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Old 03-07-2011, 10:08 PM
Jacob Crawford Jacob Crawford is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
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Default FHA septic/drainfield requirements

Can anyone show me or quote in the handbook were it is noted of required septic distances? Doing an appraisal of SFR on city water and septic. Drainfield is about 5' from property line, however I can't find anywhere that indicates septic distance requirements? Anyone?

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Old 03-07-2011, 11:02 PM
NORTON NORTON is offline
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i believe the distance from a septic to a well is what they're are after...the septic and leech lines should be noted on the sketch.
Old 03-07-2011, 11:25 PM
Jacob Crawford Jacob Crawford is offline
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Location: Gig Harbor, WA
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the subject is on city water, so no well. septic and drainfield do not need to be on sketch per FHA. I can't find any specific distance requirements pertaining only to the septic and drainfield. Obviously local codes need to be adhered to.....but, what about FHA?
Old 03-07-2011, 11:55 PM
Tom Woolford Tom Woolford is offline
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If it has public water, contamination is not an issue. Just note Public water, and move on.
Some mornings, its just not worth chewing through the restraints.
Old 03-08-2011, 12:37 AM
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Jerry Bone Jr Jerry Bone Jr is offline
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FHA does not have a distance requirement for the septic/drainfield.
Old 03-08-2011, 02:04 AM
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residentialguy residentialguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Woolford View Post
If it has public water, contamination is not an issue. Just note Public water, and move on.
YEP!!! NO WELL>>>NO PROBLEM! Nothing to measure or sketch.

Here is some info to keep in case you have a well & septic:

It is not a "requirement" to state the distances, (I would, however)... but you have to try to make sure the well/septic meet this requirement. You must report it if something doesn't meet the requirement or if you are not sure so that a qualified 3rd party can make that determination.


D: Additional distance information may be referenced from HUD Handbook 4910.1, Appendix K, 24CFR Sec. 200.926d & Mortgagee Letter 2002-25.



SUBJECT: Minimum Distance Requirements Between Private Wells and Sources of
Pollution for Existing Properties

This Mortgagee Letter provides guidance on the minimum distance requirements between private wells and sources of pollution for existing properties in circumstances where state and local statutes and ordinances differ from Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidelines.


HUD Handbooks 4150.2, Valuation Analysis for Home Mortgage Insurance for Single Family One-to Four Unit Dwellings and 4905.1 REV-1, Requirements for Existing Housing One-to Four Family Units, outline the standard regarding minimum distance requirements between private wells and sources of pollution for existing properties. Nevertheless, FHA also recognizes that a number of states and localities may have alternative standards that differ from those issued by FHA. Consequently, this Mortgagee Letter sets forth revisions to Chapter 3 paragraph 3-6 of Handbook 4150.2 and paragraph 2-5 B.1 of Handbook 4905.1 Rev-1 in those instances when local standards are less stringent than FHA’s. The process described below applies only to existing properties.

Procedures and Documentation Requirements

For existing properties, FHA requires that a domestic well be located a minimum of 100 feet from the septic tank’s drain field and a minimum of 10 feet from any property line. Should state or local regulations require greater distances, those distances must be met.

If, however, the locality permits distance requirements less than those prescribed by FHA, the property may be considered eligible for a mortgage insured by FHA provided that the lender submits evidence in the case binder that the subject property is in compliance with the applicable local or state distance requirements and meets the conditions stated below. Therefore, waivers from the Homeownership Centers (HOCs) will no longer be necessary for properties meeting these distance requirements:

• Domestic Well from Septic Tank Drain Field: FHA will recognize state/local distance requirements provided they do not allow for less than 75 feet of separation.
• Domestic Well from Property Line: FHA will recognize state/local distance requirements provided that the well is not within 10 feet of any roadway or the property line of other than a single-family residential property, i.e., the well cannot be within 10 feet of a commercial, industrial, or multifamily building.

Evidence of compliance includes, but is not limited to, an appraisal clearly showing the location of private wells and septic systems on the site sketch and the distance between the two. If unable to determine the distance between the well and the drainfield, or if the well is within 10 feet of any property line, a condition requirement should be made on the Valuation Conditions (VC) form. The underwriter can clear the condition by obtaining satisfactory evidence from a qualified party that the distance requirements (between the two systems, and from the well to the property line) have been met.

If you have any questions regarding this Mortgagee Letter, please contact your Homeownership Centers (HOC) in Atlanta (888) 696-4687; Denver (800) 543-9378; Philadelphia (800) 440-8647 or Santa Ana (888) 827-5605.


John C. Weicher
Assistant Secretary for Housing-
Federal Housing Commissioner

From FHA FAQ 1/2007

Page 3 of 10 These FAQs are issued to clarify or illustrate FHA’s appraisal reporting requirements and applicability on valuation issues. Content updated January 24, 2007

Utilities - Well and Septic
1. Is the appraiser still required to report well, septic and property line distances on an addendum to the URAR or is this only required when problems are noted? How is the lender to determine if these distance requirements are met if the appraiser is not required to identify?
The appraiser is not required to sketch the distances between the well and septic, however, he or she should be mindful of FHA's minimum distance requirements between private wells and sources of pollution (septic systems) in the performance of FHA appraisals; and, if discernible, comment on them. Prudent appraisal practice would have the appraiser requesting a copy of a survey from the homeowner, if available.
If the appraisal notes a distance issue it could be potential for contamination. If the appraisal notes any adverse site conditions, that may warrant further inspections or due diligence. In either case, it is the lender's decision as to whether a qualified third party should map the distances and/or require testing for compliance with local or state requirements, or, in their absence, FHA requirements. Appraisers are expected to have geographic competency, which would include familiarity with local or customary inspection requirements. Local or customary requirements should be noted within the appropriate area of the appraisal report. However, the decision to require a test, certification or inspection, other than what is automatically required as noted in ML 2005-48, is made by the lender and FHA requires the lender to be familiar with the market areas in which they lend.
2. Is it mandatory for a well/septic report to show distance to lot lines?
There is no standardized well/septic report and its contents would typically be determined by what is requested. If a lender determines that there is a need to confirm distances between well and septic systems, or lot lines, then the lender would specifically request that a qualified third party measure such distances.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:15 AM
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JSmith43 JSmith43 is offline
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If you are walking the area and the surface is soggy & smells funny, there may be an obvious health/safety issue.
No ignored posters at this time. Best to all for the holidays & the coming year!
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