If you are contemplating buying a home with a septic system, you need to know a few things before you sign on the dotted line.
Purchasing a home is a big investment, it is a good idea to have it inspect to avoid any costly repairs.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency a septic inspection should include:
Pumping and maintenance records;
The age of the septic system;
Sludge levels and scum thickness in the tank;
Signs of leakage, such as low water levels in the tank;
Signs of backup, such as staining in the tank above the outlet pipe;
Integrity of the tank, inlet, and outlet pipes;
The drainfield, for signs of system failure like standing water;
The distribution box, to make sure drain lines are receiving equal flow; and
Available records, to ensure the system complies with local regulations regarding function
What can I do to help maintain my system every day?
The average lifespan of a septic system is 15 to 40 years, but it can last longer if properly maintained!
Think at the sink.
Consider what you put into your toilet and sink and the impact it may have on your system. Many common household items can either clog your system or kill the microbes that treat the wastewater.
“Cloggers” include diapers, baby wipes, cat litter, cigarettes, coffee grounds, grease,
and feminine hygiene products.
“Killers” include household chemicals, gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, paint, and
high amounts of anti-bacterial soaps and detergents.
Don’t strain your drain
The less water you use, the less your septic system has to work. Stagger the use of appliances, use high efficiency plumbing fixtures, and repair any leaks in your home.
Shield your field
Keep your car and anything heavier than your lawnmower off your drainfield.
Eliminate or limit the use of a garbage disposal. This will significantly reduce the amount of
fats, grease, and solids that enter your septic system and could clog your drainfield.
Keep excess water from irrigation, significant rainfall, or drains off the drainfield.
If you are thinking about buying a home with a septic system or your current home has one, it is important to have it professionally maintained.