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Old 03-08-2017, 05:01 PM   #1
JC19
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Default Septic / Well for Island Property

Been searching and searching on here in all the different discussions and can't seem to find any answers. I'm sure it's been asked, and I don't mean to duplicate my question if it has been, but really curious to know.

What are the ballpark figured on putting in 1- Well and 2- Septic on an island property that's only accessible by boat?

What have others done as I'm guessing there are quite a few people on here who might have already been through this process, which I'm guessing could be long, semi-painful and expensive (but boy do I hope I'm wrong! )

With Septic, is it common to put in some sort of leachfield, or no because you are too close to the water, therefore some sort of holding tank is best that gets pumped regularly. If tank is there a service or company that does this? Is it very expensive and almost not worth it?

Curious to hear people experiences and suggestions. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:15 PM   #2
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Default Island services ?

I bought land in 1981 with State approved Septic Plans and contracted then which was Fall. I would be glad to talk to you. Long story to explain details. I now have a complete building on site with running "Lake Water" I bring drinking water by gallon which works for me. There are ways to make the drinking water out of Lake water also. I am on the other side of the curve age wise and am leaving that up to the next generation. kx
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:42 PM   #3
The Real BigGuy
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Contact Dave Farley @ Diversified Marine Contractors in Guilford. He has put in a number of island septic systems (including mine) and can probably help you get a well driller out to your place on his barge.


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Old 03-08-2017, 07:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Real BigGuy View Post
Contact Dave Farley @ Diversified Marine Contractors in Guilford. He has put in a number of island septic systems (including mine) and can probably help you get a well driller out to your place on his barge.


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Don't most islanders and many shore properties simply use lake water? I can't imagine there too many wells on the islands and if there are the cost has to be astronomical.
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Old 03-08-2017, 08:18 PM   #5
TheRoBoat
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Default Probably 10-15K for the work

I believe thats about what we paid a decade ago
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Old 03-08-2017, 08:48 PM   #6
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Probably 10-15K for the work I believe thats about what we paid a decade ago
we paid double that for a septic on an island a few years back. it needed a special design and approvals. much would depend on how/if it perks and if you can put a typical system within the setbacks of your property.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:37 PM   #7
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Default Island Septic

We installed a septic system and leach field around 1981. It required an "Indian Mound" since the water table is very high. At the time, native sand was not suitable, and would have required a dredging permit so sand and other materials were barged from the mainland. Neighbors on the other side of the island had a gravel field and used local materials. Point is, your site can affect the cost tremendously. Banks/mortgage companies as well as DES have requirements about distance between well or lake and septic. The design, based on the number of bedrooms, can also affect costs substantially. I suggest overbuilding (pretend you have more bedrooms) because rebuilding or removal and rebuild will be hugely expensive for whoever follows you. As I recall, there is no differentiation in design for a seasonal home vs a year round home. Permanent home, we pump every two years. Camp, every 7-10 years. Both systems are 35 years old, but DES will tell you the life expectancy of a septic and leach field is 15-20 years. Some contractors do a great job, others skimp. When it is time to pump, we get together with 2-3 neighbors to share the cost of the barge that brings the truck to us.
Our water tests fine so we use it out of the lake, no treatment. There is a well pump in about 10 feet of water about 100 feet from shore. It stays in year round. How deep is your water? How far out can you go without interfering with neighbors? That may impact the purity and what you need for treatment systems. Purity may vary if you test in April vs. August. Again, each site varies. There is some bacteria in our water, but at such low levels there is no adverse impact.. It is, after all, lake water. The kids like to use bottled water for drinking. There are a variety of filter and treatment systems that you can install, probably much cheaper than a well. Even people with wells sometimes have to treat or filter to suit their needs.
Too many variables for the Forum to give solid answers, I think. Ask your island neighbors, too.
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:16 AM   #8
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I would think lake water would be fine for an Island home where it has limited use anyway and drinking water is available everywhere. I would imagine the cost of a well wouldn't be worth the extra money. Even though I have a well at my place and the water looks perfectly fine we still buy drinking water. The idea of it sitting stagnant in between usage just doesn't sit well with me. It's like leaving a glass of water on the kitchen counter for a month and then drinking it. If I lived there and used it every day then I wouldn't have a problem drinking it.
I would think a septic system would be more economical over a pump out tank over the long haul though.
I'm not an Island person, JMO.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:13 AM   #9
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We are on an island & use lake water for everything but drinking and cooking. I have a water cooler & 3 5g containers that I rotate for the later 2. Thought about a treatment system but frankly, I enjoy getting off the island and going for water at the Alton water system spigot out of Alton Bay. Nice ride on a Summer morning!

Regarding "stagnant" water in a well. Remember, it most likely has been sitting underground for years!

Our neighbor put in a well several years ago because he uses his place periodically during the winter and didn't want to worry about his water line freezing or ice damage during low water winters. (He also owned the barge that brought the driller to the island).


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Old 03-09-2017, 08:58 AM   #10
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What is the desire to do a well over lake water?

Lake water is fine for drinking given proper treatment. We were on an island for 10 years. Our water intake was in 8-10' of water and after installing sediment and UV systems the water was better than my water at home. If you are looking to use the water year round there are methods such as heat tape/wire that can make that happen. A well could be done quite easily, I doubt you would have to go far down. There are portable tracked drill rigs that are very small, even the bigger ones could be barged out if needed.

As far as the septic system goes, ours was about $15k. This included a pump/chamber and a long run to a leach field in the back of the property (we had 2.5 acres). I would not recommend the installer we used for a few reasons but wont shame him here. Water under the bridge at this point.

I know people that have used Dave Farley or Watermark, both get a thumbs up as far as I am concerned. Dave did plenty of work for us over the years.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:08 AM   #11
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Default septic and well

Hi
My island is only 1.3 acres and does not have any place where a septic can be installed and no electricity. The original camp was built in the 1920s and has a grandfathered outhouse or privy.This is still a legal option for site wo electricity as well as a minidrywell for wastewater under DES regulations. We haul all our water.
As long as your site has electricity and the ability to have a septic plan designed to DES specs you are ok. The expense is high but there are designs that can reduce the cost of material. make sure you use a designer who is aware of the issues.

As far as well drilling goes I dont think there are Winni barges that can carry the weight of a rotary rig and the support truck. A percussion well drill is possible but expense would be high. Lake water and a treatment system is probably your best option.
Env-Wq 1022.01 Privies.
(a) No privy shall be located within 75 feet of drinking water wells, surface waters, or foundations
on abutting lots.
(b) Subject to (c), below, the bottom of the privy pit shall be at least 4 feet above seasonal high
water table and impermeable substratum or ledge.
(c) If the bottom of the privy pit is less than 4 feet above the seasonal high water table or
impermeable substratum or ledge, the pit shall be sealed.
Env-Wq 1022.02 Mini-Dry Wells for Gray Water.
(a) For purposes of this section, “gray water” means residential wastewater other than from a urinal
or a toilet.
(b) A mini-dry well shall be used for the disposal of gray water only if there will be:
(1) No running water to or within the structure to be served; and
(2) No other wastewater discharge from the structure to be served.
(c) No mini-dry well for gray water shall be within 75 feet of drinking water wells or surface waters.
(d) A mini-dry well for gray water shall be a hole up to 18 inches in diameter and up to 12 inches
deep, filled with stone or gravel.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:19 AM   #12
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Default Septic Cost & Well

As far as I know there is only one conventional well on any of the islands in the entire lake (according to DES web data that I obtained) and it is on Rattlesnake Island. I understand the convenience of wanting "well water" over lake water, but the cost would be between $7-10K (again depending on depth, fracability, and other factors) to construct an island well situation. A mainland well averages $5K to install depending on subsurface conditions. You can create a lakewater system where you can use the water year round (provided the waterline is at least 4-feet below grade and insulated at the house) for around $2-3K for a nice system (carbon filter, UV, etc.) Cost is always dependent on how fancy you want to get and how much you pay for labor of course.

We got our septic plan designed last year for future use and the plan alone was close to $3K. Installation for our 2bed 2 bath system was estimated at $20-$25K. Your cost will be completely dependent on size of house and bathrooms, just like any other septic design as well as accessibility of equipment to your leach field, septic tank installation area from shore.

We just have a privy for now, which works fine until we rehab the existing camp that had no plumbing and no currently working electricity.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptT820 View Post
As far as I know there is only one conventional well on any of the islands in the entire lake (according to DES web data that I obtained) and it is on Rattlesnake Island. I understand the convenience of wanting "well water" over lake water, but the cost would be between $7-10K (again depending on depth, fracability, and other factors) to construct an island well situation. A mainland well averages $5K to install depending on subsurface conditions. You can create a lakewater system where you can use the water year round (provided the waterline is at least 4-feet below grade and insulated at the house) for around $2-3K for a nice system (carbon filter, UV, etc.) Cost is always dependent on how fancy you want to get and how much you pay for labor of course.

We got our septic plan designed last year for future use and the plan alone was close to $3K. Installation for our 2bed 2 bath system was estimated at $20-$25K. Your cost will be completely dependent on size of house and bathrooms, just like any other septic design as well as accessibility of equipment to your leach field, septic tank installation area from shore.

We just have a privy for now, which works fine until we rehab the existing camp that had no plumbing and no currently working electricity.
I know that a new house on Little Bear had a well put in a couple of years ago. Also know of one on Cow that a friend put in. I have a UV filter, sediment filter and 5-stage reverse osmosis filter for lake water. Had it tested, and it came back perfect. However, I still bring gallons of spring water over for drinking. Just something about drinking lake water (although filtered) that I can't handle.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:06 PM   #14
The Real BigGuy
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Dave Farley's barge is 60 ft long and load rated around 100 tons I believe. Definitely big enough for a rotary rig. However, I agree with others - use lake water. Even if you decide not to install a treatment system hauling drinking/cooking water isn't a big issue.


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Old 03-09-2017, 06:05 PM   #15
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If your property is really that challenging to work with all the more reason to get somebody out there to have a look and educate you on the possibilities at least from a septic standpoint. There are so many new and innovative enviro-septic systems out there many whos very existence is to solve the very problem you have - a challenging lot or lack of space. Therefore you average septic guy may not have an answer for you but somebody well versed in alterative designs might have an option for you. They will also be able to advise you on what DES will find permissible as well. No matter what though septic systems on the islands will cost more due to the logistical nature of getting equipment and materials out there.

Far as water goes, grab it from the lake. Easy enough to do, I haul out drinking water and use water from the lake for everything else. I'll cook with lake water so long as it includes boiling it for a while. There are treatment options that will be more than likely far less expensive than hauling out a drilling crew. Several have already pointed out various options there.
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