There's a trend emerging that encourages planners to look at infrastructure and surroundings in a wholistic manner. This goes as far as viewing entire cities as individual ecosystems. You should approach a new home purchase as if you're buying a tiny ecosystem of your own. That ecosystem is made up of the home and the property on which it sits, including underground pipes and utilities.
There are 3 reasons why you need to treat the sewage system in a potential home as if it were part of a larger system.
1) You need to know how sewer lines relate to the greater ecosystem.
The realtor or homeowner should be able to show you where the lines begin and end. They should be able to tell you how old the pipes are, of what material(s) the pipes are constructed and how large the septic tank is.
Knowing where pipes are located helps you keep an eye out for sinkholes and cracks in pavement, either of which can be a sign of a leaking pipe below ground. Knowing the age of lines, and the material that the pipes are made of helps you gauge how long before pipes will need to be replaced. Knowing the septic tank capacity lets you know if it's large enough to handle your family's demands, and how often it will need to be pumped.
It's also advisable for prospective homeowners to ask when septic tanks were last pumped, and to politely ask for documentation.
2) You need a way to identify the anatomy of the ecosystem.
Inspect all pipes in a newer home to see if they are properly colour-coded. Ask if underground pipes are colour-coded as well. This helps anyone doing future home repair to stay safe if they need to dig or move pipes.
They'll know that a red pipe indicates possible gas, a blue pipe carries clean water, and a green pipe line is sewage. There's even a purple pipe designation now, for pipes carrying filtered sewage water.
Also find out the type of dirt or ground fill that makes up the below-grade ecosystem of any home you're considering. Sandy soils could be prone to sinkholes, for example. Heavy clay soils may impact your leach field later.
3) Once you're in the home, assess your ecosystem on a regular basis.
Have your septic system checked and pumped as necessary to keep the entire ecosystem healthy and flowing smoothly. Raw sewage backed up in the home portion of the ecosystem is not healthy for the home or for the people in it.
Every month or so, walk over the area where sewage lines run to check for depressions in the soil or driveway. Make sure no harmful chemicals or cleaners are being flushed into your system. Also check to see that any pipe above the frost line is protected from freezing.
You are part of the ecosystem of any property you buy. You'll be much happier with a new home if the sewer system functions properly and needs minimal maintenance. Contact a sewer contractor like one from Lavenders Contracting Ltd to have a home evaluated, before you make an offer, if you are unsure about any aspect of a property's septic system.Share