Getting retro permit for septic system is well worth the effort | Just Ask Jan

Dear Jan: We have a home that has been in our family forever. The septic system is very old and there are no records of it at the county.

Dear Jan: We have a home that has been in our family forever. The septic system is very old and there are no records of it at the county. We do have pictures from when it was last updated. We are ready to list our home and it is our understanding that we need the drainfield inspected. How will we ever pass an inspection?  — EMC

Dear EMC:
Oh, dear, this one is work.

I spoke with my favorite septic designer. He said that you would need to show that the septic system meets today’s code for septic systems/drainfields. Because you have photos, his job would actually be easier. He would need to dig soil log test holes next to your drainfield and determine soil types, depth, etc.  Then he would be able to give you a drawing to submit to the county for a retro-permit. Once you have that permit, you can put in an application to get the re-conveyance letter you need from the county to sell.

This will cost you some time and money to get the job done, but will be well worth it in the end.

Best wishes!
— Jan

— Jan Zufelt is a broker at John L Scott Real Estate in Kingston. Contact her at


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