October 14

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I Bought a Property With a Septic System. Now What?

With Les Lamb

October 14, 2023

home maintenance, rural properties

Buying a property with a septic system can be an efficient and cost-effective solution for your wastewater management. However, it requires proper understanding, maintenance, and care to ensure its optimal functioning. In this article, we will explore the basics of a septic system, the essential steps to maintain it, how to monitor and prevent issues, safe cleaning methods, the importance of regular inspections, and the possibility of upgrading and expanding your system.

Understanding the Basics of a Septic System

A septic system is a decentralized wastewater treatment system commonly used in rural areas. It consists of a septic tank and a drain field or leach field. The septic tank is an underground chamber made of concrete or plastic that collects and stores the wastewater from your property. The solids sink to the bottom of the tank, forming sludge, while the liquid effluent flows out to the drain field, where it is naturally filtered and treated by the soil.

Essential Steps to Maintain Your Septic System

Proper maintenance is crucial to keep your septic system in good working condition and prolong its lifespan. Regularly pumping out the septic tank is one of the most important maintenance tasks. As a general guideline, it is recommended to have your septic tank pumped every three to five years. Additionally, avoid flushing non-biodegradable items, such as wet wipes and feminine hygiene products, as they can clog the system. Be mindful of water usage and try to conserve water to prevent overloading the septic system.

How to Monitor and Prevent Septic System Issues

Monitoring your septic system is key to identifying and preventing potential issues before they become major problems. Keep an eye out for signs of a failing system like slow drains, sewage backups, foul odors, or unusually lush patches of grass in the drain field area. To prevent these issues, avoid parking vehicles or placing heavy objects over the drain field, as they can compact the soil and inhibit proper wastewater treatment. Furthermore, be cautious with the use of harsh chemicals and avoid pouring grease down the drain, as they can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the septic tank.

Taking care of your septic system is a responsibility that comes with owning a property with such a wastewater management system. By understanding the basics, following essential maintenance steps, monitoring for issues, using safe cleaning methods, and scheduling regular inspections, you can ensure the longevity and efficient functioning of your septic system. Remember, upgrading or expanding your septic system may be necessary as your property’s needs evolve, so consult with professionals to determine the best course of action. With proper care, your septic system will continue to serve you and your property reliably for years to come.

Les Lamb

About Les

I'm your hard-working, full-time REALTOR©, serving in and around Durham Region, Ontario. I specialize in client care and communications. My client-centered approach puts you first and takes the stress out of your home buying and selling experience. How can I help you?

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