Septic Outflow Chlorinator

i have been presented with a couple of situations where a traditional septic system (septic tank, distribution box and leach field) has a chlorinator on the tail end of the system after the leach field with a daylighted outlet pipe. The local Health Dept. says the installations are a grandfathered non-conforming system. My take on it is that there was probably very limited absorption in the leach field or the field was clogged up around the perf pipes and the chorlinator and daylight pipe were added as a cheap way to avoid discharging untreated wastes to the surface instead of fixing the leach field. i think the system should be “passed” on the basis of “no untreated discharge or breakout” with notation stating that the HD says this is a “grandfathered non-conforming system” and that if there is any failure of a component the HD may likely require that the whole system or major components be replaced to bring it into conformance and that would be quite expensive.

Please share your thoughts.

[/li][li]Similar[/li][li]Chlorine is no longer recommended see page 6[/li][/ol]

Also: This chlorinator is not after a sand bed. It follows a standard leach field.

i have moved this to the Forum area:
Ancillary Inspection Services](
Contains discussions about Radon, Wood Infestation, Water Quality, Well, Septic, Lead, Asbestos, Pool, and Mold inspections.

Lawrence, I don’t know where you inspect but in NH there is no way that is acceptable. Do you really want to “pass” such a system. Wouldn’t it be better to describe exactly what it is… “non conforming”. (I hate the word “grand fathered” as well.) State it does not meet any current standards and that you make zero representations about its future performance or acceptance. Let the buyer decide if he/she wants to accept responsibility for that PIG of a system. What if the municipal government passes an ordinance next week saying all such systems must be replaced no later than 180 days from now…your clients will be on the hook and they will most likely be looking at someone to be pissed at…that would be YOU because you “passed” it. Your disclaimers and other language may slow down the lawyers but you will still be fighting a claim. The system is a piece of garbage…why take any responsibility for it.

Thanks for your comments. i am trying to parse this delicate situation and appreciate the insight of others. These were not my inspections, but those of another inspector who is my friend. i wish to prepare for the possibility that i run into the same. My current “pass with provisos” bent is based on the following considerations:

  1. The system was approved by the local government when it was installed and modified
  2. The system is operating as designed and approved with no discharge of untreated wastes
    3.The system is a grand-fathered non-conforming system and that status will pass to the new owner and it will not be required to be upgraded until such time as it fails and backs up or discharges untreated wastes.
  3. The threat to the client is the cost of replacement should any part fail and that would be clearly stated in the test report provisos.
  4. “Failing” the system i feel would be unfair to the current Owner as the system is currently operational as designed and accepted by the local municipality. i expect the highest likelihood of legal action would be as a result of suit by the Seller for failing the system.

Also, my form of test report is “pass/fail” and i feel i have to pick one and not be on the fence. It also “make(s) zero representations about its future performance or acceptance”.

i am moving your comments and my reply to the Ancillary Inspection Services]( area of the forum.

Thanks again!

My service tech here tells me that chlorination is considered failed technology and no longer acceptable…that may just be here though…

Thanks Jim.

i agree that chlorination with direct discharge is “failed technology”. The issue is that it in this case is a grandfathered installation, similar to a cesspool. They are no longer allowed either. However, the municipality can require replacement if there is failure of any component. In this case i suspect that if any untreated (unchlorinated) wastes were ever discharged that would be it.