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Should You Buy a House with a Septic System?

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 8:18am

You’ve decided it’s time to buy a house of your own. You know where you’d like to live. You know how many bedrooms you need. You have a modest amount of DIY experience, and even though you expect the unexpected, you’re ready to call a professional when you have to. Your agent is pulling up in front of the most charming house you’ve seen since you started looking, and as you walk in the door, everything seems perfect. But then the agent says two words you aren’t prepared for: Septic tank.

Is this a deal breaker for you? Should it be? Is it possible that a septic tank actually offers some advantages that may be preferable to a municipal sewage system? Don’t be too quick to react, and before you make a decision, bear the following considerations in mind.

1. Maintenance: There’s no doubt that a septic tank will require a bit more attention than a municipal system. But septic maintenance is far from complicated. If you keep one eye on potential threats to your tank and keep a reliable, professional plumber on hand, your septic tank should not give you any serious problems.

2. Care: You’ll need to be careful with your system and monitor what you flush down toilets and drains. And the fact that hazardous chemicals from your drain can pollute your community groundwater carries a degree of additional responsibility. But again, some extra attention and an on-call plumber like Mr. Rooter can ease your concerns.

3. Benefits: A septic system means independence from local municipalities, which can save you money and keep a systemic problem from becoming your problem. A septic system can also allow more freedom in your choice of location, since many remote communities are disconnected from city systems.

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