Property Has Private Sewer System - Septic Tank..??

5 Replies

So looking at a Property that has a Private Sewer system, Thinking it is a Septic Tank.

What should I look out for?

Is this good or Bad?

How much if I had to replace this?

Any advice is welcomed...



It is neither good or bad. It is indiferrent. They do require more maintenance, i.e. you might have to get it pumped. Some people won't mess with them, but depending on where you are they may be prevalent.

Your inspector will probably recommend you get a separate septic inspection and if you have any concerns, or even if you don't, it would probably be a good idea.

I just replaced one in NC and it cost me $7k. That is actually kind of rare, most repairs don't require you to replace the whole thing.

I grew up with a septic and well. Never had a problem in 20+ years. I remember it was pumped once or twice. No big deal. Have it inspected with the rest of the property and if the septic field isn't soggy you should be ok. Good luck!

Depends on if it's a flip or a buy and hold. There's nothing inherently wrong with a septic or cess pool as long as they aren't leaking. Potential buyers often find the idea of them "squicky" depending on the area. If everyone else has one it will be normal. If most have switched over to sewer your buyer will probably expect the home to switch over. Put in a septic inspection in the contract. It cost me about $300 to drain and inspect a cess pool at one of our flips. It wasn't leaking but if it has been it would have been thousands to dig it up and remove and replace all the fill dirt. Even if not leaking it's a lot of $ to fill in with dirt to decommission in place. When replacing with sewer, depending on your jurisdiction, plan on about 5k to do the work and up to 5k in city and SDC fees. On the home we did the city was having a "sale" on fees if you held the house for 5 years or more so we made a deal with the new owners to pay for the decommission and hook up if they'd apply for the permits. Assuming they stay it'll be free to them and I saved 5k. As far as buy and hold and assuming it's not leaking then you could just leave it and maintain it. Making sure your renters use the right kind of TP might be a bit of a challenge tho. Plan on $200-$300 every time you want to drain it. My dads property is on a septic and he's only drained it once in about 20 years but he puts enzymes down there and always buys the special TP.

if it's a property people were just living in, look for "sewage smells" and dark spots in the area of the drain field. Also if the grass is dead in the drain field could also be a sign of the drain field being over saturated with solids due to not regularly pumping out. In general I would determine the age of the septic system. If it's 20 + years old then most drain field was just a very long pipe extending straight out from the tank. Usually you will be able to tell the design of the drain field by paying attention to the grass. Usually the grass will be alot greener that the surrounding grass especially right over the areas where the pipes for the drain field is buried. As far as cost this can vary. Some counties now depending on poor draining soil will require certain advanced systems. If it's ideal Sandy loam soil then you can get a conventional septic system which is the cheapest. 2,500 up to 4500 approx. Here in Texas. All septic regulated by the EPA but rules set by individual states.

Thanks for the Feedback everyone..!!

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