A septic tank is found in households that aren’t served by the municipal sewers. These are standalone systems that handle the wastewater of the house. They are a relatively old method of disposing of waste and can be an issue for people who are unaware of their working and maintenance.
Purchasing a house with a septic tank can be daunting, especially if you’ve never handled it before. Fear about the condition of the septic tank will always be there. Before making a purchase, you must also be aware of the relevant regulations. Here are some of the steps you must take as you buy a house with a septic tank:
Talk to the Previous Owner of the House
It is always a good idea to talk to the former owner of the house and learn as much as you can about how the septic system works. They will provide you complete details about the condition of the tank and how regularly it has been maintained in the past. Ask for receipts and invoices for professional maintenance of the tank.
By knowing about the condition of the septic tank, you would be aware of what you’re signing up for. If professional septic tank cleaners have serviced and emptied the tank quite often, you need not spend money on repair and maintenance. A well-maintained septic tank will help you in saving both time and cost.
Gain Knowledge About Tank Maintenance and Costs
As you buy a new property, you are also working out the costs that are involved in maintaining it. Find out the cost of getting the tank emptied and serviced each year. You will be able to plan the budget of the future household and know the possibilities to make savings.
If you have purchased a property that immediately requires septic tank pumping, you must negotiate the final price of the house with the seller. Septic system maintenance costs are determined by the sizes of the tank and the drain field, tank accessibility, and the distance covered to haul the waste.
Find Out if the Tank is Shared
It is essential to know if any part of the drainage system occupies land owned by a third party. Buying a house with a shared septic tank poses several issues. The foremost problem will be to obtain their approval to repair or maintain the tank as issues may arise if the right to access is not granted.
It is important to get this done in writing to avoid any disruption during the maintenance. If you are denied access to repair or maintain the tank, the matter can be taken to court. If the septic tank has a sewage treatment plant, you must also be aware of who is paying for the electricity costs.
Know Where the Waste Water is Going
As you buy a new house, it is essential to ask the previous house owner about where the wastewater goes. There are some regulations set by the environment agency that makes it illegal to release this wastewater into streams of clean water. If the septic tank is old, you also need to check if the wastewater is leaked into the surrounding ground.
Older models are susceptible to damage and must be replaced before they cause damage to the rest of the property. Replace such a septic tank with one that has a soakaway or a sewage treatment plant attached.
Ensure Your Tank Complies with Regulation
You must be aware of the rules set by your state regarding septic tank systems. Some require you to carry out a detailed inspection before the title transfer. Even if not a requirement by the state, you should be vigilant enough to carry out the inspection so that you are not breaking any laws.
During the inspection, you must check if the tank is at a proper distance from a well to avoid any possible contamination. There should be no invasive roots near the drain field as they can damage the system. Also, know about the age of the system so that you get an idea regarding how long it is going to last.
A septic system should be inspected every three to five years by professionals. While you buy a house with a septic tank, make sure that the tank has been kept in the best possible condition. You don’t want to get into trouble by getting a compromised septic tank that requires immediate repair or replacement.