Can you legally sell a property in NJ if the septic system has a cesspool?

Asked by Rob Johnson, Mine Hill, NJ Wed May 23, 2012

I'm looking to buy a property in Mine Hill, NJ that has a septic system. I hired a septic company to inspect the system which they gave an unsatisfactory rating. They state that the home has 2 separate septic systems... a black water system and a grey water system. The black water system was ok, but they could not find a tank for the grey water system. The towns health department was notified and they came out and gave the property a passing inspection, but didn't comment on the missing grey water tank. If I decide to buy the property I'm worried that I will be stuck with the home because it has a cesspool.
I know the laws in NJ for septic systems just changed. Does anyone know what it says about this issue?

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Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Thu May 24, 2012
Here is link to the new amendments to the waste system legislation. This should help you best with you question:

Hope that helps.
3 votes
Thank you.
Flag Thu May 24, 2012
Joanne Berna…, Agent, Northfield, NJ
Wed Jan 30, 2013
You ABSOLUTELY want to thoroughly understand the new NJ law on converting cesspools to Septic or connecting to public sewer where offered. This can be a very costly mistake if not worded properly in your offer to purchase. I just had an estimate to convert a completely functioning cesspool to a septic tank.--$30,000! Needless to say it killed the deal! You can NOT sell a home in NJ that has a cesspool unless you convert to Septic or connect to the possible sewer if possible. Strict new laws took effect in April 2012.
Education is power! Check out this site for information on the NJ law!

Joanne Bernardini
Coldwell Banker Casa Bella Realtors
1 vote
Patrickslost, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Tue Feb 14, 2017
Is it required to have a septic certification to move into a house in NJ
0 votes
rgwebby, Home Seller, 08344
Thu May 29, 2014
I am trying to sell a house in NJ. I have a septic system not a cesspool. The septic contractor who by NJ standards is also an inspector gave it an unsatifactory. Baffel needs to be replaced and sepage pit block is getting soft. This is a working system with no problems other then a baffel needing replacement (about $200 to $500). The way I understand it after reading NJAC-79A and speaking to the NJAC I can repair the system. However any septic contractor will only offer to replace the system with an engineered field bed system. The problem is the money I need to repair the system is in the equity of the home. I have a buyer under contract but I cannot escrow the money at closing because they are FHA. This would most likly be the issue with all buyers.
0 votes
Joanne Berna…, Agent, Northfield, NJ
Tue Jan 22, 2013
This is going to be a serious situation in NJ that buyers and sellers need to pay close attention to! I just had a seller who was told it would cost $30,000 to convert his cesspool to an approved septic system! Unfortunately if he doesn't do this, he CAN NOT SELL HIS HOME! Sewer lines too far away to connect to.
For those who want to explore this further please visit the sites below.

I did a little searching around this morning. This is a site that specifically addresses this problem in Atlantic County, NJ!

Here are a few more to read.

Here is the new NJ Law

Knowledge is power! Know before you write the contract. Ask for a Seller's Disclosure and note whether Cesspool or Septic is checked by the seller! There is a huge difference. Add an addendum to the offer to purchase so your buyer isn't stuck with the bill of doing the conversion!
0 votes
Thank you for the info. I did purchase the property, but only after the sellers agreed to install a new $30,000 septic system. I now see my new neighbors in the area struggling to sell their properties due to the same issue.
Flag Tue Jan 22, 2013
Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Wed May 23, 2012
if they tie in all to blackwater system you should be good provided field can handle it. Laws have changed and likely will continue to change. Maybe some day your town will have city sewer and the point mute until then no guarantees. What does your attorney say?
0 votes
The 2 systems don't seem to tie in at all. I called the town and asked about public sewers... "Not for another 5-10 years". Only 10% of Mine Hill has public sewer so far.
Flag Wed May 23, 2012
Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Wed May 23, 2012
The important one is the blackwater system. That's for sewage waste. A greywater system is for household activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing. Check to see how much is would cost to recycle that water (from the greywater system) onsite for landscape irrigation.
0 votes
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