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Many times as homeowners are searching for their dream home, we hear from realtors that they want to avoid septic systems. While fear of the unknown is fairly common in our industry, it’s important to understand that septic systems don’t mean a house has to be written off. As we’ve outlined before, septic systems can mean self reliance, a greener (more sustainable) way of processing your wastewater and a much more cost effective option as compared to city sewer. Here are four reasons that we believe that home buyers shouldn’t fear a septic system when purchasing a home.
It’s going to save you money.
One of the biggest draws of septic systems is the cost savings. If you are on municipal water and sewer you likely receive a bill from the city every month for your water use and wastewater processing. When you own a septic system you don’t have this bill, because you’re reliant on well water and process your own wastewater, which then replenishes the groundwater around your home.
It requires very little maintenance.
The maintenance required for septic systems is very minimal. Septic systems must be pumped every 3 to 5 years, which typically runs around $250-$300 depending on your system. Despite what many marketers might say, septic systems don’t require special additives or chemicals in order to maintain proper function. In fact, leaving the system alone allows it to process wastewater better, since the biology of the tank is a major factor for waste breakdown. In addition, using harmful chemicals like anti-bacterial cleaning products or toilet bowl tablets can harm the natural biology of your septic system.
It can be inspected before the home is sold.
The main reason that many homeowners are scared to purchase homes with a septic system is that they often don’t know exactly what they’re getting. A home with a neglected system could have damage to the drainfield that could run in the thousands to replace. You’ll always want to request a copy of a recent septic inspection and consider the maintenance records closely before making a decision on whether or not to purchase the home. You can also make the sale contingent upon the septic inspection as well. Your realtor can help you decide what terms are ideal for your situation. Read more about point of sale septic inspections in our blog.
It’s going to clean up your habits.
What some might consider a drawback, we consider to be environmentally friendly. While some people flush “flushable wipes”, feminine products or other non-biodegradable objects down the drain, it’s important to understand that anything that doesn’t break down immediately shouldn’t go down your plumbing. While you may not be the one that has to remove these products from a municipal wastewater facility, these objects are definitely not environmentally friendly. Having a septic system and being accountable how your wastewater is processed often means that you educate yourself and flush fewer paper products, chemicals (which interfere with the biology of your tank) and food solids down your drains.
Purchasing a home with a well and septic system doesn’t have to be scary. It can be very fulfilling to be so self-reliant and educated as to how your water is processed and replenished. You’ll not only do your part to replenish the groundwater supply, but also to avoid the environmental impacts associated with large municipal wastewater facilities, which are responsible for dumping thousands of gallons of waste into our waterways. Consider a home with a septic system and be sure that you do your homework and understand exactly what you’re getting when you consider the home.