Your First House with a Septic System: What New Homeowners Should Know
When looking for a home in the suburbs, we know there may be a lot of surprises. A creaky floor may have to be fixed, a leaky roof could be a deal breaker, or you may even come across some awful paneling that you just can’t wait to tear down once you move in.
You might also run across serval homes that include a septic system. That could be a totally foreign concept for some but for others, it’s just another thing that helps them take care of their daily routine.
For those who have never used a septic system before, it can help to learn all you can about the pipes beneath your soil that make it up. That way you can feel better about your investment in your home and be prepared to handle any issues that may leak up to the surface over time if you neglect your drain field or septic tank.
Your Septic System Breakdown
Try this: think about where your waste water goes once it’s flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink. It has to go somewhere, right? In the city it’s common for that waste water to filter down to a treatment plant before it’s released back into a river or lake. But in suburban areas, we don’t always have sewers to deal with that waste water for us. Instead, we have a septic system. Here’s how it works.
Basically, your septic system includes two chambers that connect to the waste water plumbing in your house. One of these chambers is a pipe that collects all of your home’s wastewater and transfers it to an underground, watertight septic tank. Here, solid materials settle to the bottom, and floatable materials float to the top.
Ideally, water in your septic tank flows through in the course of several days while materials on the bottom are broken down by bacteria. Water is then carried through drain pipes to the drainage (or leach) field, where it is distributed into your soil.
Now that you know the basics of how your septic system will work, let’s take the plunge and dive into some more nitty gritty details that can help you as a new homeowner.
What to Know About Homes with a Septic System
- About 25% of homes in the U.S. rely on a septic system. Most homes with a septic system are out in more rural areas but some are also in suburban neighborhoods.
- If you have a septic system, it’s good to know that you shouldn’t flush any hazardous materials or drugs down your drains. This could end up contaminating your own, or your neighbor’s, drinking water.
- When you’re buying a house with a septic system, you should have the septic system tested and the tank pumped out – just in case.
- If the solids in the septic tank are allowed to rise to the level of the outlet port, they can clog the distribution box, the perforated drainage pipes, and the drain field itself.
- Ask your realtor, or a septic tank professional, about the size of your system. If you have a large family moving into the home, you may want to double check if your system can handle all that water.
- Metal septic tanks are especially prone to rust damage so make sure you ask your realtor about the kind of tank your home would have.
When you buy a home with a septic system, it can also help to know how often your system will need maintenance and when to know if your tank needs pumping. If you have any concerns about how your septic tank is functioning, give us a call! Bishop-Thiem Septic Services is fully equipped to service all your septic tank pumping needs and would be happy to come up with a fantastic septic system maintenance plan for you.