Residential septic system is generally hidden from the view since it is buried at a property. It is extremely important to inspect and understand the septic tank working as improper systems may lead to costly component replacements. Testing the septic system before buying a home can help avoiding surprise expenses of repairing or replacing the system.

How It Works

As a buyer of a home, here is what you least need to know about the septic systems:

An on-site septic system collects waste from your home drains coming from kitchen, toilets, sinks and showers into an underground septic tank. The tank retains the solids while effluent liquids are allowed to flow into the soil. Septic system need pumping out, advance waste water treatment and sewage treatment once or twice in 2-3 years to maintain its proper functioning and to reduce the impact of pathogenic gases.

What Do You Need To Do

If you are buying a home that has underground residential septic system, here is what you need to know or do because it involves high repair/replacement costs:

1. Get details about the septic system

General public call septic systems by different names including septic waste system, water sewage system, sewage system, or Roman sewage system – all these terms refer to on-site underground septic systems. Ask the property manager about the location where the system is installed. Also get the details about its service and repair history. If it has not been treated in last few years, ask the managers to get it treated before you take possession.

2. Make a visual inspection

A visual site inspection can help you trace the possible signs of issues. If the managers do not exactly know where the septic tank is, it is a clear sign that no one has been maintaining it. When you inspect the septic tank, make sure there are no evidences of subsidence or collapse. Also ensure that the tank is safely covered so that no one falls into it.

3. Look for any defect

Abnormal, high or flowing out sewage levels are a clear sign of a problem with septic tank. Even thin or thick scum with abnormal sludge level indicates issue. You may need to ask the property managers to schedule septic tank pump out before moving in.

4. Get it tested

You can hire a professional to perform a loading & dye test to see if it shows some indications of failure.

Taking professional assistance to evaluate proper functioning & good condition of residential septic system is highly recommended.