10 Rules for Buying a Home with a Well and Septic System
- The house must have 2-3 acres of land.
- Do not buy a home with a dug or bored well.
- The visible well should be a 6 inch diameter pipe with a bolted cap sticking a foot out of the ground.
- Water from the road, driveway, and downspouts should not drain to the well.
Should I buy a home with a well and septic system?
- Homebuyers purchasing a home with a well and septic should invest in a thorough well and septic inspection as part of the home inspection process. When buying a home with a well and septic, the homebuyer should get a full well and septic inspection. Septic systems should be inspected and cleaned out once a year.
How do you finance a well and septic?
For many homeowners, using a personal loan is a common method for financing a new septic tank or repairs to an old unit. Personal loans are a single lump sum paid to the homeowner (that can be used for just about anything), who then makes monthly payments with fixed interest until it is repaid.
What do I need to know about septic and well?
A drinking water well is at greater risk of becoming contaminated if it is in the path of groundwater flow beneath a septic system. A drinking water well is drilled or dug into the groundwater so water can be pumped to the surface.
How expensive is well water?
Installing a complete well water system costs $25 to $65 per foot, irrigation wells run $50 to $100 per foot, and geothermal wells are $15 to $40 per foot. *Prices typically include drilling, pump, casing, and complete installation.
Is a well a septic system?
Jet pumps are located above the pump and use a tank and pipe system to “suction” water from the wall to the house. Your well system is separate from your septic system, as the well brings fresh water to the home, while your septic system draws wastewater from your home.
Can you make payments on a well?
If you have good to excellent credit, you can finance the drilling or repair of your water well project with a low interest rate! That includes helping you find the right financing for your project.
Can you get a loan for digging a well?
USDA is making grants available through the Household Water Well System Grants program. These grants help qualified intermediaries create revolving loan funds to construct, refurbish, or service household water well systems.
How Far Should a well be from a house?
Any contamination in your neighbor’s well can travel into your well. Some activities legally require more than a 50-foot zone of protection. As a general guidance, personal drinking water wells should have a minimum horizontal distance of at least 10 feet and preferably 25 feet from such boundaries.
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
Is it cheaper to have well water or city water?
Well Water Is Cheaper Than City Water And if you buy a property with a previously installed well, you bypass the installation costs. City water bills can often be costly, and you never know what the hidden charges on your bill are really for. In the long run, you may pay more for monthly city water bills.
How do I put a well on my property?
Use the well point method.
- Start a pilot hole. Using a post hole digger or shovel, dig a hole two feet deep.
- Install your well point. Well points are generally made of steel or any other hard metal so that they can withstand being driven deep into the ground.
- Begin driving the well point.
- Add each extension of pipe.
What are the disadvantages of well water?
Disadvantages of well water include:
- Hard Water and Scale Buildup.
- Harmful contaminants such as bacteria, lead, and arsenic.
- Pumps need to be replaced every 10 or so years.
- Bad taste.
How deep is the average well?
Most household water wells range from 100 to 800 feet deep, but a few are over 1,000 feet deep. Well yields can be increased by fracturing the bedrock immediately around the drill hole and intercepted rock faults.
How far should a septic tank be from a well?
The distance between the septic tank and borewell is 15 ft and the dimension of the septic tank is 11X6X7 ft.
Is a septic tank the same as a well?
The key difference between a dry well and a septic tank: dry well handles rainwater and (maybe) greywater, whereas a septic tank handles wastewater and actually breaks down solids in the process.
How long do wells last?
The average lifespan for a well is 30–50 years. 2. How deep is the well? Drilled wells typically go down 100 feet or more.
Living with Well Water and Septic Tank
If you’re interested about what it’s like to live on a well and with a septic tank, here’s what you should know about the situation. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. We rely on water for almost everything we do in our daily lives, from drinking to brushing our teeth to cooking a meal to washing dishes. A critical consideration when purchasing a property in a more rural region is where your water utilities will come from.
It is possible that you may not have access to a municipal water and sewer connection, in which case you will be introduced to a well water and septic tank system for the first time.
How Does a Well and Septic Tank System Work?
It’s possible that you don’t pay much consideration to where your water comes from, but maintaining a well and a septic system would necessitate some expertise. In principle, the notion is straightforward; in practice, however, there are various components that homeowners should be aware of.
What Is a Well?
In its most basic definition, a well is a hole in the earth that offers access to water. A pump and pipe system is used to extract water from the ground, and a screen is utilized to filter out undesired particles in order to prevent blockages from forming. Because groundwater sources may be affected by germs and pollutants, wells that are improperly constructed can readily become contaminated. The foundation of any well is comprised of four essential components:
- A casing constructed of steel, polyvinyl chloride pipe, or concrete pipe Although it allows for free access in the ground, the casing also prevents any leaking into the well from the surrounding environment. Grout is used as a sealer to fill in any gaps or crevices around the outside of the well, so keeping pollutants from entering. Stainless steel or slotted PVC pipe filter screen keeps gravel, sand, and other waste out of the well
- Stainless steel or slotted PVC pipe filter screen It is necessary to pack gravel around the outside of the filter screen in order to prevent debris from entering the well or clogging the screen.
What Is a Septic System?
A septic system is a wastewater treatment system that comprises of a septic tank and a drain field that is located underground. Most of the time, these systems are located in rural locations where there is no access to centralized municipal sewers. Everything that goes into a home’s kitchen, faucets, and bathrooms goes out through a single main drainage pipe into a tank, which is buried in the earth and is completely watertight. The tank then contains all of the wastewater, gradually separating it into solids (which sink to the bottom) and oils (which rise to the surface) (which float to the top).
Once the liquid (known as effluent) is evacuated from the tank and spread into the drain field, which is a shallow, covered trench of unsaturated soil, the process is complete.
Well and Septic vs. City Water and Sewer
Adobe Stock – Africa Studio – stock.adobe.com While many homes rely on well water and a septic tank because municipal services are unavailable in their area, some homeowners prefer to use these systems on a purely voluntary basis.
If you have the option, both city water and well water have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.
Pros of Well Water and Septic Systems
- Because you are using a private well, you will not be charged a monthly water cost. Well water is more nutrient-dense and contains more minerals and nutrients than tap water. Natural catastrophes generally do not pose a threat to well water since it is safe and uncontaminated.
Cons of Well Water and Septic Systems
- Water pollution from a septic tank, chemicals, or other contaminants is a concern. All upkeep and repairs are the responsibility of the property owner. A new septic system will cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, making it an expensive investment.
Pros of City Water and Sewer Systems
- Water quality, service, and testing are all the responsibility of the city. Owner maintenance is kept to a bare minimum. Natural catastrophes generally do not pose a threat to well water since it is safe and uncontaminated.
Cons of City Water and Sewer Systems
- High homeowner costs for annual consumption
- The possibility of system malfunctions or maintenance being delayed
- Drinking water is not as pure as it once was and may include additional contaminants.
Have a System Inspection Before Buying a Home
It is common for typical house inspections to omit wells and septic systems, but it is critical that you have a full examination performed before proceeding with a purchase. If your regular house inspector does not have a specific septic inspection license, you will need to hire a qualified septic inspector to come out and check your system. It is likely that this will result in an additional charge, but the quality of the system will have long-term consequences for the health and safety of your family members.
Well Location Is Important
You can easily locate a well head by checking for a 6-inch capped pipe that will be poking out of the ground approximately a foot. This is the well head. Check to see that this pipe is at least 50 feet away from the corner of the house and at least 100 feet away from the septic drain field before installing it in your home.
Septic Systems and Drinking Water
It is critical to ensure that your septic system is in excellent functioning order in order to maintain your drinking water as clean as possible. Overflows can be caused by a variety of factors, including blocked pipes and drainage issues. A tank pumping is advised every three to four years, and you should keep an eye out for any warning signals, such as an odor in the yard or standing water near the drain field.
Avoid DIY Septic Systems
A well and septic system must be installed by a licensed and insured contractor at all times, without exception. Any well that has been excavated or bored by the homeowner poses an unacceptable level of contamination risk. Purchase a home where the system has not been properly installed and tested before making the purchase. Even though well water and septic tanks sometimes receive a bad name, the truth is that they are quite useful and offer a variety of advantages. If you’re unfamiliar with this sort of water system, do some research and speak with a local septic expert about what you should expect in terms of maintenance.
Buying a Home With a Septic Tank? What You Need to Know
Published in February of this year A septic tank is one of those property features that might make prospective purchasers feel uneasy. A septic tank is a component of a home’s wastewater system that is often found in homes that are not served by municipal sewers. Instead, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, these stand-alone systems are meant to dispose of and treat the wastewater generated by a residence on their own (EPA). For anyone contemplating purchasing a property with a septic system, here are some often asked questions and answers to consider:
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How Does a Septic System Work?
A pipe gathers all of the wastewater from the residence and transports it to an underground septic tank that is completely waterproof. As explained by the Environmental Protection Agency, solids settle to the bottom of the pond while floatable items (known as “scum”) float to the top. Both are confined within the tank, which is emptied on a regular basis by a professional pumper. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the middle layer includes liquid wastewater (also known as “effluent”) that exits the tank into a buried drainfield in the yard, where the wastewater disperses into the soil.
The soil filters out toxins, and helpful microorganisms decompose any organic wastes that have accumulated there.
Is the Septic System Related to the Drinking Water System?
No. Many homes that have septic systems also have a private well to provide water. The septic system, on the other hand, is completely separate from the well. Rather of treating wastewater so that it may be consumed, its objective is to safely distribute it in a manner that prevents pollution.
What Differentiates One Septic System from Another?
According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the size of the drainfield and the quality of the soil are the primary factors that distinguish one septic system from another. In addition, the drainfield must be large enough to accommodate the volume of liquid generated by a family. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, do not use a home’s toilet, sink, or disposal as a wastebasket for dental floss, coffee grinds, kitty litter, paint, or chemicals to avoid the chance of blocking the system.
How Often Should You Get Your Septic Tank Emptied?
To remove the sludge and scum from the septic tank, it is necessary to hire a professional to pump it. The frequency is decided by the size of the tank and the degree of activity in the home (how much wastewater is generated). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most septic tanks should be emptied every three to five years. However, certain systems may require more frequent pumping – perhaps once a year if necessary.
What Are the Signs of a Failing Septic Tank?
Aside from routine pumping, the tank should be examined for leaks or obstructions on a regular basis. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, signs of a clogged system include foul odors that appear from time to time and fixtures that drain slowly or gurgle.
What About Maintenance Costs?
The size of the tank and drainfield, the accessibility of the tank, and the distance that waste must be taken for disposal all influence the cost of septic system upkeep. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, pumping a tank might cost between $250 and $500.
What Should I Do Before Buying a Home With a Septic System?
Learn about the laws in your state. Some states demand a septic system examination prior to transferring ownership. However, even if your state does not need an inspection, your lender may require one anyhow. As a rule, conventional house inspections do not involve an examination of the septic system. Zillow reports that an inspection may provide a detailed assessment of the system’s integrity, identify whether it is located at an appropriate distance from a well (to minimize contamination), and check the absence of invasive tree roots in the drainfield, which could cause damage to the system.
If you do need to replace your system, the cost might vary significantly.
Owning a property with a septic tank does not have to be a frightening experience.
|1. Bathrooms and Kitchens
|Water from toilets, sinks, showers, and other appliances is called wastewater and can be harmful to human health. Wastewater contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients that could make you sick if it comes in contact with your drinking water well. Make sure the wastewater is properly treated by your septic system and that your drinking water well is located at the appropriate distance (set back) from your and your neighbor’s system. Avoid flushing other chemicals or medications down the drain or toilet since they could also contaminate your drinking water well.
|2. Septic Tank
|Wastewater generated in your home exits through a drainage pipe and into a septic tank. The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container that holds wastewater for separation and treatment. The solids settle to the bottom (sludge) and fats, oil and grease float to the top (scum). Microorganisms act to break down the sludge and destroy some of the contaminants in the wastewater. Your septic tank should be serviced and pumped on a regular basis to make sure it’s working properly.
|Learn more about how your septic system works.
|The drainfield is a shallow, covered trench made in the soil in your yard. Partially treated wastewater from the septic tank flows out through the drainfield, filters down through the soil and enters the groundwater. If the drainfield is overloaded with too much liquid or clogged with solids, it will flood and cause sewage to surface in your yard or back up into your home.
|4. Wastewater Treatment in Soil
|Filtering wastewater through the soil removes most bacteria and viruses (also known as pathogens) and some nutrients. While soil can treat many contaminants, it cannot remove all of them (e.g., medicines, some cleaning products, other potentially harmful chemicals). If untreated wastewater surfaces in the yard, wastewater may contaminate your drinking water through an unsecured well cap or cracks in the well casing. It’s important to avoid flushing medication and chemicals into your wastewater since it could contaminate your drinking water.
|5. Water Table
|The water table is found where you first hit water if you dig a hole into the ground.
|The water below the water table is called groundwater. Groundwater flowing underneath a drainfield captures any remaining contaminants released from the septic system. A drinking water well is at greater risk of becoming contaminated if it is in the path of groundwater flow beneath a septic system.
|7. Drinking Water Well
|A drinking water well is drilled or dug into the groundwater so water can be pumped to the surface. Deep wells located farther away from a septic system and not in the path of the groundwater flow from the septic system are least likely to be contaminated. Drinking water wells should be regularly tested to ensure your home’s water is safe to drink.
|Learn about private water wells.
|8. Setback Distance
|Most states or local governments require a specific horizontal distance (or setback) between a septic system and a drinking water well. If the soil where you live is sandy, or porous, you may want to place your well farther away than the minimum required distance. Contamination is less likely the farther apart a well is from a septic system.
|Consult your local health department about required setback distances in your area.
|9. Could my well be affected?
|Your septic system could contaminate your drinking water well or a nearby well under certain conditions. Remember to test the drinking water from your well regularly and take corrective action as needed.The contamination risk to your well is LOWER:
- The greater the distance between the well and the septic system
- The greater the depth of the well and whether it is on bedrock or below a specified layer of silt or clay
- And the greater the distance between the well and the septic system If your septic system is pumped and maintained on a regular basis, you can avoid this.
The following factors increase the danger of pollution to your well:
- The well is at a shallow depth and in permeable soil
- It is downgradient of the septic system (i.e., groundwater flows from the septic system towards the well)
- There are many homes on septic systems near the well
- Or the well and/or septic system have been poorly constructed or maintained (i.e., contaminants can enter a cracked drinking well casing from groundwater or surface water).
|Learn other ways to keep your private well safe from possible sources of contamination.
Well Inspections: Buying a Home With a Well
If the well is at a shallow depth and in permeable soil; if the well is downgradient of the septic system (i.e., if groundwater flows from the septic system towards the well); if there are many homes on septic systems near the well; or if there is poor construction or maintenance of the well and/or septic system (i.e., contaminants can enter a cracked drinking well casing from ground or surface water);
Do Your Research About Water in The Area
Because groundwater is a common resource across large regions, problems that impact one property will typically have ramifications for a large number of other homes as well. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can help you study known water difficulties in a certain region, and you may ask your Realtor if there are any recognized water issues in the area. Once you are aware of the most prevalent problems, you can keep an eye out for them. I’ll tell you where I am. Massachusetts General Law (MGL Ch.111 s.122) specifies that municipal Boards of Health have primary jurisdiction over the regulation of private wells in the Commonwealth.
You should look at how your state handles the well-criterion requirements.
Know The Regulations For The Area Where You Are Buying.
Different states and sometimes municipalities have rules and regulations concerning wells in the area, regulations you should be aware of as you go to buy a home. Depending on the area, the seller of the home may be required to test the well water before selling you the home. For example, inHopkinton, Massachusetts, one of the areas I sell homes, the seller is required to test the water quality before passing papers. Hopkinton is one of the few towns in the area that has this requirement. An excellent buyer’s agent servicing Hopkinton should understand this before making an offer.
Well inspections should never be skipped when buying a home.
What to Know About Well Inspections
Different states, and sometimes even towns, have laws and regulations governing wells in their jurisdictions, rules and regulations that you should be aware of before purchasing a house in the region. If you are purchasing a home in a rural region, the seller may be compelled to test the well water before selling the property to you. For example, in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, one of the communities in which I sell real estate, the seller is obliged to test the water quality prior to submitting the sale documents.
Before making an offer on a home in Hopkinton, a buyer’s agent who knows the market well should be aware of this.
When purchasing a property, it is never a good idea to forgo the well check. In Massachusetts, the owner of the property will also be required to obtain a permission in order to have a well, a document that you will want to see before you purchase the home if it is a new build.
What to Do If The Well Quantity Fails
So what happens if you find your dream home, test the well, and discover that it is not working? Don’t be discouraged; hope is still alive. There are several approaches that may be used to efficiently repair a well that has failed the quantity test. The following are two popular approaches of resolving well quantity issues:
- Drilling a new well– You will have to choose a new spot on the property and install a whole new well system. The ultimate aim, of course, is to arrive to a suitable water supply. Drilling a new well may be a costly endeavor. The cost of digging a new well might differ significantly from one location to another. The location of the well, the soil conditions, and the depth of the well required to provide a consistent supply of water are all important considerations. You could expect to pay somewhere between $5,000 and $15,000 to dig a new well. Hydrofracking– When your well’s water supply is insufficient, you can try hydrofracking as a solution. The procedure entails pumping high-pressure water into the rock formations surrounding the drilled well through the well’s pipe. In order to enlarge the network of water-bearing fissures delivering water to the well, hydrofracturing is used to widen fractures in the bedrock and extend them farther into the formation.
Most of the time, hydro-fracking will be effective, and you will not be required to dig a new well after all. But it is only suited for wells whose water supply is provided by groundwater flowing via cracks and fissures in the existing bedrock.
The property should have at least an acre or two if it has a well.
Aseptic systems, which are used to handle the waste generated by the residence, are often found in properties that have a well on their land. Septic systems will almost always fail if left unattended for an extended period of time, which implies waste is leaking out of the system and into the earth. If the property is smaller than an acre in size, the well and septic system are most likely close enough that a leak in the septic system will pollute the well water supply. As a result, wells must be positioned a substantial distance away from septic systems in Massachusetts, and it is likely that many other states will do the same thing.
Only Buy a Home With a Drilled Well
A drilled well is constructed using specialized equipment and often extends 100 feet or more underground. In most circumstances, a drilled well will be at least 40 feet deep, if not far deeper. In most cases, a drilled well may be identified by the presence of a pipe protruding from the ground for at least a foot or more, with a thick cap on the end of it. A drilled well is the most common type of well, although you may come across a residence with a dug or bored well every now and again. Such wells are far less dependable and more susceptible to pollution.
Ask About The Age of The Well
If the well owner is unsure about the age of the well, the well examination should provide some obvious indications. The typical lifespan of a well is 30-50 years, however it can endure for longer or shorter periods of time depending on many factors. If the well you are purchasing is more than 20 years old, you should at the very least figure in the cost of replacing the sections that fail the most frequently into your house purchasing budget. It is likely that if your well is 15 years or older, you should consider budgeting for replacement items such as an electric pump or a well pressure tank.
The Well and The Septic System Should Be at Least 100 Feet Apart.
As previously noted, a leaking septic system can cause contamination of your well water, which can lead to illness. It is recommended that each system be at least 100 feet apart from the other systems as a general rule of thumb. The best course of action is to steer clear of any property where the septic system is in close proximity to the well.
This, on the other hand, would be quite exceptional, as most governments do not permit such blatant infractions. Well inspections are normally performed by the board of health prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit for a new residence.
The Well Cap Should be Uphill or on Level Ground.
All of the toxins that fall to the ground, such as oil and grease from your driveway or manure from animals, will run downhill and have the potential to pollute a well where water pools on the surface of the earth. Because impurities tend to build on top of wells, it is important that your well be positioned on a level surface or slightly uphill. Well inspections performed by an expert will frequently reveal the need for any remedial activity to be taken in order to resolve this type of problem.
What to Do to Fix Well Quality
In certain cases, after having the well tested, you may discover it contains impurities that are unwanted, such as contaminants that impact the water’s flavor, odor, or texture. In most cases, however, there are several alternatives available for dealing with such impurities – so, even if there are problems with the water, it is not the end of the world, at least not always. If you are interested in purchasing the house, speak with the water specialist who tested the well to determine if there are any solutions for rectifying the problem.
- However, while certain water treatment systems are capable of eliminating a variety of contaminants, there is no one treatment method that is suitable for every application or water contaminant in every situation.
- Almost all water treatment systems are self-cleaning and require a specific minimum flow rate in order to function properly.
- These two items must be in appropriate alignment in order to function effectively.
- A significant reduction in water pressure occurs as water passes through most water treatment systems as it travels through the equipment.
- If you don’t, there’s a good chance that your water pressure is clogged up in your home.
- If you have discovered that you have these difficulties, they are rather simple to resolve.
Final Thoughts on Well Inspections
When purchasing a property, it is critical to take the time to examine both the quality and the amount of the well water available. More and more homeowners are learning the hard way after acquiring a property and discovering that they had omitted these critical home inspection checks.
Don’t make the same mistakes that so many other customers have made in the past. As part of your inspection due diligence, make sure you get the well water tested! Hopefully, you now have a better grasp of why well inspections are so important when purchasing a house or building a new one.
Additional Helpful Home Buying Articles
- What to Look for in a Home Inspection– Find out why it is so important to have a house and well inspection, especially if the property has not been properly maintained
- Should I install solar panels on my home? – Learn about some of the most prevalent advantages and disadvantages of installing solar panels on your home. Should our real estate agent be present at the house inspection? Find out why it’s important for both the buyer’s and seller’s real estate agents to be present at the home inspection
- And Get educated on some of the most frequent renovation blunders so that you can avoid making them in your home remodeling project. How to remove popcorn ceilings– get vital information about the most effective methods for removing popcorn ceilings.
Make informed selections when purchasing a house by taking advantage of these additional home-buying tools. a little about the author: Real estate advice on the subject of purchasing a property with a well was contributed by Bill Gassett, a nationally renowned expert in his area. If you need to reach Bill, you may do so through email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has been assisting clients with their relocations in and out of several Metrowest areas for the past 34 years.
I have a strong interest in real estate and like sharing my marketing knowledge with others.
Buying A House With A Septic Tank: Pros And Cons
Do you want to buy a house, but it has a septic tank, and you’re not sure what to check for when you go looking? Several considerations should be made while looking at a house that has an underground septic system. Here’s what you should do to make sure your septic system is in working order before purchasing a home. Learn about the laws in your area. Septic systems are custom-designed to compliment your property and meet local building codes. These local ordinances may include requirements for septic tank inspection, maintenance, and replacement, among other things.
- If you decide to expand your home and add plumbing, they may also need you to install a larger septic tank to accommodate the additional waste.
- Septic systems must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis in order to avoid complications.
- Their job will be to search for leaks and blockages, identifying possible problems before they become major ones.
- It is recommended that you ask to examine the tank’s inspection history before purchasing a house with a septic tank.
- You must have a general understanding of the septic tank’s technical parameters.
- Additionally, you must be aware of the date it was installed, because septic tanks may need to be updated every 20-40 years.
- Make Preparations for Routine Maintenance A septic tank must be examined, maintained, and emptied on a regular basis in order to avoid problems.
Depending on the size of the tank, this can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 on average.
The distinction is that if you flush something down the toilet that shouldn’t be there, it becomes your responsibility on a septic system.
Pipes that are clogged can leak and sewage can back up into your home as a result of these obstructions.
Understand what may go wrong.
It is possible to create a large amount of mess when there are leaks, broken and clogged pipes, and flooding in a drain field.
Due to an excessive amount of liquid present either within the tank or within the drain field, a tank may fail to drain properly – or at all.
Spot Potential Problems As Soon As They Appear You must be able to recognize a possible problem before it manifests itself as a genuine one. Peculiar scents, unusual plumbing indicators, poor drainage, and backflow into your drains are all indications that your septic tank needs to be inspected.
The Average Cost for a Well & Septic System
Indoor plumbing was one of the most significant inventions in the history of the human species. The availability of running water in all dwellings is a legal requirement in the United States of America. Homes that are not in good condition run the danger of being declared uninhabitable. This implies that every home need access to both water and sewage services. To obtain it, you must either have water provided by a well and removed by a septic system, or you must have water delivered and removed by your municipality’s water and sewer systems.
Wells and Septic Systems
In other circumstances, homeowners must choose between using city water and sewer or drilling their own well and installing a septic system on their property. You should be aware of the following issues before beginning the process of digging a well in your property. In spite of the fact that you won’t have to pay for water and sewer any more, you will incur fees related to the digging and installation of your well as well as the care of your septic system. The costs associated with digging and installing your well should be considered before you begin digging.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have enough room on your property to accommodate a well or septic system installation.
Septic Tank Cost
The tank/absorption system is the most often seen form of septic system. Waste evacuation is accomplished by the use of gravity and the surrounding soil in this type of system. Once the waste has reached your septic tank, it begins to split into three distinct components: sludge, scum, and water. The septic tank discharges clean water through a conduit. The size of the tank system that you will require is totally dependant on the size of your home and household. Depending on the size of the system, septic tank installation might be challenging.
All of these tanks must transfer biodegradable trash in order for it to decompose.
If you have any doubts about your ability to execute such a project, hiring a professional installation company is your best option.
As a result, the national average cost might be significantly higher or lower than the local average cost.
Generally speaking, a three-bedroom house is the standard configuration in the United States. The cost of a new septic tank installation might range anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 or more under ideal conditions, which include good soil, a flat location, and suitable weather conditions.
Cost of a Combined System
It’s important to consider the separate components of the project when estimating the cost of a well and septic system installation. The septic tank itself is the most conspicuous of these components. Tanks of this type are commonly constructed of concrete, however they can also be constructed of polyethylene, steel, or fiberglass. A reasonable-sized tank for a typical family house should be able to hold 1,000 gallons of water at a time. Depending on the model, the tank might cost anywhere from $600 to $1,000.
Gravel trenches are the most frequent type of drain, and they are constructed of gravel.
Those ditches include about 10 to 12 inches of gravel that has been put as deep as 36 inches into the earth.
Gravel itself is rather inexpensive, ranging between $12 and $30 per ton.
Lifespan of a Well
The cost of drilling a well varies greatly from one location to another. As with any other element, the lifetime of the well is dependent on a variety of factors. These include geographic location as well as groundwater and water table conditions as well as seasonal fluctuations and the type of well you are contemplating. A specialist can assess these considerations and assist you in making your selection. Additionally, they may advise you on the expense of digging a well in your particular situation, which you should take into consideration before proceeding.
Well and Septic Installation Process
Ordinarily, the very first step in having your well and septic system completed is to seek a permission from your local government. It is possible that you may need to obtain consent from a homeowners association, neighbors who might be affected, or other agencies. Simply obtaining your visa might cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on where you reside in the world. Following that, you’ll need to have your soil analyzed to determine its drainage capacity. You may anticipate to spend somewhere between $100 and $400 on this portion of your project.
After you’ve gained a thorough grasp of your soil, you’ll be able to determine the best location for your well and septic system.
No legal reason prevents you from doing so if you’re confident in your ability to do it yourself.
It is recommended that you hire a contractor to manage these plans unless you are completely confident in your ability to complete them. The incorrect installation of your system can result in you having to cope with far more expensive repair on your home.
Digging the System
Once you have completed the excavation and septic system installation, you will be finished. In the event that you decide to do it yourself, the costs will be for equipment and tool rental, which might vary greatly, making it hard to provide an accurate estimate. An experienced expert to design and install your system might cost anywhere between $1,500 and $4,000 on average. There are some septic system installers that will take care of all of the permits and installation for you, which is a nice convenience.
Whenever you’re on the lookout for specialists, inquire about to see if any of these types of installers are available in your neighborhood.
DIY Septic Tank Installation
If you decide to install your own septic system, you should be aware that you will want specialized equipment to do the job properly. For this reason, and because a septic tank’s capacity is on average 1,000 gallons, purchasing or renting a backhoe as a first step is the most efficient method of installation. In addition, you’ll want specialized plumbing, fittings, sealant, and the system itself. It is necessary to dig a hole for your septic tank once all of your equipment, permits, and site selection have been finalized.
- As soon as you have all of your measurements, you should be able to start digging your hole to the proper depth.
- Next, you’ll need to put in your gravel trenches and drainage pipes.
- Take cautious not to cause any cracking or other damage to your tank’s outside.
- Then cover your unit with earth and plant a garden around it once that has been confirmed.
- This is a pretty typical occurrence and does not necessarily indicate that something is amiss.
buying a home with a well and septic
|Here in Maryland we have a lot of homes on wells and septic systems. If you aren’t familiar with what this means, your home has a water supply.If it is public water it’s piped into your home from the city.The city treats the water and guarantees it’s potency.If you’re on a well, your water comes from the ground!Most homes in Maryland have individual wells where you’re the only owner.There’s a few subdivisions here that have a community well where all the homes in the community draw from that one well. On a side note, when a home in that community has a fire, the fire trucks have to bring the water with them, because the well doesn’t have enough capacity the fire department needs to put out a whole house fire!Now for the other side of the equation.The water you send down the drain has to go somewhere.If you’re on public sewer, the city maintains those lines and takes it away from your home.A septic tank is just that.The water that goes down your drain goes to a tank that sends it into the ground to be absorbed.Some areas don’t really allow for ground absorption, so those homeowners have to pay to have those septic tanks pumped out.
The home you may be buying may have a combination of these items.There are subdivisions here in Maryland that have well water, but city sewer. Usually if you have city water, you have city sewer. When you’re buying a home and it has a well, or a septic system, you’re going to want to have them tested.As you can see in the septic system picture, you definitely don’t want the septic to contaminate the well.In the environment, there are all kinds of nasties that can get into the water. If the water gets contaminated, it can be treated.Even though this would be an extra inspection fee, you definitely want to make sure you can drink the water.Also the inspector should test the flow of the water in the home.You definitely want to make sure you’d have enough water pumping so a teenager could take their 1/2 hour shower, mom can run the dishwasher, and still have enough water coming in to flush toilets and have drinking water.With your septic system, you need to have the lines checked, the tank checked, and the field inspected.The house my client is buying has a 15 year old septic tank.Even thought that may seem young, you would want an inspector to look at the whole system including the lines leading from the home to the tanks. The answer to the inspection should give you peace of mind. Either it’s good for awhile, or it’s good for now but you may need to replace either.So you would know that you may have that expense in the future.Unfortunately wells and septic can be costly if they need to be treated, repaired or replaced.As a buyer, you definitely want to know that your water is potable, and what goes down your drains is going somewhere safe so as to not contaminate your water.AND, if you will have that expense in your future.It’s money well spent.If you have any questions about well and septic inspections, please feel free to give me acall. I’ll be glad to refer you to an expert that can answer any question you may have.Great read! I always appreciate new informationOh wow, thank you very much for reminding us to check on home water well regularly. My husband and I went to an open house the other day and we found out it has a well. We’ll certainly hire an expert to get the job done later.
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Misa, I notice that you are now a resident of New Jersey. If the house you are contemplating is located in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, please be aware of the following: 1) According to state legislation, the well must be marked with a GPS device, and the water must be extensively tested for a wide range of toxins by a registered laboratory. The title cannot be transferred to a new owner if this is not the case. The law does not specify which party is responsible for testing the well. However, it does mention that it MUST be completed.
- and negotiate the cost of representation between the seller’s and the buyer’s attorneys.
- 2) Determine whether the septic system is the original system; if the house is more than 20 years old, it is likely to be.
- Remember that in New Jersey, it is illegal for a licensed home inspector to test or inspect any septic system unless the inspector also holds a Professional Engineer (P.E.) license or a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (R.E.H.S.) license.
- If he subcontracts, be certain you understand exactly which company will be doing the test.
- 3) Do not forego a septic tank inspection.
- The typical price is around $30,000.
- As a result, the initial investment in testing may prove to be worth its weight in gold.
- Skipping a thorough septic examination might prove to be the most costly error a homeowner can make.
Additionally, the usage of waste disposals with septic systems is not recommended if one want to ensure the system’s long-term performance. I hope this has been of assistance. Here’s a link that could be of assistance: The Private Well Testing Act of New Jersey
What to know when buying a house with a septic tank
As a homeowner with a septic system, it is your obligation to keep it in good working order and to ensure that it is operating at peak performance. A well maintained septic system protects both the environment and the home, which is why it is recommended that homeowners examine and pump their tanks on a regular basis. When properly maintained, and as long as the septic tank was constructed according to specifications, it should last for decades without failing. Some key considerations to consider when purchasing a home with a septic tank are summarized in the following section.
Know how the septic system works
A standard septic system is comprised of four components: the pipes leading from the home, the septic tank, the drain field, and the soil around the system. It is microbes in the soil and the septic tank that help to dissolve organic waste as well as to purify the water before it reaches the groundwater table. The piping’s primary duty is to transport wastewater from your home to the septic tank for treatment. Although concrete is the most often used material for septic tanks, other materials such as fiberglass and steel can also be utilized.
Tanks with risers are easier to identify, check, and pump than older tanks since they are easier to see.
It is possible that the drain field may flood if there is an excessive amount of water in it, and sewage may be visible on the ground surface, or that backups will occur in the septic tank and in the home.
Does the home use a conventional or an advanced system?
You can bet your bottom dollar that when you buy a house that comes equipped with a septic tank, it will be outfitted with a traditional septic system. Conventional systems treat wastewater using a mix of physical and biological processes, with the wastewater being treated in both the septic tank and the drain field as part of the treatment process. However, there are some instances in which a traditional system may not be possible to deploy for a variety of reasons. For example, if there is a lack of available area, it may not be possible to determine the recommended distance between the leach field and the drinking water well.
In this case, modern septic systems come into play.
Because these systems contain complex components, they may necessitate more attention and maintenance than their more traditional equivalents in the future.
It’s possible that you’ll have to replace some equipment as well.
In addition, you should inspect the pump for air bubbles. As you can expect, there will be an extra charge associated with this. The ability to determine if the property has a conventional or an advanced septic system will assist you in understanding what will be expected of you as a new homeowner.
Does the home use a cesspool?
A cesspool is a hole sunk into the earth for the purpose of storing wastewater from a home or business. The walls of this pit are normally constructed of concrete or bricks, and they are perforated to allow for the percolation of wastewater into the soil under the surface. In most cases, cesspools offer little to no treatment of wastewater, but relying instead on the ground surrounding them to treat the water as it seeps through. Because cesspools are not designed to handle wastewater, the government forbade their installation in any home built after 1970 on the grounds that they were a health hazard.
If you are purchasing an older home, it is critical to determine if the home is equipped with a cesspit or a septic system.
How to save money on maintenance after buying a house with a septic tank
As a homeowner who owns a home with a septic tank, you must do periodic maintenance on the system because, if you do not, the system will fail and have major repercussions on the surrounding environment. As a septic system owner, you should be aware of several crucial guidelines that can help you save money.
Do not skip scheduled pumping
Depending on where you live, you may be forced to pump your septic tank once every 2-5 years by the local government. If you fail to follow the pumping schedule, the tank may become overflowing and begin to back up. This type of failure is not only nasty, but it also ends up costing you extra money.
Watch the products you use
As a septic system owner, you must exercise extreme caution while selecting items for your system. The majority of commercial cleaning solutions that are used in homes are composed of chemicals that are extremely harmful to bacteria. Therefore, the efficacy of your septic system will be reduced as a result of using these types of items.
Regular inspections will assist you in staying on top of things at all times. It is preferable, like with most other systems, to identify problem areas and correct them before it is too late.
Repair any damages
As soon as you spot any damage, get it repaired as quickly as possible. When there are cracks or any other defects that are not corrected, the problem will worsen with time, eventually rendering the system inoperable. In addition to the environmental risks associated with a neglected system, an ineffective septic system will significantly reduce the value of your home.
Use biological additives
The septic tank relies on bacteria in the tank to liquefy organic waste, which is done by the bacteria in the tank. However, as a result of the dangerous items that most homeowners inadvertently flush down the toilet, the quantity of bacteria in the drain decreases significantly over time. Biological additions can assist in reversing this trend. For example, Bio-biological Sol’s additives enrich septic tanks by introducing billions of bacteria and enzymes into the system.
Ask for records of maintenance
A smart suggestion is to keep track of the maintenance performed on your septic tank on an ongoing basis. A comprehensive record should include all pertinent information and dates, such as the history of pumping operations, the inspection record, the location of the drain field, and any other concerns that the property owner may have encountered.
This record will assist you in determining where to pick up your system as a new owner, and it will also provide you with an indication of the overall health of the system you are purchasing.
Carry out an independent inspection
A smart suggestion is to keep track of the maintenance performed on your septic tank on an annual basis. A comprehensive record should include all pertinent information and dates, such as the history of pumping operations, the inspection record, the location of the drain field, and any other problems that the property owner may have encountered. This record will assist you in determining where to pick up your system as a new owner, and it will also provide you with an indication of the overall health of the system you are purchasing.
- Determine the location of the septic tank and drain field
- Uncover the manhole and any other inspection ports that may be present. In order to ensure that wastewater from the house flows out as expected, flushing the toilet and opening sinks are recommended. The tank and drain field area are being inspected. Obtaining measurements of the scum and sludge layers
In addition, utilizing bio-low-cost sol’s tracer dye tablets, you may check on the overall health of the system. You may just flush the pills down the toilet, and if there is a problem with your septic system, you will see an unusually bright green hue surrounding the leach field after 2 days. This process, albeit basic in appearance, has been shown to be the most successful in terms of determining the overall health of the septic system. The truth is that this is the test that inspectors use to figure out whether or not the septic system has failed.
Demand a septic system examination before you make a decision on whether or not to purchase a home.
It is possible that you could wind up acquiring a house that has a broken septic system, and you will be compelled to replace the entire system if you neglect this step.
What can make your septic system to fail?
The last thing you want to find in your new home is a septic system that has failed. Knowing what causes a septic system failure is essential in order to avoid this situation. You will then be able to determine what you need to do in order to avoid this failure. The following are some of the most common reasons for a septic system to fail.
Using an antibacterial soap in the shower or washing paint rollers in the sink are examples of what is meant by this phrase. To get a more in-depth list of all the goods you should avoid using in your new home, download our free eBook.
The septic system was not intended to handle a large amount of water at one time. This is due to the fact that if the tank receives an excessive amount of water, it will force some of the water out of the tank to create way for the incoming water. It is possible that the wastewater that exits the septic tank as a result of hydraulic overflow has not been effectively treated, which might result in difficulties. As a result, avoid flooding your bathtub with water and space out your washing rather than doing large loads of laundry at the same time as possible.
When it comes to homes with septic systems, garbage disposal should be avoided at all costs.
The use of these products will only result in clogged systems as a result of the excessive amount of organic and inorganic waste that is introduced into the system. Using a trash disposal is a certain method to create a significant amount of scum and sludge in a short period of time.
It is quite easy for a septic tank to fail if it is not properly constructed or installed. Some of the soils will be outstanding at wastewater treatment, but others will be less effective at it. The design that will be employed on a site must thus be determined after conducting soil analysis and a percolation test on the land. When choosing the size of the septic tank and the drain field, the number of bedrooms in the home must be taken into consideration.
Putting too much strain on the septic tank might result in the pipes collapsing and the tank breaking open. As a result of these damages, the effluent will escape into the environment in its unprocessed state, resulting in environmental degradation. As a result, you should avoid driving or moving large machines and things, as well as constructing over the septic tank, if possible. CAUTION: Never wipe off paint with water from the faucet! After you have finished painting the home, make sure to dispose of any remaining paint and brushes in a hazardous waste facility that is close by.
Renovating a house with a septic tank
If you want to perform any repairs after purchasing a home with a septic tank, you should be aware that some of these modifications may necessitate the modification of the septic system as part of the process. For example, the size of a septic tank is decided by the number of bedrooms in a building. If you are considering adding an additional bedroom to your home, you may be compelled by law to construct a larger septic tank if the one you already have on the site is not sufficient to handle the additional demand.
|Number of bedrooms
|Minimum number of tanks (in gallons)
Also worth mentioning is the importance of exercising extreme caution when building on the land in order to prevent causing damage to the septic system in any manner. As a starting point, driving earthmovers or any other heavy gear over the septic tank is not suggested since it might cause structural damage to the septic tank. Additionally, paint and other solvents that may have been used during the repairs should not have been allowed to enter the septic tank since they can cause the septic system to malfunction.
Does the home have a private well?
Private wells are installed in the majority of residences that have a septic system. As a result, it is critical that you test the well to check that the water has not been contaminated by the septic system before proceeding. Before acquiring a home with a private well, contact your local health authority, which should be able to provide you with a free or low-cost test to determine the water quality. You may also wish to test the water for other foreign things such as metals and chemicals, just to be on the safe side.
Additionally, as the new homeowner, it will be your obligation to keep the well in good condition and to guarantee that it is not contaminated by your system.
Beyond keeping you and your family safe from disease-causing microorganisms, keeping track of your annual testing might be useful if you ever need to sue someone who polluted your well and seek compensation.
Purchasing a new house is a significant choice and a significant commitment from which you are unlikely to want to back out in the near future. As a result, it is one of those judgments that should not be made hastily. Take the time to check the septic system on the property so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises when you move in. The condition of the septic tank should be considered one of the most important considerations in determining the price of your new home. Along with inspecting to confirm that the septic tank is in proper functioning order, you should also test the water to ensure that the well has not been contaminated by the septic system.
Your knowledge of how the septic system operates, as well as your familiarity with its maintenance procedures, will be required for this position.