Septic system replacement cost In MA

Septic system replacement cost In MA

red brick house with fall foliage

Boston: Septic system replacement cost

Let me guess! You were on the verge of celebrating after listing your house, and then you walked out onto your front porch and smelled something gross.

So now, you’re out at the septic tank googling, how long does a septic system last in Massachusetts? And you’re hoping you’re wrong.

No one wants to spend thousands of dollars replacing a septic system. That’s understandable.

If you’re doing a complete replacement, the price tag could range between $5,000 and $50,000.

Real estate expert Bill Gassett says you’ll feel like salt is being rubbed in the wound when you find out your expensive, new septic system won’t dramatically change the value of your house.

Well, in that case, who needs it, right? Why bother paying for a septic system if you’re planning to sell your house anyway?

The answer is simple. Massachusetts law generally requires homeowners to get a passing grade on a septic system inspection before closing on a sale. There are some exceptions, but if they don’t apply to you, it’s time to reach for your money bags.

An inspection could cost between $400 and $1,200.

The good news is we’re going to break down the septic system replacement cost in Massachusetts. We’ll also cover some of the options you may consider if you’re dealing with a septic system failure.

How do I know I need a new septic system?

First, let’s make sure you know what you need to do.

Here are a few tips for homeowners who need help confirming a problem with their septic system:

  1. Plumbing backups Sewage backing up into your home is one of the more obvious signs that you have a problem. In this case, you should reach out to a plumber to diagnose the issue.
  2. Algal blooms – If you notice new crops of algae blooming in a pond or lake near your house, it’s possible wastewater from your septic system is leaking into the water body.
  3. Fast growing grass – Drain fields, or leach fields, absorb and manage the waste in water released from your septic tank. Is there grass growing in your drain field? If patches of grass are growing brighter or longer than the rest of the grass in your drain field, they might be absorbing nutrients from leaking wastewater.
  4. Bad odors – If you smell foul odors when you walk out into your yard or near your drainage field, there’s a chance your septic system has failed. The same could be true if you smell nasty odors inside your home.
  5. High levels of coliform in well water – If you have a well near your home, experts recommend you test your water quality annually. If one of your tests shows coliform bacteria are in your water, you might have a septic system failure. Coliform bacteria are nasty organisms that likely won’t make you sick, but they are a sign of nastier things that will make you sick are in your water.

How much will you pay?

Assume all the signs suggest you need to replace your septic system. The grass in your drain field is a little greener than usual, there’s an unpleasant smell in the air when you walk outside, and you’ve failed your inspection. What now?

First, you’ll want to call several different companies for estimates. We wouldn’t advise paying the first price you’re quoted.

Bill Gassett says to make sure you get work estimates in writing. He says replacing your septic system “should include the cost for permitting, installation, and restoration work for your yard.”

Make sure the company you hire is insured and certified to do the work.

The full job could cost anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000.

What do you do now?

The silver lining is you don’t have to think too hard because you only have a few choices. If you failed your inspection, you could stay in your house, pay for a new septic system, or move forward with the sale minus the estimated cost of replacing the system.  

The third option is called an escrow holdback. You could move forward with the sale, but the cost of installing the septic system would be withheld in an escrow account.

Often a holdback for a septic tank will be a little more money than the official estimate for the work – just in case the work is more expensive than expected. The money wouldn’t be released to you until after you install the new system.

Escrow accounts often hold part of the sale price in a home sale in limbo until the buyer or seller meets outstanding conditions. The state also can provide low-interest loans and a tax credit to help residents absorb the costs of new septic systems.

Luckily you have one more option. If you’re looking to sell a house and are afraid of the Title 5 inspection, call We Buy Ugly Houses® Boston. We’re not afraid to look at your house.

Our independently owned and operated home buying franchises might be able to help you get your septic system replaced and sell your house for cash.

Call 866-200-6475 or leave us your phone number to learn more about selling your house for cash.