could do the same without causing much issue since the reason we need a large septic drain field is based on a calculation using only the number of bedrooms in our home (4) and not the occupants. It's only my wife and I and she actually is out of town on business usually between 120 - 150 days a year. However if we decide to sell in the future it's likely it would be an issue.

    We went ahead and paid $300 to have an underground drip irrigation plan drawn up and even it is going to be a tight fit because it requires 2 areas that are 20' x 60' to install the PVC pipe underground and between trees, pool & driveway there is barely 2 spots in our front & back yard big enough to accommodate these. We have one bid so far to install the drip system and it is $4,500.

    We went ahead and added $5,000 into our pool contract as "landscaping" to cover the cost of the septic system. I would much rather spend that money towards the pool but I don't want to have to deal with the septic issue in the future so we will address it now.

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    Re: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    We are currently undergoing our build and have a septic system, but it is a drip system (underground, of course). In our case, it just affected the placement of the pool. Luckily, it turned out to be a perfect spot! Good luck with your install!!!
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    Re: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    One thing to look at is the code for Montgomery County. It used to be very restrictive as to aerobic systems, but I had heard that law was being changed at the first of 2013. Maybe worth checking out

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    Re: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    You're going to need a septic system company come out and re-engineer your system

    My sister had a pool built (in Harris County) 15 years ago. The pool builder just cut and capped part of the septic that was in the way. A few years ago she had some type of malfunction with the septic (unrelated to the pool build) and her neighbor called the County about the smell.

    Long story-short, without previous contact, the County sued her. It cost over 10k to get everything resolved.
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    Re: Need help Pool in yard w/ aerobic septic (Magnolia TX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thamessc
    We are wanting to build a in ground gunite pool but are not sure how to address the local/state septic regulations. We have an aerobic septic system that returns the treated waste water back into our yard through a sprinkler system. ...

    Regulations state that the septic field cannot be within 25 feet of the pool and the sprinklers have a 25 ft radius. That means that any sprinkler head would need to be 50 ft from the pool. My back yard is roughly 80 ft wide by 50 ft deep when you account for 10 ft easements. The code also requires 6,666 sq ft of septic field so our front yard is not big enough to cover the required septic field.

    Has anyone else in Texas had issue with working their pool around their septic system? Any advice would be much appreciated.
    State Law will supersede local unless the latter is more restrictive. The 6,666 seems very odd and arbitrary. Typically these areas are determined by the size of the house, flow rates, etc. If you can prove that your rate is lower and your yard can handle it, then it is worth fighting. You will need to hire an engineer/designer who can do that type of work (do not use an installer). I expect you will spend at least $2,000 on just the evaluation with no promises.
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