Purdue Griffin Purdue Residential Onsite Wastewater Disposal

What you need to know if you plan to buy a home with a septic system

  Septic systems can be an efficient and cost-effective way to treat wastewater.  However,  unlike sewer systems, they must be maintained by their owners.  Hundreds of thousands of septic systems fail each year. If you are considering buying a house that is not on conventional sewer systems, pay particular attention to the home's septic system. It can cost from $3,000 to $15,000 or more to replace a faulty system, depending on site conditions.

If you are buying a new house, make sure the system is designed properly and that it has been inspected by the county health department. If you're purchasing an existing home, your concern is with the present condition of the system, and the possibility of future expenses to make needed repairs. You will probably have your home examined by a private inspector -- but septic tests are usually beyond the scope of most professional home  inspectors. You may have to pay extra for a qualified septic system analysis. 

  Have A Home How septic systems work
In order to understand what the inspector tells you, it's probably a good idea to learn about the components of the system and the function of each component. 


  Maintaining a septic system
A septic system requires regular (although infrequent) maintenance in order to function properly. The maintenance of a septic system is not complicated -- your major responsibility is to have the tank inspected and pumped every 3 to 5 years. Be sure to understand your responsibility before you purchase a home with a septic system.
   Protecting drinking water
Most homes with septic systems also have private wells. The septic system in the home you are considering must be a safe distance from the drinking water well so that the wastewater does not contaminate the well.