Land that requires a mound septic?

Started by pjcampbell, July 24, 2013, 07:11:49 AM

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I'm looking at a piece of land in Vermont.  The price is lower than most in the area and the location is great, but the land requires a mound septic system (have not found out why yet).  Does this typically also mean that you cannot have a basement (water table high, or bedrock below?)?  Should this be a big turn off? Are there other considerations to worry about with land that requires a mound septic?

I would assume that we put in a contingency on the offer of the land to conclude that we can legally build and put in a septic system? I've contacted some surveyors/engineers to get an idea of what this will cost but can anyone give me a ballpark?  I'm trying to understand how much we'll need to spend before (and after) owning the land to make this determination. We have no interest in land that can't be built on.


Nobody using a mound septic?

I talked to some engineers, costs of the land engineering is not daunting.  They said a mound could be between 15 and 60k.

My thought is that this land is roughly 35k cheaper than comparable land but you may spend 35k more on the septic,  and may not be able to build a basement?  Although one thing of note, comparable land in the location is unavailable.


I've done several houses with basements and mounds so it doesn't necessarily preclude one... somebody knows why a mound is required on that lot, you need to find out why. The health dept should be able to cite the reason, I got an email in the last few days that there is also a new version of the web soil survey up, might have some info on your local soils.


I guess it depends on the area.  A mound septic runs about 20K in the areas I looked.   You can buy a good buildable piece for under 20K in those areas, so it is usually a non starter.

A lot of the cost is the diesel fuel to truck in the amount of sand and fill you need.

The land could have a layer of impermeable hard clay at a foot down.  It is not uncommon in mountain areas. You can certainly build a basement in that. It could also have too great of a slope to the land, which is also usually doable for a basement.

It could be a layer of bedrock or a high water table too.  Most people don't opt for basements in that situation.

If you talk to an engineer, anything can be built on for the right price.


I have a bit of land in Vermont that I had to install a mound system because of proximity to the well and the very high water table. The lowest bid on the system was 11k. I figured I'd throw my two cents in if anyone wanted to ask anything specific, I still have the plans to reference.