Septic Systems: Should I Buy A Home With One?

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While we’ve all heard about septic systems, we may not really understand them or if a home should have one or not. A septic system basically takes the wastewater from sinks, showers, tubs and commodes and dumps it into a sealed tank. The solids drop to the bottom and the light stuff floats on top and the water is allowed to drain into the ground where bacteria takes care of the organic materials. Although mostly seen in rural areas, they are also in homes in more urban areas as well.

The only alternative to a septic system is to be connected to a town or city sewage system that takes the wastewater away for treatment. Fully 25% of all homes use a septic system which means, if you’re looking to buy a home, you may have to seriously consider this question. If the home you’re looking at has one, you have to accept some things you may not realize.

– Septic tanks have to be emptied every 3-5 years or so to remove the solids and sludge. This costs around $300.

– The advertised products that promise to help break down solids can damage your system.

– A well-designed system has to be replaced every 25-30 years at a cost between $4,000 and $15,000 for the typical household.

– If the property has a well that is too close to the septic system drain field, that well could be contaminated.

However, much like home insurance, some expenses are expected and have to be planned for. When you’re looking for a new home, discussing your options with a great insurance agent like Thomas Ager with Agers Insurance Services in the Oakley, California area will give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Contact him today to make sure your homeowners insurance covers all your needs.