When you say that they need to be inspected regularly, exactly how often do you mean? If I just think regularly, it might never happen, but if I have a really number in my mind I will get around to it. Most septic systems require the tank to be pumped every 2 or 3 years to remove the built up solids. Some systems use filters which need to be cleaned off once a year. Some systems sand filters require annual inspections and chlorination on a regular basis.
As there are various types of septic systems your question is a difficult one to answer without knowing what type of system you might have. You can always check with your county health department who should have a copy of the original septic system permit and design specifications which will give the engineers recommendations for maintenance. If they don't you should have a qualified septic installer come out, inspect and pump your system and explain to you the required maintenance. Larry Posted on Friday, September 2nd, at 5: Linda G Riddle wrote: This is one of the most informative articles I've yet to read.
Thank you so much! One of the houses we are considering has a "shared well". The subdivision, having roughly 20 houses in it, share the same well. And yes, it has septic as well, which upon looking at the survey, the lines take up the majority of the backyard, which is quite disappointing.
Does that pretty much render the yard useless for other things? Linda- thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. You might want to speak to some of the existing homeowners in the subdivision to see if any of them have experienced any particular well related issues. You shouldn't put any structures on top of it, nor plant any species of trees or shrubs that have roots that are likely to clog the field. You can plant vegetable and flower garden on top and these generally tend to do well with the additional nutrients and moisture.
Part of what you may be looking at is a replacement area and this can be used with very few issues other than not putting any type of permanent structure on it. As I don't know any of the particulars about the property your considering I can't comment on value, this is something you should discuss with your Buyer Broker. Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, at 2: Thank you for mentioning that you need to have septic systems inspected.
In fact, I heard that you should have regular maintenance done annually to prevent problems. I also appreciate the contrast you made between septic systems and wells.
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It really put everything in perspective for me! Luke absolutely septic systems should be pumped and inspected every years to make sure they last and don't give homeowners any unexpected problems. Feel free to share my Blog if you'd like. Larry Tollen Posted on Monday, September 26th, at I learned a lot about septic systems by reading this article. It was interesting to learn that septic systems can help to protect your home.
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I hope this article can help my mom to protect their home and ensure that their septic tank is functioning properly. Rockford, Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and I hope the article is helpful to your mother. I like that you point out that it is critical to have qualified company inspect the home and the property.
I can see why this would be helpful in deciding whether or not to buy the property. It seems like a good idea to have a multiple professionals evaluate each portion of the land to make sure you are not buying something that is not in good shape. Posted on Monday, November 7th, at 6: Does having a well and or septic system decrease the value of the home?
Or make it less appealing to buyers when you want to sell? Antonio - If public water and sewer are available then most buyers would prefer these, however there are locations generally outside of city limits throughout the country where there's no option but well and septic and buyers looking in these areas understand and accept this. Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, at We are thinking about getting one here soon. We will discuss the if this is the best option for us right now! Jenna- If you move forward check the septic design plans, it will tell you how often the tank should be pumped, depending on tank size as well as the type of system you're getting it may vary.
Posted on Friday, December 9th, at 6: The home has a septic tank. This would be an entirely new experience for my husband and me. I have just learned a world of information from this article. Amy - You are welcome and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Posted on Saturday, December 10th, at 9: I glad I found your blog.
In spite of everything I have on it, I still have one question. It's a bit too small for my family. My plan was to add two more bedroom and a bathroom in the near future. How would that be possible? Does it mean I would have to get a new septic tank and a different pump? How much do you think that could cost? I really appreciate your blog. For septic bathrooms don't matter, it's bedrooms and both the field and tank need to be large enough.
You should be speaking with your buyer broker about this as it may or may not be possible to get a large enough septic and this should be determined quickly so that if you find out it can't you may not wish to move forward. If you don't have a buyer broker you need to have the well and septic inspected by a licensed inspector and your county can recommend some to you. The inspector should pull the permit and can look into whether the county would allow expansion or not and let you know how much. Glad you found the blog useful and thanks for leaving a comment.
Thank you for your reply. Can you also tell me what would be the consequences of having additional person s in a house with a septic tank? Let's say a 2 bedroom house was built with a septic tank you turn the house into 3 bedrooms, what would happen? Thanks Jean, You increase the risk of causing a septic field failure which can be expensive. If the system was designed for two bedrooms this means it was designed for 4 people as you add people the tank fills with solids more quickly and will need to be pumped more often.
In addition you're running more gray water through the field and depending on the type of field and the under lying soils it may or may not be able to handle the extra water. If you're literally adding square footage to the house, you'll need a building permit and if you're adding bedrooms this will require the septic to be updated; failing to do this puts a home owner in a precarious position depending on the laws of your state and county and how they're enforced. You really need to speak to a county health official, I've given you all the information I can. I'm not in the septic business nor am I knowledgeable in regards to every state and county health laws.
Tell us how well water is better, Hector it isn't better and in fact could be worse. When wells are used typically there's no city water option. Well water can be fine but it could be contaminated with any of thousands of contaminants and it's up to the well owner to figure this out.
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There are literally thousands of tests that could be done, all of which cost money. Wells can fail, wells need pumps, adn anyone who insists well water is "better" is either selling you or uninformed. This doesn't mean you should avoid wells, I've lived with well water many times over the years and honestly you don't have to look any further than Flint Michigan to know that city water can also be contaminated. Ultimately it's up to the end user to assume responsibility for the condition of their water.
The point of the article was simply to explain how well and septic work and not to promote one type of system over another. Posted on Thursday, February 16th, at You wrote that wells take advantage of natural ground water on your property, and it allows you to enjoy that.
My father has a property in a rather isolated area, and was wondering if he should consider getting a well. We're pretty sure there is water around, so we'll have to find a service that could come out and dig a nice well for him to use. Posted on Friday, February 17th, at 5: I have had a well and a septic system for 32 years, and while in the beginning it was expensive to have installed, I believe I have saved money over the years in having spent this money up front.
I have had to have my well tank replaced twice, along with a couple of switches, and I have had to have my well pump replaced twice, but that is in 32 years. I have been very fortunate with my septic system, because my property percs so well, I have not had to have any work performed on my septic system. You know, I believe it is just a matter of preference. In the summertime, living in the South in the U. I have never had mine run dry, but only by the grace of God has that happened. If you have the money upfront to get a well dug, typically can run a few thousand dollars, depending on how deep they have to dig, and if you have the money to install a septic system, typically again a few thousand dollars, then by all means, go "off grid".
You don't have the worry-free mindset that you could have with being on city water and sewer, but you don't have to pay for this relief every month when you pay your water and sewer bills! Priscilla I think you've summed things up pretty accurately. There's no one right solution for everyone and often there's really no option for water or sewer in many rural areas. One thing buyers should understand however is that there are differing types of septic and some can be both expensive to install and maintain but depending on the soils may be required.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'm sure many readers will find them helpful Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, at 9: Anna in WI wrote: What is your opinion on the purchase of lots? We are looking at lots in area where most have city sewer available, but half have city water available while the other half require wells. I understand the cost comparisons when the well is already in place. But how much money are you saving by selecting a lot that has city water available?
Immediate savings and estimated number of years before the two options balance out would be fantastic! Anna this is a question for a local Realtor. I don't know anything about water costs, well costs etc in WI. Posted on Tuesday, March 14th, at I'm especially interested in your statement above "You don't have the worry-free mindset that you could have with being on city water and sewer, but you don't have to pay for this relief every month when you pay your water and sewer bills! Ah, but I do! However, I have a dug well in my cellar and a septic tank.
I wrote my assemblyman in NYS and as a result got a letter from the town manager the gist of which was to go on town water that is very expensive. To me, this is a sort of taxation without representation since I'm paying for services I don't receive -- or want. I'm thinking of a petition but the Attorney General's office can't tell me anything about the matter.
I can't find info as to how many signatures are needed to send a petition, and to whom? I'm only a Realtor in NC , can't really help you with your issue, though from the sounds of it I agree that you're being charged for a service that you're not getting which is absurd. I'm surprised that your assemblyman and the town manger weren't more helpful. Posted on Monday, April 17th, at We recently built a house on acreage with no options for city water or sewer although gas was available at the street.
We do have a back up generator for the well pump because the biggest disadvantage of a well in my experience is no water if there is a power outage. We also like the fact that we aren't drinking water that contains traces of chlorine, a mix of pharmaceuticals or fluoride. We do test our water for contaminants as well to make sure it's safe, but so far no problems.
Anne- I've lived with well and septic many times over the years and my article isn't meant to promote or decry either, simply to offer a simple and hopefully clear explanation of them and things any home owner should consider. Sounds like you live in an area with very high water costs so the well is definitely attractive. Just continue to annually monitor the water for basic contaminants and you're in great shape. Thanks for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. Posted on Wednesday, April 19th, at What happens when you find out that the actual well is being used as a septic tank itself?
Sam- I've never heard of such a thing, are you certain this is true? If so I can assure you it's illegal and extremely dangerous to the health of anyone drinking the water. Posted on Thursday, May 11th, at 3: That's neat that septic tanks don't require you to pay monthly sewer bills.
I just bought a home with a septic tank. I've never had a septic tank before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Posted on Tuesday, May 16th, at 1: We are interested in purchasing land and building a home but the property does not have access to municipal sewer lines and new septic tank systems have been prohibited.
Do we have any alternative options at all for this problem? The land is incredible but, naturally, this predicament makes us feel like we would just have to hold onto the land until municipal sewage is offered? Thanks, in advance, for your expertise. Katherine, In a situation such as the one you describe, m suggestion would be to make any offer on the land contingent upon the seller securing either septic suitable for the number of bedrooms you want the home to have or access to municipal sewer.
The onus needs to be on the seller to deliver a viable property not on you; the buyer to assume the risk that the land remains unable to be used for a residence. Hope this helps, have a wonderful Memorial Holiday. Posted on Saturday, May 27th, at 3: Our well collapsed and we live on Leesville Rd where wells are deep and costly.
City water and sewer run past our house, who do we contact to tap into the lines. What is the price for this? Karen, I'd suggest contacting the City Water and Sewer Department to inquire about hooking up.
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I want to make sure that I get the right well for my home. It makes sense that I would want to make sure that someone inspects my property to see if it's possible in the first place! I'll do that soon, since that's an important piece of my home planning puzzle.
Bill, You should speak with a licensed well installer. They can answer your questions, give you estimates and discuss well options with you. Basically options come down to possible submersible well pumps, pressure tanks, and possible storage tanks if there's reason in your area to be concerned about running out of water. Typically these are only used when the Flow Rate is low Hope this helps. Posted on Thursday, June 15th, at In a rental situation, does the tenant usually have to pay for septic inspections or issues with the well?
No this is an owner expense. The landlord must supply water and a functioning septic or the house isn't suitable for occupancy. Posted on Saturday, June 17th, at 5: I like how you say that you want to weigh the benefits of having a water well. It would be really nice to not have to pay a water bill, but the replacement parts may end up costing more.
My sister is looking into installing a well on her property, so she'll have to consider the costs and benefits as well. In addition wells can run dry over time and depending where you live there might be concerns about contamination from gas fracking. Posted on Wednesday, August 2nd, at 9: I like that you mention how it's important to inspect septic tanks and field in order to keep it in good condition. If you have it professionally inspected, it could help you keep your residence safe and avoid problems.
In order to do this, it would probably be a good idea to meet with potential inspectors so you can choose one that is able to provide you with the best results so you can make sure your septic tank is properly cared for. Posted on Thursday, August 24th, at Our water comes from a well, and we've only had to replace the pump once since It turns out that repairing a well pump is much more complicated than it looks, so you should get outside help if you're not sure what you're doing. The last thing you want to do is damage your well.
Jeff we couldn't agree more, install a well or replacing a pump is for professionals. Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, at 7: I'm so glad you talked about getting your well inspected when you buy a home that has one. I never knew that this is so essential, but my husband and I are about to close on a home that has a water well in the yard, so we will need to do this.
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I guess it would probably be best to check something like the BBB to find a good water well maintenance specialist in this area, so that is what we will do. Raisa, glad you found the information in our article useful. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Posted on Saturday, September 16th, at 6: I appreciate that you recommend to get the well inspected by a qualified company.
My parents are thinking about buying a house with a water well in their yard. I'll have to remind them of this when I go see them. Scott, Glad you found the article useful. Thanks for leaving a comment. Posted on Monday, September 18th, at 7: Thanks for your column. Here is our concern: Residents of our rural road have always been on wells and septic.
This, then, would be labeled "partial services. Approximately 20K residents, and on or so lots have these special pumps I guess what I need to know is how to stand my ground I know this eventually becomes an EPA issue because we have a water well as well as a septic system The septic has to be dug up, or filled in with a specific size gravel,etc Do I have any leverage here, given the circumstances?.. The city adjacent to us did the exact same thing, but they used grant money to pay for the residents effected by their annexation Thank you in advance for any opinion offered This letter today was "out of the blue", since the last we heard, they were on course to do the work with grant funding So this has not been a case "of changing our mind" I notice that a new City Manager has been hired a few months ago, and that may or may not have effected this I plan to call tomorrow, but I simply wanted some idea of where I stood, before doing so I certainly appreciate your opinion and time I guess you'll know tomorrow morning.
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