Bryan Cooper

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Engineered Septic Systems


EngineerOuthouseed septic is not a dirty word. They are very common in Oakland and Macomb Counties and very likely will be necessary on your new parcel. In fact, over 95% of the land I sell now requires engineered septic systems.

While it’s true that this process will cost you a bit more than if no engineering were required, it is by no means the impossible obstacle many uninformed people would have you believe. I have had people approach me panic-stricken because “someone told me” an engineered system would cost about $50,000-$75,000! THIS IS JUST NOT TRUE (unless you are going to build a house with about 85 bedrooms).

OK. So how much do they cost?

Depending on the size of the disposal field required (and remember the size of the field is generally determined by the number of bedrooms to be built – not the square footage of the house) a “regular” septic system will cost approximately $6,000 – $10,000. An engineered system will roughly run between $10,000 – $17,000. So you’re looking at a difference of approximately $4,000 to $7,000 for an engineered septic system.

Why do they cost more?

The addition in cost is roughly broken down into 2 categories:

1) Design: The system needs to be designed based on the parameters set by the County inspector. To have a certified engineer walk and inspect the property, conduct a topographical survey, design a septic system and render blueprint plans for submission to the county will cost around $1,000 – $2,500 depending on how much prep work needs to be done before actually sitting down and designing the system.

2) Materials: A very crude description of describing an engineered field is that you dig out the bad soil or clay (material which cannot absorb) and replace it with sand & gravel (material that can absorb). It is the cost of the sand and gravel that constitutes the majority of the additional cost in an engineered septic system.

You see, it’s not that bad.

Remember – 95% of the property today will require an engineered septic system. You should just anticipate it and expect that you will need one. If you don’t then all the better. But do not reject a lovely parcel of land because of it. You will be doing yourself a great disservice. The most beautiful parcels of land I have for sale today will require one.

Always base your purchase decision on the beauty of the parcel. If you can afford the land, you can afford the septic system.

Call the LANDMAN

Any time you ever have any questions with regards to septic systems or any other aspect of the purchase, sale or preparation for construction of vacant land, feel free to call us at (248) 568-4021.

Don’t forget to ask us about any new land listings that may have just been made available to you since the last update of this catalog.